Higher education is thriving in Hartlepool and more than 200 guests celebrated the achievements of students at the College of Further Education’s annual graduation ceremony.
Hartlepool Mayor Brian Cowie and Mayoress Veronica Nicholson were in attendance as well as Teesside University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Simpson.
It was an outstanding day at the College where students were recognised for achievements in areas such as manufacturing, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, teaching, travel & tourism, building studies - and many more.
Hartlepool College’s Principal, Darren Hankey, said: “This is a landmark event in the College’s diary and it is superb to see so many students graduate. Many of the students who graduated studied on a part-time basis and juggled their studies with work and other commitments – such as childcare. All of the students studied through the Covid pandemic and this makes their achievements extra special.”
There were more than 300 students who studied higher education at the College in 2021/22 as part of a franchise agreement with Teesside University to bring these quality programmes of studies to the town.
One of our amazing graduates receiving his cap and gown was Anthony Dodd, born and bred in Hartlepool, the 31-year-old is the perfect example of what can be achieved and he is extremely proud to have gained first-class honours in his education and training degree alongside his job as a Social Value Officer in construction with Equations.
Anthony said: “When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do, all I wanted to do was play football. Following the completion of my A-Levels, I was encouraged to go to the FE to study for a foundation degree in Sports Coaching and Exercise which allowed me to represent the college football team and become an ambassador for the establishment. I had started a family and decided it wasn’t the right time for me to pursue completion of the degree and attend university for the third and final year of degree, so I went into full-time employment within education and gained a certificate of education over two years through Teesside University studying at HCFE. After teaching for seven years I decided to go back to College to top up my degree in education, pulling in results I didn’t think I could. Now, after leaving my teaching role, I’m working at Equans where I am responsible for delivering social value across the Northeast and Cumbria. I am going to be working closely with students from Hartlepool College supporting their apprenticeship pathways, providing work experience opportunities and delivering sessions around building resilience and raising aspirations. I am grateful to the College and the staff for helping me get to this point and achieving first-class honours, which at one point seemed unattainable, but with hard work and dedication and support made this success very possible.”
Shaun Hope, Assistant Principal at the College, who hosted the event, said: “It is great to see higher education continuing to grow and shine in Hartlepool. We are proud of the role we play in ensuring that people like Anthony get to achieve degrees here in our town. We have a wide range of courses from education to aerospace engineering, ensuring people can progress in their careers or take a new career path to increase their chances of a higher salary, success and a higher qualification from the college. We wish all of our graduated students future successes, but we hope we will see them when they return for further studies in the future.”
You can view and download hi-res images from the Graduation Ceremony here >> https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAdgGM