Caroline tells her incredible personal educational journey from foundation course at WIT, onto a level 8 and now another step up the ladder to a Masters
Caroline O’Connor from Waterford, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Care and Education in 2018.
What made you choose this course?
I did the foundation course here in SETU Waterford campus. While I was here I met other students who were doing Early Childhood Care and Education and I thought that it sounded like the course for me so I gave it a shot.
Why did you choose SETU?
SETU Waterford campus was the college that was the closest. I actually went into REGSA [now WWAEGS] for a bit of career advice. I had been an early school leaver due to the death of a parent and I hadn’t finished my secondary school programme. I enquired about further education and I chose to do the foundation course here in the SETU Waterford campus because I wanted to go on to third level and get my degree.
How did you find coming back to college?
With the foundation course it made the adjustment to college life much easier. Although there was a jump from the foundation level to a level 8 course, the lecturers always helped and assisted me. They helped me build on my academic writing.
Did your course have placement?
I did two placements, my first one was as an SNA in a small country school. There were only fifty two pupils in that school, it was a really nice experience, I learned all about how schools run, I learned about the curriculum and how they plan activities. I also learned that children of the same age develop on different levels. The second my placement was in special needs school Early Intervention. I met children that are on the severe end of a special need. I saw how they managed and how they helped the children reach their full potential. It was a really good placement.
Would you recommend the course?
I think it is a fantastic course. I would recommend it to anybody. You study sociology, psychology and a bit of law. I gives you a good foundation and opens up many opportunities for you. It is not just about minding children, it could even be a good gateway into primary school teaching.
I liked sociology and psychology and finding out why people do the things they do. I liked the harder parts. The reflective writing didn't come easy to me but I managed to balance it out with the help of my friends and classmates. I used to help them and they used to help me, it was really nice.
What are you doing now?
I am doing a masters in SETU Carlow campus. I went from a girl at 16, whose mam had died, and I left school with only a junior cert to my name. Now I have gone on to a masters in leadership and education. So if there are people out there that haven’t finished school don’t let that stop you, the hardest part is taking that step into education.