Reaseheath ‘Access to HE’ student flies high with OCN award

A falconer who is flying through his Reaseheath College course after returning to learning has had his achievements recognised with a prestigious regional award.

Joe Cooper, from Nantwich, will be presented with a £500 Open College Network (OCN) West Midlands Learner Award for Outstanding Achievement in June. The ‘Access to HE’ student was nominated by tutors at Reaseheath for his commitment to his academic studies and for his support for fellow students.

The 27 year-old, who has had a nine year break from formal education after leaving Malbank Sixth Form College., will progress onto a BSc degree in Wildlife Conservation and Ecology in September.

A former Head Falconer at Peckforton Castle, Joe has found that the range of topics offered through his course has encouraged him to explore alternative careers within the wider conservation industry.

He said: “My ‘Access to HE’ course has opened new and exciting doors for me.  I was convinced, through social pressure, that it would be almost impossible for me to achieve a degree because I had been out of education for some years. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“This course has been brilliant because it has allowed me get back into education comfortably while learning about incredibly interesting subjects.  It has been one of my best decisions ever, particularly as I can take advantage of the financial help available.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received from my Reaseheath tutors and particularly for their passion in their specialised subjects. I now have the confidence to move onto a degree and I’m really excited to see where this new path will take me.

“This award has come as a complete surprise but I’m delighted that my tutors decided to nominate me.”

Said Course Manager Cheryl Stevenson: “We have all been very impressed with Joe’s positive and mature attitude towards his studies and with the constructive way he supports his peers in his role of course representative. He is totally committed to his studies and his work is always is well researched and referenced and shows a great deal of thought and critical evaluation.  We are delighted that his dedication has been recognised through this award.”

Reaseheath College’s  ‘Access to HE’ course prepares mature students for degree level study. For more information see 

Header caption: Caption: Joe Cooper pictured with Ravi, Reaseheath’s Indian Eagle owl