The Mary Immaculate College, MIC Adult Education Awards 2016 ceremony, took place on May 17, in MIC. with 26 mature learners from varying ages and cultures graduating from the two adult access programme, the Foundation Certificate Programme and the Teacher Education Access Programme (TEAP).
26 mature learners from varying ages and cultures graduated from the two adult access programme, at the MIC Adult Education Awards 2016, these were; the Foundation Certificate Programme and the Teacher Education Access Programme (TEAP).
Speaking at the MIC Adult Education Awards 2016 ceremony, Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC said that one of the many benefits to be gained from third level education is the opportunity for self-improvement. Today, we are all strongly aware of the need for skills upgrading, according to Prof. Hayes.
As a leader in the development of access pathways in Ireland, MIC has been hugely successful in attracting mature or “second chance” learners from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds whose educational experiences and opportunities in their earlier years may have been limited. TheFoundation Certificate for Mature Learners Programme, initiated in 2001, is an access initiative coordinated by the Academic Learning Centre in MIC, specifically designed to cater for mature students who wish to continue their education, with a view to progressing to third level.
The course is delivered on a part-time basis to facilitate those in employment; those with families and or care responsibilities and those eager to sample university-level education. Since its inception in 2001, over 1,000 students have completed the programme with over 500 Foundation Certificate students progressing to the BA, BA ECCE, the BEd and the BEd in Education & Psychology Degrees through this route. Students from the Foundation Certificate Programme have not only gone on to excel at undergraduate level, with many students currently pursuing Masters Degrees and PhDs. This academic year, saw 15 graduates completing the programme, proving themselves to be highly motivated, diligent and dedicated in their approach to their studies. Those who obtained a merit are offered a place on the Liberal Arts degree programme in Mary Immaculate College or University of Limerick, UL, following a formal agreement with UL last year whereby each of the Institutions’ adult education access courses are recognised for admissions purposes, thereby offering a greater range of university-level study opportunities for students who complete the course.
Speaking on the success of the programme to date Dr. Geraldine Brosnan, Director of Student Life at MIC said, “The Foundation Certificate aims to provide a basis for progression to degree level studies and since its inception fourteen years ago it has been hugely successful with very positive feedback from participants”.
Ann-Marie Hurley from Limerick City was one of the students who received her certificate on the night saying, “I would recommend this programme to anyone considering a return to education. I am very grateful to the course coordinator, lecturers and MIC who were extremely welcoming and supportive. I have a newly restored confidence in my abilities and the course has given me the ambition and opportunity to go forward to do a full degree course”.
The night also saw 11 students graduating from the Teacher Education Access Programme (TEAP). TEAP is a part-time programme for adult learners and is unique in the Irish higher education system. It is a partnership programme offered by Mary Immaculate College in collaboration with the Adult Education Service, LCETB. The course aims to provide an access route into primary teacher education and to date has been very successful with more than 55% progressing to the BEd at MIC.
Congratulating this year’s graduates, at MIC Adult Education Awards 2016, Margaret O’Keeffe, Course Coordinator, said, “Students have worked tremendously hard throughout year; in addition to studying Gaeilge and English this comprehensive course has enabled learners to engage with a wide range of stimulating content in the area of teaching and learning. We at Mary Immaculate College are looking forward to welcoming them onto the B.Ed. programme in September”.
Congratulating all the graduates of the Foundation Certificate Programme and the Teacher Education Access Programme Prof. Hayes said, “Education involves a major transition in a mature student’s life; it is a journey of personal growth and self-transformation. I know that many of you faced great personal challenges while participating in this course: financial pressures due in part to the economic downturn, family pressures and other difficult personal circumstances. By getting to this point you have demonstrated immense commitment. I wish to commend each and every one of you on your hard work, perseverance and dedication.”
He continued to speak of the genuine commitment in MIC to offer access to education to all especially those who may have lost out educationally in the past as they represent a reservoir of talent and ability. He finished by paying special tribute to the staff of Mary Immaculate College for their involvement in the planning and delivery of these courses and for the impressive network of support services they provide the students with.
This one-year part-time Foundation Certificate Programme is open to all mature students who might not necessarily have completed the Junior or Leaving Certificate. The course introduces mature students to a sample of a first-year university level courses, thereby equipping them with the necessary skills to participate in, and benefit from a third level course.
Application forms for the Foundation Certificate Programme 2016/2017 at Mary Immaculate College will be available from the Admissions office, in September 2016, with an application deadline of Wednesday, September 28, 2016. The Foundation Certificate programme will commence the first week in October.
Application form for the program can be found here
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