Karen Mitchell — Principal and Chief Executive
Karen is the Principal and Chief Executive of Aylesbury College and Amersham & Wycombe College. Karen has a strong leadership and management background in Further Education holding a number of senior positions including Vice Principal and Director of Quality. Prior to her time in Further Education Karen worked as a nurse practitioner and manager for 17 years in the Health Service.
Karen is a passionate supporter of inclusive learning in Vocational Education and Training. Her focus is on leading an outstanding student experience which prepares students of all ages and abilities to realise their ambition and achieve long term success in work and life. She strongly believes that Further Education should be at the heart of the community, transforming lives and driving economic and social success.
Karen is a Board member of the Bucks UTC, Bucks Education, Skills and Training (BEST) and the Bucks Thames Valley LEP Skills and Employability Board. She is a trustee of the Helena Kennedy Foundation and is Vice Chair for Youth Concern. Karen is also a leadership mentor and coach. Karen holds a range of teaching and coaching qualifications as well as a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management.
Amersham & Wycombe College
When you start a study programme with us, we want to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s getting the right job or going onto study further, either with us, on an Apprenticeship or at University. Everything that the College does revolves around your employment prospects and the needs of employers. Our in-house Work Zone areas focus on work placements and industry experience that are integral to the study programmes we offer. This is vital in giving you the competitive edge when looking for employment or securing a place at University.
Our Amersham Campus benefits from large workshop spaces where Art and Design students can spread their artistic wings, with vast facilities including Photography studios, print rooms and Fine Art studios. The 120 seat Theatre-on-the-Hill, which welcomes the community to watch the extremely talented Performing Arts students in action, with regular performances from our Dance, Musical Theatre and Acting students, is kept in tip tip condition thanks to our Technical Theatre students. As well as a Green Screen studio and Motion Capture equipment for our VFX and Animation students, our TV & Film students have a TV gallery and studio space, benefitting from the latest technology. Music students have training suites, recording studios, project studios and rehearsal spaces, whilst our Hair and Theatrical Media Makeup students produce breathtaking creations in their dedicated Salons, alongside our Hairdressing students, who open their doors to the public twice a week as a professional salon. All this sits in perfect harmony alongside our Health & Social Care classrooms, Science labs and dedicated state-of-the-art computer rooms for our Computing students. The Amersham Campus is also home to the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which was born here in 2009 and has produced two winners of the PJEA National Entrepreneur of the Year, in 2014 and 2016.
High Wycombe Campus
The High Wycombe campus is home to our Construction Skills Centre, with over £7 million invested in recent years and now the only CIPHE Approved Training Centre in Buckinghamshire. Workshops for Brickwork, Plastering, Electrical and Plumbing sit alongside expanding space for our Public Services, Travel and Tourism and Sport students, who can now take advantage of our newly completed 3G football pitch. Foundation Studies students use the extensive kitchen facilities to provide a weekly Café for fellow students and staff using fresh produce grown on campus. The new Future Life Centre opened mid-2016 and aims to give young adults with high needs the best possible start in life. Adding a further sense of caring are the Health and Social Care and Child Care students, who make up the smaller but perfectly formed Campus. There is also a dedicated Engineering block currently being constructed in time to welcome students for Sept 2017.
Auto Training Centre
Based in the heart of High Wycombe, our newly refurbished Auto Training Centre provides the much-needed tools for young people to become Motor Vehicle Technicians. With fantastic specialist facilities and expert tutors, we offer Levels 1 and 2 Study Programmes and Apprenticeships.