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Pathways To Experience College Education

24 January 2024

Dundalk Institute of Technology is excited to announce that their Pathways Programme will start again this February in locations in Dundalk and Drogheda. 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.


This 14-week programme is a superb way to experience what college can be like without the pressure of any assignments. Pathways is a fully funded course, open to everyone, and is delivered in the most relaxed unintimidating way possible.

Some of the subjects covered on this programme include Psychology, Community Development & Social Care and Education Mindset. Classes take place one morning a week for 14 weeks and the programme is delivered on an outreach basis in participants’ own community. Venues this year included the Barbican Centre, Drogheda and the Redeemer Family Resource Centre Dundalk.

Bruno, who graduated from the Pathways Programme and then progressed to the follow up Headstart course said

“These courses have impacted me so immensely, the experience has even transformed my personal and family life for the better”.

Tina who was a stay-at-home mother for 20 years said,

“It opened my eyes to my potential and the course gave me a taster of what college could be like. It removed any fears I had about returning to college and has built my confidence in every aspect of my life”.

Elizabeth who is now a BA (Hons) Social Care student at DkIT completed the Pathways and Headstart programme and progressed into DkIT said

“It is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I know the future is so bright for me now. I would highly recommend these courses to anyone, take the plunge, it is a stepping stone to third level education.”

Another current DkIT student who completed the programme is Denise who is pursuing an Arts Degree said,

“These programmes are like being taken by the hand and welcomed in and any questions you have are answered. I have that hunger for knowledge. I never felt I was good enough but now because of these courses I know that I can do it”.

Johdi Quinn (DkIT Pathways & Headstart Co-ordinator and Community Development and Spanish Lecturer) said,

“We are so excited to run this Pathways course again which has gone from strength to strength since it began 8 years ago. This course has enabled so many people 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 Louth Local Development are here to support them academically, emotionally and practically”. She added I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all the team in LLD, the implementation of this programme would not be possible without the continued and constant support of 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 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 2024. 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 these programmes.

Initial start dates for the Pathways course are, Tuesday 6th February, 10:00am-12:00pm , Redeemer Family Resource Centre, Dundalk and Thursday 8th February, 10:00am-12:00pm, The Barbican Centre, Drogheda.

If you wish to register your interest in this course, contact Christina at 087 7462507 or Eileen at 087 1202201

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