Val HearnA member of Edge Hill’s Student Support team has graduated with an MA in Education from the University.

Val Hearn’s MA dissertation investigated why students who have entered Higher Education via Fastrack routes tend to gain better degree results on average than other students.

Fastrack is an intensive, free Access to Higher Education programme for adults. It has been designed to provide the skills and knowledge to prepare participants for entry to an Edge Hill degree.

Those who successfully complete the programme are then able to undertake a degree from the following September in their chosen subject. Edge Hill University offers Fastrack courses in access to Higher Education as well as access to Primary and Secondary Initial Teacher Training.

Val herself entered Higher Education through an access course at college, then completing her first degree at Edge Hill (but awarded by Lancaster University) in 1998, graduating in Applied Social Sciences.

After her degree, Val, from Ormskirk, was offered a role as a Developing Academic Skills tutor at the University, working to support students on Fastrack courses, giving them the academic skills needed to enter Higher Education. She then moved into the role of Learning Facilitator, Student Services in 2004 and this year also started teaching on the University’s International programme.

To add to her list of qualifications, Val has also completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing, again awarded by Lancaster University.

Val said: “I’m very committed to Edge Hill and think the University should be extremely proud of their achievements in supporting and fostering people’s potential to achieve a degree.

“I’m delighted to graduate with an MA, something I’ve studied towards for three years. I think this further study has given me useful extra skills and knowledge in my role supporting students.”