A new educational partnership, which aims to enhance the third level opportunities for Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course students in the North West region has been established at IT Sligo.
The collaboration aims to identify and map the pathways from Further Education (FE) programmes in the Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education Training Board (MSLETB) into IT Sligo programmes.
The initial partnership with Sligo College of Further Education strives to promote interaction between programme teams in IT Sligo and specific PLC programmes and is made easier by the colleges’ geographical proximity to one another in the Ballinode area of Sligo.
“We are neighbours so it makes sense that we give PLC students instant visibility of the third level programme they can progress to at IT Sligo,” said Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of IT Sligo. “It’s a win-win situation for both institutions, and especially for the students of this region.”
Several Further Education Colleges offer courses specifically designed to allow students to build skills and knowledge to prepare them for third level courses in institutes of technology and universities. These include pre-science, computer science, pre-nursing and liberal arts. There are currently approximately 700 courses on the CAO that will consider any further education courses for entry.
Welcoming the new agreement, David McGuinness, Principal of Sligo College of Further Education said: “The main benefit for our students will be the progression route to IT Sligo. It’s a natural fit. A lot of our students come do us to do post-leaving certificate courses because they want to progress to third level. This seems like a natural opportunity for us”.
Project co-ordinators from IT Sligo’s three main Schools of Learning – Engineering & Design, Science and Business & Social Sciences – are liaising with SCFE programme co-ordinators to identify specific PLC programmes around which the pathways project can be based.
While Phase 1 of the collaboration focuses on Sligo, work has already started on extending similar partnerships across the region’s Further Education colleges.