“ Address: Feilden Street / Blackburn / Lancashire / BB2 1LH / England „
I have many years of experience of attending Blackburn college; I attended this college to complete a-levels and just recently to complete a higher education qualification. It has many plus points and many negative points. When I went to seek careers advice and seek information about a course I wanted to undertake, I found student services to be appalling! I went down and I stood at the reception desk and tried everything to get the attention of the staff who were only a foot away from me; they even looked at me and refused to acknowledge me. They were too busy discussing what they had done at the weekend and their social lives. This made me feel demoralised and I felt that they were exceptionally rude. I was already very nervous as I had been out of the education system for over ten years and I had taken a large step to go and talk to someone about a course. After about twenty minutes someone decided to come and talk to me; I was seated around the corner from the main desk and this careers advisor came to talk to me. She could not answer most of my questions about their teacher training qualifications and I left feeling degraded and misinformed. Later I found out she had given me the wrong price for fees, she had quoted me three times more than it would actually cost me. She also said that the college would give me a teaching placement to coincide with my teacher training course. Later I spoke to a course leader and I was informed that they only find full time course members a placement. Once again I felt disappointed and all my enthusiasm had diminished. I started my course and found this to be unorganised and too basic for a university credited course. I paid for a ten week course, but only had nine weeks becasue they had timetabled a week when it was half term holiday. I learnt very little and was given mixed messages about the career path I could take. I have now left college none the wiser and very confused. I feel that I paid £280 for nothing and feel that the college just wanted my money. When I enrolled I also had problems; the staff were rude and could not crack and smile and when I went to hand in my portfolio at the UCB desk; the staff there too had a 'not bothered' attitude and said they did not know what to do when students handed their work in! There was a lady on the desk talking to her friend on the phone and a man sat next to her who could not answer my questions. I gave them my portfolio and asked for a reciept, which they managed to produce. I worried for a few weeks that my portfolio would not reach my tutor; I only knew it did because I was informed that I has passed. The UCB centre looks stylish and modern and has a seperate library with good facilities; yet I feel that Blackburn college is going for a style over substance approach. I would rather have friendly staff, who know what customer care is and who can give me correct and consistent information. If I want to continue with teacher training I will not do it at Blackburn college; I will apply directly to the University of Central Lancashire and travel to Preston away from my home town of Blackburn.