Nelson and Colne College’s strong alumni network are continuing to inspire and motivate current students with their success stories.

NASA scientist John Spencer recently returned to NCC from his base in Colorado to share his journey since leaving College and to encourage aspiring scientists to think about their future and the array of career options available to them.

He delivered a fascinating presentation on his career to a packed auditorium in the college’s Theatre, before visiting the Science department where he spoke to second year future physicians.

Meanwhile, Burnley MP and Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care Julie Cooper also returned to NCC to speak to students about her journey into politics.

She gave an uplifting speech to students to raise awareness on what is possible with hard work and focus, and visited a Government and Politics class where she shared with them her story of how she forged a career in politics and answered questions on her policies.

Principal Amanda Melton said: “Our strong alumni network supports and inspires students in their academic studies here at College, showcases  positive destinations, and highlights just what can be achieved after starting their career journey at NCC.

“It was wonderful to have both John and Julie return to College to share their experiences and career pathways to students, and visits from successful alumni is all part of NCC’s Career College ethos – raising the aspirations of and aiding our students’ future progression and employment opportunities.”

John progressed on to the University of Cambridge after College and he shared his career highlights with students, including his studies of moons of the outer planets and his work on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.

Nicole Cain, 17, who is studying Maths, Chemistry and Physics at A Level said: “I found John’s presentation to be very informative and it has made me realise the variety of career pathways that are available and what you can do in the future. It’s inspiring to know that you can get that far in life.”

Ishmaeel Iqbal, 17, who is studying A Level Maths, Further Maths and Physics said: “It’s absolutely amazing for a student who came to NCC to then go and work for NASA. I’m really interested in that field and when the pictures of John with his massive team of scientists came up in the presentation – I thought I want to do that one day. It has really motivated me to achieve, as I know what is possible.”

Julie was returning to NCC for the first time since her A Levels, and during her visit fielded questions on topics including whether voting should be compulsory, all female candidate selection lists, the automation of industry and the ‘first past the post’ voting system.

Jack Betts, 17, who is studying Computer Science, Government and Politics and Sociology at A Level said: “I found it really interesting how Julie works in her constituency and learning about her experiences during her time as a shadow minister.”

Hannah Walker, 17, who is studying A Level Government and Politics, History and Sociology said: “It was good to learn a different political point of view from an MP and gain a broader outlook on politics. She gave a real insight into what political life is like.”

In its 2016/17 results, NCC achieved a 99.7% pass rate at A Level and a 100% pass rate in vocational courses. The college is top in the country for 16-18 learner achievement, at all levels, number one in the country for A Levels, based on progress scores, and the number one college in the country for overall Apprenticeship achievement, at all ages and levels. One in five of NCC’s 2016/17 leavers progressed on to a Russell Group university.

Government data also places NCC as the best college in the area for vocational courses, based on progress scores, while it is also the best college in Lancashire for student satisfaction, according to the FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey.

This year’s Vocational and A Level results will be announced this month, with A Level Results Day taking place on Thursday 16 August. Students wanting to enrol at NCC for a September start can do so from Thursday 23 August – on GCSE Results Day.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272 or visit

Any NCC alumni willing to share their story or inspire students by visiting the college are encouraged to do so by emailing