By Sean Ryan - 21 May, 2016
The President of one of the country’s largest Catholic colleges has said that ‘’One of the many benefits to be gained from third level education is the opportunity for self-improvement.”
President of Mary Immaculate College in Limerick City Professor Fr Michael A Hayes added that in today’s climate we are all strongly aware of the need also for skills upgrading.
The President of Mary Immaculate College was speaking at the Adult Education Award ceremony on 17 May where 26 mature learners of varying ages and cultures graduated from the adult access programmes, the Foundation Certificate Programme and the Teacher Education Access Programme (TEAP).
Congratulating all the graduates of the Foundation Certificate Programme and the Teacher Education Access Programme, Fr 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 also spoke 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.
Dr Hayes 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.
The programme attracts 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.
The Foundation 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.