Students Graduate from Headstart Course13 January 2023
Dundalk Institute of Technology were delighted to recently host the graduation of students from their Headstart programme which the Institute runs in conjunction with Louth Local Development.
The Headstart initiative is aimed at those with an interest in pursuing Higher Education and comprises of a 10-week exploration of study skills, including, academic writing, presentation skills, group work, time management, learning to learn, career guidance and assignment feedback.
The Headstart programme is set up with a community approach with the aim to take students by the hand back to education and build their confidence on the journey. The lecturers involved are experts at student centric teaching and their aim is to build individual relationships and ways of learning for each student participant. Part of the programme is meeting lecturers in a relaxed and friendly environment over a cup of tea or coffee which students find extremely helpful.
Elizabeth Awosanya is a second year BA (Hons) Social Care student at DkIT and previous Headstart participant, she said
“This course is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I know the future is so bright for me now. I would highly recommend it to anyone, take the plunge, it is a steppingstone to third level education.”
Another Student who completed the Headstart course is Denise Burns who last September started her BA (Hons) Arts Level 8 degree at DkIT. Denise said,
“the education system of the 60’s and 70’s saw me getting the label of being thick because I was dyslexic.”
The negative messages from that early experience stayed with her but she explained,
“I always had a hankering to do something more, but I believed that I wasn’t good enough. Headstart gave me the confidence to realise I was enough, and I could go back to college and succeed”
Johdi Quinn (DkIT Pathways & Headstart Co-ordinator and Community Development and Spanish Lecturer) said:
‘The biggest impact for me is that learners who are now studying at DkIT are telling me that going to college was beyond their wildest dreams before they did Headstart. We have reached people and communities who have always thought that education wasn’t for them. But it’s not just about people returning to education, I believe this course has given people confidence, resilience, the courage to dream again and more than anything, hope’.
To date 66 people have graduated from the Headstart Programme. DkIT are thrilled that Headstart graduates are in all 4 years of their DkIT Degrees including 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 the programme.
Christina King, Youth & Education Coordinator, Louth Local Development said
“This course is for those who have thought about going back to education, but felt too overwhelmed or intimidated at just trying to figure out how you could manage it or whether you’d be fit for it? DkIT and Louth Local Development through our Headstart programme would love to assist you and help you on your journey to make the decision and then action it. Our focus is to support you and your self-confidence and remove as many obstacles as possible to allow you access to life changing education and help you fulfil your dreams.”