Mature Students

 

 

 

DkIT welcomes mature students into our community and recognises the important part you play in enriching lectures and seminars with the life experience that you bring. We know that coming to third level education as a mature student can be a very different experience from arriving direct from school. We hope that this page will guide you in finding the support you need to help you with your transition to studies at DkIT.

Any student 23 years of age or over on 1st January in the year of entry to year one of a programme is considered to be a mature student. Mature students account for over 20% of our student intake in September; they register on all programmes and contribute positively to academic and campus life. Evidence shows that mature students tend to excel in their chosen course of study for a number of reasons including high motivation, a willingness to engage positively and the ability to draw on life experience. However, we realise that there will be times when you may feel isolated, especially if you are outnumbered by younger students on your programme. It is important for you to realise when you feel as if you are struggling and that you cannot share your concerns, what you are experiencing is completely normal. DkIT is committed to building a strong mature student community to help you meet other people in a similar situation to yourself and has a number of supports to ease your transition back to study. 

Induction

 

  • A dedicated Induction programme for mature students will take place on Monday 4th September 2017. Throughout the day you will meet the Access Officier and members of staff from the support services. The Induction programme offers you a good opportunity to meet other mature students starting year one of a programme at DkIT and participate in a question-and-answer session with mature students currently studying here.

 

  • Maths Learning Centre.
  • The Maths Learning Centre (MLC)  is a free service open to all DkIT students.  The MLC aims to provide additional Mathematics support and offers a number of services including  'drop-in' sessions, small group workshops on specific topics & one-on-one support sessions.
  • The Student Learning and Development Centre will be runningStudy Skills and  IT Support tutorials from Monday 28th August. Full details of these FREE tutorials, aimed at mature students will be emailed to your DkIT email account. They will also be on the Student Learning and Development Centre
  • Semester 1 begins on Monday 11th September for all first year students. The week begins with a Department based Induction Programme to support and ease your transition into third level education. You will have the opportunity to make friends with people on your own programme and on other programmes within the college. You will also gain an understanding of the type of learning expected on your chosen course. Your attendance is expected. Upon arrival on Monday morning you will be met by one of our Student Ambassadors who will direct you to your department. The Student Ambassadors, many of whom are mature, are existing students who are actively involved in the Induction process. You should take the opportunity to talk to our ambassadors about their experience of being a mature student at DkIT. 
  • The Mature Student Society organises events and activities that give you the opportunity to come together with other mature students and share your experience with like-minded people. The success of the society depends on the participation of mature students so be sure to join. The demand of family, work or other commitments can limit your time for socialising after college but being involved in an extra curricular activity will enrich your student experience at DkIT.
  • Study skills Support. During the first weeks of the semester the Student Learning & Development Centre  and the DkIT Library will be offering a range of study skills tutorials. These are specifically aimed at helping you with the transition to studying at third level and meeting the academic demands of studying at DkIT. The topics of the tutorials are targeted to reflect the skills that you will require in your first weeks of attending lectures. We recognise that mature students may be less familiar with or less confident in some areas of study techniques, therefore, attendance to these tutorials is voluntary but highly recommended. Click here for a schedule of planned tutorials.

Support

We recognise that becoming a mature student can be challenging in a number of ways, to help you with this transition we have a range of academic, financial and emotional supports available to you. Mature students tend to be self-reliantand adopt an independent approach to sorting out problems or issues as they arise. However, to save time, limit emotional stress and to benefit from a supportive academic environment it is important for you to be aware of and avail of the services we have in place. A full list of all support services is available on this website. 

Finance

Returning to study as a mature student will have financial implications. You have an advantage in that you have probably been living independently and have some experience in managing your finances. However, depending on your circumstances, budgeting your income as a mature student can be challenging. Your income may be adversely affected if you have had to give up full-time or part-time work; you may have to learn to adjust your spending habits to accommodate this.  Do not be put off your studies by financial demands, be prepared to budget and re-budget, be flexible and address financial concerns as promptly as possible. Visit our Money Matters page for details of budgeting tools and online advice.

There are a number of financial supports available to mature students:

Grants

Studentfinance.ie can help you assess whether you are eligible for a grant.

Applications should be made online to the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). For further details see our Money Matters page.

Further information regarding grants can be found on the DkIT Grants and Scholarships wepage and student finance.ie.

Back to Education Allowance
(BTEA) allows mature students in receipt of certain social welfare payments to retain those payments whilst participating in approved full-time courses in further and higher education. Full details of the Back to Education Allowance can be found on the Department of Social Protection website.

 

Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for full-time higher education students who are experiencing financial difficulties whilst attending college. Students can apply for Student Assistance to help them with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties. Applications for the Student Assistance are made through Student Services you will be required to complete an application form and may be asked to attend an interview, all expenses claimed must be receipted. The fund does not cover tuition or registration fees. Studentfinance.ie has further information on the Student Assistance Fund

Suggested Reading

  • Becker, L. (2009) The Mature Student's Handbook, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Cottrell, S. (2003) The Study Skills Handbook, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Rose, J. (2007) The Mature Student's Guide to Writing, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan