Chesterfield College is a highly successful and vibrant College based in North Derbyshire with excellent pass rates and high student success levels. Their location is key to their success in attracting students from north and south Derbyshire, Buxton, Derby and South Yorkshire and Sheffield. Chesterfield College has over 8,000 full, part time or HE students every year. They have over 700 courses to choose from catering for a wide range of learners including foundation courses, A Levels, Apprenticeships, vocational (work related) and professional qualifications, diplomas and degrees.
At the core of what they do is making students as employable as possible, providing them with life and work skills to get into work and achieve life fulfillment hence their mission statement. Equipping you with the skills and knowledge for progression and employment. This mission statement ties in perfectly with the Industry Recognised Certification’s that Prodigy Learning offers.
Interview with James Thomson, Curriculum Manager for Computing
“Our Students, Staff and Local Community realise that Microsoft Certification will make them more employable and productive within a challenging job market. Offering Microsoft Certification is central to what Chesterfield College is all about. Our aim is to provide our Students with the skills they need within the workplace and the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification’s do that. Over 90% of the World’s Businesses use Microsoft Office, so it was a simple choice for us to use to start offering these courses.”
What is the College doing with MOS?
“We are currently offering MOS as part of the OCR ITQ within our Level 3 Courses. This is delivered through timetabled teaching, but also through Independent Learning using the excellent Gmetrix Online Learning Software that comes with our MOS Licence. MOS is also offered as Staff Training as part of their CPD. Again, staff are taught using a blended approach with timetabled training one hour per week. They also have access to the Online Learning Software. This works extremely well with their Staff. The College offer MOS to the local community through Evening Classes, and use MOS as a Revenue Generator for the College.
One of the Colleges objectives is to engage more with the local community. Offering these courses has allowed us to do this. Students, staff and the local community all have access to a wide range of resources through the Colleges Virtual Learning Environment. Learners have access to eBooks, videos, presentations etc. that will help them get through the course. The College lets Staff and the local community use the course on a ‘roll on, roll off’ basis. They realise that everyone is very busy, so they allow their learners to turn up to a variety of classes. The blended approach of using the Online Learning Software, using all the available resources and being able to attend classes as and when they can have attracted an increased number of learners.”
Does the College find the Exam Pack Value for Money?
“Yes, in a word! Previously we would have to buy the exams separately and that would have been cost prohibitive. With the licence we are now able to offer MOS to Students and Staff for no extra charge, and then charge a modest fee to the local community that helps to fund the licence.”
How have you found working with Prodigy Learning?
“We have had all the help and support we needed whenever we needed it. Once everything was set up we haven’t really needed to call on them too often, but when we do we know we can get the help we need.”