CAO applicants are being advised to take practical steps and stay positive in advance of the 1 February deadline. The pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is moving to reassure leaving certificate and mature students who are battling with college choices and college-readiness.
According to Dr John Perry, Head of Psychology at MIC: ‘Undeniably, this year is clearly different from normal for those applying to the CAO. It is also uncertain. Change and uncertainty are the most common form of stress we encounter... but they are not necessarily negative. They just require a response. While we can't necessarily control the source of stress, we can control how it affects us. The unusual situation faced by school leavers this year can be seen as an opportunity. In viewing the situation in this way, you can look forward to it. The potential to feel good and envisage a great future is right there.’
MIC’s Admissions Office Manager, Anne-Marie Hannon echoes Dr Perry’s comments by encouraging applicants to take the practical steps to ensure they are well-informed before filling in their CAO form. She advises applicants to carefully research any programmes that they are interested in applying for, and look at such things as minimum entry requirements and fees. If they are contactable online she advises students to get in touch with their school guidance counsellors as they are a very helpful source of information and advice. Another great practical step is to read the CAO Handbook (available at www.cao.ie) and take note of important deadlines, and any restrictions that may apply for the programmes of study that they are particularly interested in.
Ultimately the best advice for applicants is to choose a programme based on the subjects, or area of study, that most interests them. By choosing a programme that they have a passion for their college experience will be much easier and more enjoyable. It’s also important to note that CAO choices do not define a person’s entire future. In fact, the ability to adapt and pursue different career paths is the key to success in today’s world of work.
MIC’s, Director of Student Life, outlines what students who specifically apply to MIC can expect in these unusual times. According to Dr Geraldine Brosnan, Director of Student Life at MIC; “MIC prides itself on our high-quality student experience at both our MIC Limerick and MIC Thurles campuses. The College's support services are extensive and of very high quality. Part of our mission and vision is to create a community of scholars where staff and students work together and our aim is to provide services, activities, and resources that maintain the College’s educational enterprise while also supporting our students personally as they learn, grow, and change through their time at MIC. This student-centric ethos is more important than ever in light of the current uncertainties that face us all.’
MIC’s programmes include a Bachelor of Arts programme that has been running for over 25 years and offers students the chance to choose from 13 subjects. The innovative BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies offers a mix of academic and practical learning. MIC’s BA in Early Childhood Care and Education is an exciting and challenging programme for those interested in working with young children. The College also offers a range of programmes in primary and post-primary school teaching.
Those thinking of applying to MIC should also note that prospective students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level can now apply for two elite sports scholarships worth €4,000 each, while those applying for undergraduate degrees at MIC Limerick and MIC Thurles can also apply for entrance scholarships, valued at €2,000 each. A CAO Points Concession Scheme has also been introduced whereby up to 10 places across all undergraduate programmes will be reserved for those who have demonstrated a high level of sporting performance. Successful applicants who meet all the necessary requirements may be eligible for a points reduction of up to 40 points below the First Round CAO points cut-off for the programme they have applied for.
Register for, and watch back, MIC’s Virtual CAO Talks Series, here.
Take the MIC Virtual Campus Tour here.
Full details on MIC’s range of Level 8 undergraduate degrees here.