By Sean Ryan - 17 April, 2016
Mary Immaculate College has been awarded a €5.4m contract by the Higher Education Authority to develop programmes which will help increase its student population by 50% over the next four years.
Welcoming the announcement, the president of Mary Immaculate in Limerick City, Professor Michael A. Hayes said the “award of this tender represents a significant milestone for the college.”
Fr Hayes said, “the programme will further strengthen MIC’s position at the forefront of early years and teacher education”.
The programme is for the delivery of the National Higher Education Programme for Inclusion Coordinators in Early Years Settings.
This training initiative is a result of recommendations from the Government’s Interdepartmental Group report last year regarding access to early year’s education for children with additional needs and specifically to facilitate the creation of a new role of inclusion coordinator in each early childhood care and education setting.
The delivery of this programme will see an additional 3,600 students added to the already expanding population at MIC, with anticipated student numbers of 7,000 by the year 2020.
As a result of the incorporation of St Patrick’s College Thurles, which will take place formally this summer, MIC is now a multi-campus institution offering nine undergraduate degree programmes in Education and the Liberal Arts, as well as a wide range of Continuing Professional Development offerings for teachers and numerous postgraduate opportunities to Masters and PhD level.
The national programme, which is scheduled to be rolled out later this year, is a specialist programme, aimed at the development of a Level 6 Special Purpose Award (Higher Education), which will now be required for staff in Early Years settings to perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator.
Successful graduates of the programme will acquire an NFQ Level 6 (Higher Education) Special Purpose Award in the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Years Settings which will enable them to successfully perform the role of Inclusion Coordinator in an ECCE Programme setting.