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Grad. Dip. In Adult & Further Education at MIC is among First Further Education Programmes Approved by the Teaching Council

The Teaching Council, which regulates the teaching profession, has just announced that it is to award professional accreditation to Mary Immaculate College’s Graduate Diploma in Adult & Further Education. This programme is intended for graduates planning to teach in the adult and Further Education (FE) sector and for teachers already working in this area who wish to further develop their professional practice. Graduates of the programme will be eligible to apply for registration as a teacher with the Teaching Council for the purpose of teaching in the FE sector.

With effect from 1 April 2013, applicants for registration for the FE sector must have attained a Council-approved further education teacher education qualification, in addition to degree qualification requirements. This is in line with Regulation 5 of the Teaching Council Registration Regulations, which aim to achieve consistent standards in qualifications required to be a registered teacher across three sectors – Primary, Post-Primary and Further Education.

The Graduate Diploma in Further Education at MIC facilitates graduates in working in many sectors in adult education and lifelong learning. Given the centrality of the practical teaching placement, the collaboration with local Vocational Education Committees (VECs) has been particularly important for the quality of the student learning experience in the programme.

The programme director, Dr Cathal de Paor, commented, ‘We’re delighted to have achieved professional recognition for the programme. An earlier version of the programme was first offered by the College in 2001 and many colleagues have been involved with the programme since then.’ Following publication of new requirements by the Teaching Council in 2011, the programme was redesigned specifically for teaching in the FE sector.

Prof. Teresa O’Doherty, Dean of Education at MIC, noted that there were many developments currently underway in the further education and training sector which highlighted the importance of high-quality teacher preparation: ‘Preparing teachers for the adult and further education sector is a great privilege. We look forward to developing our provision in the years ahead so that our graduates can continue to play a key role as teachers and in the creation of a lifelong learning society.’

The Graduate Diploma programme has benefited from the research agenda within the Faculty of Education on important issues in lifelong learning. For example, the College is currently leading a European Leonardo da Vinci Partnership on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in vocational teacher education. The membership of the consortium is drawn from five European countries, and includes the City of Limerick VEC.

MIC’s Graduate Diploma in Adult & Further Education is one of five such programmes which will be accredited by the Teaching Council. These are the first such programmes ever to be approved in the State. The four other programmes now accredited are: the Professional Diploma in Education (Further Education), Open Learning Centre, NUIG; the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Learning and Teaching, National College of Ireland, Dublin; the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Teaching in Further Education & Adult Education, Waterford Institute of Technology and the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education, Waterford Institute of Technology.

Commenting on the accreditation of these programmes, Council Chairperson, Micheál Ó Gríofa, said:

The approval of these programmes is hugely significant as it will bring greater uniformity to the teaching profession across all sectors. It is particularly significant for the Further Education sector and I have no doubt that it will contribute to higher standards of teaching, knowledge, skill and competence in that sector. I commend the colleges and universities for their innovative response to the Council’s new requirements and I wish to assure them of the Council’s support as they move from design to delivery of the programmes.”

Following successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Adult & Further Education in Year 1, students may apply for progression to a Master’s programme in Year 2, subject to certain achievement criteria. For information on the programme click here 

For further information about theTeaching Council and registration, see: teachingcouncil.ie

Members of the Graduate Diploma team from MIC, pictured with colleagues from other countries at a European project meeting in Oslo in March 2012. Also included are colleagues from City of Limerick VEC.
The project, focused onvocational teacher education in Europe,is co-ordinated by Dr Cathal de Paor andfunded under the European Lifelong Learning Programme.

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