Higher Education class attend Durham Cathedral graduation ceremony

Photo: Barry Pells / Bishop Auckland College

Higher education students have picked up their scrolls at a Durham Cathedral graduation ceremony.

The students from the Bishop Auckland College higher education class of 2023 have been studying subjects including art, engineering, career guidance, counselling, healthcare, sport and teaching.

They will now go on to dream jobs, career changes and take up university places.

One of the students is Ben I’Anson, who achieved a First Class BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching. The 24-year-old has secured a dream job as a PE & School Sport Coordinator.

“Having wanted to pursue a career in sport from a young age, Bishop Auckland College has helped me secure this dream with the fantastic opportunities they have provided me with,” said Ben.

“The help, support and challenge the lecturers have given me has been unbelievable and I’d recommend the course and Bishop Auckland College to anyone.”

Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Auckland College Natalie Davison-Terranova spoke at the ceremony. She told the graduates one of the most influential moments in her own educational journey in was in 1990 when she was in her first year at university.

Davison-Terranova cited a speech given by Nelson Mandela a few months after his release from prison, in which he said ‘education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to prepare our youth for their role as leaders of tomorrow’ – an inspirational address that “perfectly captures what learning means to me”, she said.

Other students to collect their diplomas included James Garland, who was recruited by GSK as an engineering technician at its Barnard Castle plant. He passed his Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Engineering at the engineering and plumbing centre South West Durham Training.

After 20 years in the hospitality sector, Michelle Dodds will embark on a new career working with children in schools after graduating with a degree in counselling.

She said: “I have established a whole new career to take forward and continue to grow with. The knowledge I have gained has been vital to support me on this journey. I have secured a counselling role within schools working with children and it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to support children in such a huge developmental stage of their lives and help to maintain their wellbeing.”

Former graduates who want to join the college’s higher education alumni group can email alumni@bacoll.ac.uk.