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Pathways To a Brighter Future in Third Level Education

18 July 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) were delighted to recently host the student graduations of their Pathways programme. This fantastic initiative is run in conjunction with Louth Local Development and its purpose is to introduce students back into a learning environment whilst supporting them with ease of access into Higher Education.

The Pathways Programme is delivered on an outreach basis in participants’ own community, venues this year included the Barbican Centre, Drogheda and Dundalk Gaol. Delivering this programme in the community supports an intimate experience for students to build their confidence and get a feeling of what college would be like in a safe and non-intimidating space.

DkIT are delighted to report that this year saw a much larger group than normal both participate and graduate from the Pathways programme, which is a fantastic testament to this initiative which is growing in strength and success from year to year.

DkIT and Louth Local Development would like to extend a huge thank you to all DkIT lecturers who are involved in this initiative which include, Johdi Quinn (Community Development and DkIT Lead on Pathways and Headstart Programmes) Dr. Kevin Howard (Community Development), Dr. Catherine O'Connor, Psychology, Brenda Maxwell, Social Care, Paula Mullen, Mindset for Education and Dr. Brian Boyd Head of Dept of Business studies.

Johdi Quinn DkIT said

“Pathways has gone from strength to strength since it began 7 years ago. I think since the Covid-19 pandemic, people are realising that they have one precious life, and many have decided to take that one first courageous step towards fulfilling their dreams and going back to education.  Once they make that initial decision, they realise that each subsequent step is a bit easier and that DkIT and LLD are here to support them academically, emotionally and practically.  I couldn't be prouder of our 2023 Pathways graduates who have shown so much courage, resilience and kept coming back”.

The implementation of this programme would not be possible without the continued and constant support of the team from Louth Local Development which include, Christina King, Youth and Education Coordinator, Eileen McDermott, Education and Community Development Officer and Jennifer Lally, Youth Education Support Officer.

The follow-on programme from Pathways is the Headstart course, which is aimed at those with an interest in pursuing Higher Education and comprises of a 9- week exploration of study skills, including, academic writing, presentation skills, group work, time management, learning to learn, career guidance and assignment feedback. This programme starts again in October 2023.

Graduates from Pathways and Headstart programmes have gone on to pursue DkIT degrees in programmes such as Social Care, Community Youth Work, Arts, Audio & Music Production, Creative Media, Hospitality Management, General Nursing and Mental Health Nursing. Many graduates have also secured employment because of having completed this programme.


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