A-Levels aren’t the only way to university

Youssra Darouache will study a degree in Education and Special Educational Needs after achieving the highest grades possible in Level three BTEC Health and Social Care at Trafford College – triple star distinctions.

Youssra joined Trafford College on Level one in 2015 and will start on Liverpool Hope University’s combined honours programme in September.

As well as acing her Level 3 BTEC course, the 21-year-old performed highly in Level 2 BTEC Health and Social Care, receiving distinction star distinction and winning two Trafford College awards for English and her outstanding contribution to Altrincham Campus on Manchester Road.

Her achievements are even more remarkable as Youssra has additional learning needs, which include a hearing impairment.

Youssra from Trafford said: “My experiences with additional needs in education led me to want to be a special needs teacher so I am absolutely ecstatic to have progressed each year and gained these grades.

“The college and course helped me to be the best that I can be by pushing me out of my comfort zone so that I have the confidence, ambition and the determination to help me achieve this grade.”

To ensure students with additional hearing needs gain equal access to courses, Trafford College staff use a variety of techniques, from wearing linked audio systems to annotating lessons and subtitling video resources.

As well as overcoming challenges in the classroom, Youssra worked on her communication skills by taking on the role of student ambassador, which involved conducting campus tours and speaking to members of the public at open events.

“Being a student ambassador helped me develop skills such as public speaking and leadership, but overall my confidence has definitely improved, which is going to help me in the future on both a personal and professional level.”

Youssra is one of many Trafford College vocational students that go into higher education, some of which is possible at Altrincham and Stretford campuses. Students can study childcare and computing, for example up to Higher National Diploma and Certificate level, which are the equivalent of the first two years of a degree.

Student Ambassador Coordinator Nicola Cutts-Watson said: “We’re so proud of what Youssra has achieved. After joining the College on Level One Health and Social Care, she has shown phenomenal progression, taking on the added responsibilities of student ambassador to an exceptional level.

“Youssra is an outstanding example of where you can go with hard work and effort.”