Alan’s Journey


Alan Neary works in the human services sector as an unqualified social care worker. After dropping out of college when he was younger, he made the decision to return and finish the final year of his degree. Alan agreed to create a video diary, recording his college experiences, the challenges he faced trying to balance work, life and learning and the issues he had as he attempted to complete the year. Hopefully it will give you an insight into the learning experience and what it takes to complete your studies.

Part 1 – The College Experience

In part one, Alan tells us about himself, his background and why he chose to return to complete his degree at the Open Training College. He describes his learning experience with the college and the kind of supports he feels are needed to complete a degree, particularly when you are an adult learner who is trying to combine work and study.


Part 2 – Handling the Pressure

Alan is now deep into course work and has had to deal with the challenges of trying to combine study, work and life over Christmas! He tells us how workshops and the college’s approach to learning (the Supported Open Learning Model) have helped him get through what could have been an even more difficult time. Alan also gets his first set of results!

Part 3 – The First Exam

Most adult learners prefer assignments to exams so how will Alan deal with his first exam? In the third video in the series he talks about his experiences of preparing for the exam and how important the support he received from other students and staff were in getting him through exam anxiety.

Part 4 – The Pressure Builds

The pressure to succeed is starting to become an issue for Alan. He’s now facing his final exam. If he doesn’t pass, he’ll either have to forget about getting a degree or begin right from the very start (year one) again. We talk to him before and after  to see how he gets on.

Part 5 – The Graduate?

Alan has given everything but has he done enough to graduate? Find out as Alan receive’s his final results.

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