ACS Distance Education has been around for 43 years and currently offers over 700 courses.
All of our courses are studied by online learning or distance learning and students can start at any time to suit them.
But ACS Distance Education is not just about courses. It is also about our tutors.
Our tutors are all –
- Very experienced and knowledgeable in their fields
- Enthusiastic and passionate about their subjects
- Experienced in teaching in distance learning
- Keen to encourage students to learn and develop by providing detailed feedback and help throughout the course.
- Many are also experienced and knowledgeable writers. Many are involved in developing, writing and updating our courses.
Meet the Tutor – Tracey Jones
Tracey joined ACS in 2001. Since then, she has worked as a tutor, as well as writing courses and eBooks. We asked her to tell us more about herself.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love reading and writing. I write courses, blogs and eBooks for ACS, but personally I also like to write creatively. I have written local history books about the area where I grew up. I am currently really enjoying writing short stories.
As well as writing, I love walking. I live in a town, but there are lots of parks and fields nearby, so I love a ramble with my dogs, especially early in the morning. I am definitely an early bird.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Funnily enough, a teacher and a writer. I trained in psychology and social work. I joined ACS over 20 years ago now and ACS has meant that I can do both of the things I really love – writing and teaching. I also do my creative writing on the side as well.
What is your favourite thing about your work?
I love working with the students. Over the 20-odd years I have worked with ACS, I have worked with many different students. I often feel that, as a tutor, I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. Students have so much experience and thoughts to bring to their work and this is good to see.
I also love the variety, teaching different courses, writing different courses and eBooks. ACS is always updating courses and developing new courses and I love that variety.
How long have you worked for ACS?
I started working for ACS in 2001 and have been with them ever since, so 21 years currently.
What subjects do you write courses on or tutor in?
I teach psychology, life coaching, business, counselling and creative writing.
What was your career progress to get to this point?
I left college when I was 18. I didn’t go to university straight away, so I had a range of jobs in Estate Agency, accountancy, selling perfume, working on a farm. I did this for four years, taking writing and English courses by distance learning. One day, a friend said that they were going to do a short course in psychology and something clicked. I realised then that that was what I wanted to do. I then applied and started my psychology degree.
After leaving university, I worked for a couple of years with people with severe learning disabilities. I loved this work. It was challenging but so satisfying. I then trained as a social worker and worked as a social worker with adults with learning disabilities for five years. I also took further courses on working with adults with learning disabilities. Whilst working as a social worker, I became involved in training and teaching. I trained as a teacher. In 2001, I had my second child and realised that this was the time to change what I was doing. I applied for a job with ACS and the rest, as they say, is history.
Here are some tips that Tracey has for her students
Tips for Students Who Want to Work in Psychology, Counselling, Coaching or Writing
If you want to work in psychology, writing or counselling, get a broad experience of life. Listen to people. I find listening is a great thing to do. People tell you things, but if you do not pay attention, you do not really here what they have to say. I like to think I study human nature and this is really useful for counselling and psychology, but also for writing. I can hear a sentence or a conversation in a coffee shop and can use that to develop a short story or blog.
So, pay attention.
Reading about the world around you. Read about psychology, counselling and the world generally. Again, reading is useful for psychology and creative writing.
What's one general tip you have for students studying online?
I have completed courses face to face and online. I have to say, I personally prefer online courses because I can study when and where I want to. I like variety. I like to be able to study at night or early in the morning or in a coffee shop or in my living room or in the garden or wherever suits me. So, my tip is, think what works for you. We are all individuals and what works for me may not work for you.
Something else I like to do is on a Sunday, I look at my week ahead. What do I need to do? When do I need to do it? So I have a planner or a diary. I block out times I need to work or write a course or a blog. Then I add in my other stuff eg. dentist’s appointments, meeting a friend etc. Once I have done that, I then fit in where I can study that week. Every week is different, so I always try to be realistic about when I can study that week.
My other “tip” is to keep studying. I have been doing courses since I was a child, at school and then afterwards. I am virtually always studying. I do love studying, I like learning something new.
So, my main tips are –
- Pay attention
- Be curious
- Keep learning – there is always something new to learn