INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS 1st JULY 2021
Thank you for your interest in Carlow College, St Patrick’s and for applying to study with us. Starting College is a big step and you probably have many questions. As we are still going through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important to give you some details of our plans for the 2021-22 academic year.
Carlow College is committed to looking after the health, well-being and academic development of all our students. We have prepared this Q & A document to update you on our plans to date.
Please note that we may be required to change these plans in response to HSE and/or government guidelines. We promise that we will communicate any changes to you as a matter of priority. Make sure you check the website regularly.
Information to prospective students on the delivery of academic programmes
When will my lectures and tutorials start?
Lectures and tutorials will start on Monday 27 September. Classes will run without a break until Friday 10 December.
What about Registration and Induction?
Online registration will begin as soon as you have accepted a place on one of our programmes. For mature and FETAC applicants this will be in August and for Leaving Cert applicants it will be in September. At the moment we are planning a blended induction and orientation programme with a mix of online and in-College elements. This will take place during the week beginning 20 September. There will be a rolling programme of supports for new students throughout Semester 1 and opportunities for one-to-one meetings if you need any additional help..
How will my classes be delivered?
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science have asked all colleges to plan for a significant return to on-site delivery in the 2021-22 academic year. This is outlined in a document you can access here: gov.ie – A Safe Return to on-site further and higher education and research (www.gov.ie). In line with this recommendation, we are planning to have all students back in college for a minimum of 50% of their classes. There will still be a need for physical distance and limits on numbers in rooms and halls and this means that we will not be able to schedule all classes for face-to-face delivery.
Will I be safe attending classes in the College?
Maintaining the health and safety of the entire College community is a priority for us. In accordance with local and national public health advice and guidance, the College will promote and implement all standard public health measures including hand hygiene, cleaning, ventilation, wearing of face masks and minimisation of convergence of students and staff. The College is reviewing and updating its Covid-19 response plan to ensure compliance with current public health requirements
What will online classes be like?
Carlow College uses the MS Teams platform for delivery of live (synchronous) classes online. This platform allows for live video delivery and multiple opportunities for interaction between lecturer and learner and between learners themselves. It has worked well during the 2021-22 academic year and there are several new features that have been recently added. You will need access to a laptop, microphone and webcam to participate. It is likely that we will also utilise some pre-recorded (asynchronous) classes.
When will I know what my timetable is like?
Work on the timetable is continuing over the Summer. Classes will be scheduled throughout the week between 9am and 5pm. You will not have online and in-College classes on the same day. We hope to be releasing the final timetable at Induction in early September.
Will there be an option for online or in-college attendance?
No. If a class is scheduled for online delivery, it will not be scheduled for in-College delivery and vice versa. If a student has a certified medical vulnerability and is advised that they cannot attend College, they should make contact with the College as soon as possible and we can discuss how best to proceed. Please email email@example.com if you are in this situation.
What about assessment?
Many of our modules are assessed by continuous assessment. All continuous assessment will be submitted online and all feedback will be delivered online. Some modules have an end-of-semester two-hour exam. At the moment we are planning for in-College exams in December. This will depend on prevailing public health guidelines and, if necessary, we will change to take-home exams.
What about resources and supports for students?
The College has a wide range of supports provided by the Library, Academic Resource Office, Learner Information Officer (LIRO), Nurse, Counsellors and Chaplain. You will receive more information with your induction pack. For the moment you might like to check the following website links.