2015/ 2016 RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING PROCEDURES FOR CERTAIN APPLICANTS ONTO LEVEL 7 BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MONTESSORI EDUCATION

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1 2015/ 2016 RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING PROCEDURES FOR CERTAIN APPLICANTS ONTO LEVEL 7 BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MONTESSORI EDUCATION Introduction Under regulations introduced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in late 2013, early years practitioners are required to have a Level 7 qualification in order to secure the higher capitation grant under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme. The revised regulations have challenged many existing practitioners, who have long established or managed early childcare centres. These challenges centre on two main cohorts (a) Prior to its designation under the National Council for Education Awards in 1994, SNMCI delivered programmes which were accredited by the Saint Nicholas Montessori Education Centre in London. Three diplomas were delivered reflecting different age cohorts. Holders of these diplomas subsequently established or managed early years settings. (b) Subsequent to its 1994 designation, SNMCI delivered Montessori programmes in both full and parttime mode. The latter was termed Accumulation of Certification and Credits System (ACCS). Students chose to concentrate on the Montessori Theory and Practice and were issued HETAC statements of accumulated credits for the learning undertaken. Similar to the previous cohort, many proceeded to establish or manage early years setting. However, in both scenarios, practitioners do not have the required formal qualifications on the National Framework of Qualifications to satisfy the revised qualification criteria. Status to date: Based on similar criteria to this notice, SNMCI commenced the delivery of this programme to 16 learners in September The programme, which is scheduled to finish in May 2015, is taking place on a parttime basis (through 2 week-long workshops and 16 week-end sessions). However, while the experience has been very positive for both learners and college staff, SNMCI is acutely aware of the need to extend entry criteria to allow for further potential learners to avail of this opportunity to upgrade their qualifications. 1 R P L A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R C E R T A I N A P P L I C A N T S O N T O L E V E L 7 P R O G R A M M E ( / )

2 Therefore, revised entry criteria have been developed, which will allow for those holders of legacy Saint Nicholas Montessori Diploma holders (3 to 6 years of age and 6 to 9 years of age) to pursue the Level 7 Saint Nicholas Montessori College programme (Bachelor of Arts in Montessori Education). In addition, the required amount of experience has been reduced from 10 years in a management/ owner role to a minimum of 7 years in dedicated contact in teaching context. This adjustment to the entry criteria means that participants will be required to pursue additional modules and learning to achieve the programme learning outcomes. Title of Programme: Bachelor of Arts in Montessori Education Framework Level: Level 7 Duration: Subject to evidence from the applicant and compliance with SNMCI s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy, this programme may be completed within three semesters (August to December 2015, January to May 2016 and August to December 2016). Commences: August 2015 Location: This programme may be delivered in Cork and Dublin on a part-time basis, subject to the formation of viable cohorts of 15 persons. Course Information: The Bachelor of Arts in Montessori Education is placed at Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications. This proposal is designed for those who wish to build on their existing learning and experience to meet the qualification requirements announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The programme aims to strengthen and deepen the knowledge of the theoretical framework of the student s practice in early years through the provision of modules in: (a) Montessori Emergent Curriculum; (b) Special Education; 2 R P L A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R C E R T A I N A P P L I C A N T S O N T O L E V E L 7 P R O G R A M M E ( / )

3 (c) Montessori Curriculum and Competence; (d) Psychology (e) Sociology (f) National and International Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policy (including Child Protection) (g) Research Methods and Practice Recognising that many, if not all applicants, will be returning to education, SNMCI will be providing a dedicated workshop on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)/ Back to Study Skills in August The modules identified are based on a gap analysis between typical curriculum of the legacy awards previously identified, particularly those awarded by the Saint Nicholas Montessori Education Centre in London and the curriculum content of the SNMCI s existing Level 7 programme. Notwithstanding this, each application will be evaluated individually by members of SNMCI s RPL Committee, who may require the applicant to undertake additional modules/ work to demonstrate achievement of programme/ module learning outcomes. There will be additional costs where this arises. Applicants will not be allowed to proceed onto the programme without approval from the RPL Committee Entry Requirements: In the first instance, each applicant must have: 1. Two Diplomas (3 to 6 and 6 to 9) from Saint Nicholas Training Centre (In some instances, the age cohorts on these diplomas may be 2 ½ to 5 and 5 to 7.) OR 2. HETAC Single Subject Certificates for Montessori Theory, Montessori Methodology and Internship from Stages 1 and 2 OR 3. Equivalent Montessori qualifications, AND 4. A minimum of 7 years experience teaching or managing in an Early Years setting; Once this strict criterion is satisfied, then applications will be pursued under SNMCI s RPL policy. All applicants are required to present a portfolio in accordance with this policy, together with evidence in support of exemptions from modules on the Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Montessori Education. Where an applicant presents all three Diplomas from Saint Nicholas Training Centre or has HETAC Single Subject Certificates (Montessori Theory, Montessori Methodology and Internship) from Stages 1, 2 and 3, allied with the required management/ ownership experience, further exemptions will be granted. In such 3 R P L A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R C E R T A I N A P P L I C A N T S O N T O L E V E L 7 P R O G R A M M E ( / )

4 Weekend cases where applications based on this additional certified learning are approved, it is possible that the programme may be completed with two semesters (August to December 2015 and January to May 2016). Furthermore, the cost of the programme will be adjusted accordingly. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): The College recognises that many practitioners working in the field of ECEC may already have prior learning, which may have been acquired through other programmes or through experience. Under its RPL policy, it is also possible for the College to recognise this learning, provided it demonstrates the prior achievement of learning outcomes. Full details of the College s RPL policy are available on its website at: Programme Delivery The programme, which amounts to 75 ECTS, will be delivered on an intensive part-time basis over three semesters August to December 2015, January to February 2016 and August to December Continuous assessment will be an integral part of the programme and terminal examinations will be conducted at the end of each semester. The indicative time-table for this programme, which will require mandatory attendance on Friday evening (3 hours) and Saturday (6 hours), is as follows: Event Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Aug to Dec 2015 Jan to May 2016 Aug to Dec Day Workshop 17 th to 21 st August 21 st to 24 th March n/a 18 th / 19 th September 22 nd / 23 rd January 9 th /10 th September 2 nd /3 rd October 29 th/ 30th January 7 th / 8 th October 9 th /10 th October 5 th/ 6th February 14 th / 15 th October 16 th /17 th November 26 th /27 th February 4 th /5 th November 6 th /7 th November 5 th /6 th March 11 th /12 th November 13 th /14 th November 12 th /13 th March 2 nd / 3 rd December 27 th /28 th November 8 th /9 th April 4 th /5 th December 15 th /16 th April Exams January 2016 May 2016 January 2017 (This is indicative and subject to change) Other Programme Requirements: SNMCI recognises that many applicants onto this programme may be returning to higher education after many years. The College has learning supports in place to assist students, but this programme, and in particular its intensive nature will require participant commitment and dedication to successfully complete. It is important that applicants recognise this and commit to the process. 4 R P L A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R C E R T A I N A P P L I C A N T S O N T O L E V E L 7 P R O G R A M M E ( / )

5 An integral part of this is a minimum attendance requirement of 80% for modules. Where a student fails to meet this criterion, he/ she will not be allowed to undertake any written examinations. Programme Cost: The cost of this programme is 4,840 for the three semesters. There is an additional Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) award fee of 150. Fees fall for payment as per the following schedule: Stage/ Date of Payment Amount 1 Application (see notes below) Registration on Programme 1, October November December January February March April September October November TOTAL 4, 990 Note: (a) The initial payment of 490 must be submitted with the application and portfolio for review under SNMCI s RPL process. Where the applicant decides to continue with registration onto the programme, this amount will be used as part of the programme fee. In the event of the applicant deciding not to proceed with registration, this amount will not be refunded. (b) Where it is not possible for SNMCI to deliver the programme due to, for example, insufficient number of students, all monies paid will be refunded to the applicant. (c) The costs outlined in the table excludes the cost of any additional modules which may be recommended by the RPL Committee; Where payment is not received by the due date, access to facilities such as the library and other on-line resources will be withdrawn. Furthermore, the learner will not be permitted to sit any written examinations. General Refund Policy SNMCI will not refund fees to any student after they have formally registered for a programme, except in extenuating circumstances which are at the discretion of the Director of SNMCI. No refund will be made to students who fail to attend classes or who withdraw and do not finish the scheduled course. 5 R P L A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R C E R T A I N A P P L I C A N T S O N T O L E V E L 7 P R O G R A M M E ( / )

6 Next Steps 1. SNMCI will convene a meeting in each of its locations Dublin (9 th April 2015) and Cork (21 st April 2015); (precise times will be on the College s website); 2. Attendees will be taken through the RPL process contents, requirements, applicants /students responsibilities etc; 3. Interested persons will be advised of the documentary evidence required to support an application for RPL; 4. Applicants will then be invited to submit an RPL application not later than 26 th June 2015; 5. Applicants will be advised of the decision of the RPL Committee by 17 th July 2015; 6. All offers must be accepted by Friday, 29 th July 2015; How to apply: Entry to the programme is by direct application to the College. A copy of the application form is available at Applications should be submitted to: Ms Mary Scaggs, Admissions Co-ordinator, Saint Nicholas Montessori College Ireland, 16 Adelaide Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Further Study: Graduates emerging from this programme may progress directly on to the College s Level 8 Bachelor of Arts in Montessori Education or other cognate Early Childhood programmes. Date published: 25 th March R P L A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R C E R T A I N A P P L I C A N T S O N T O L E V E L 7 P R O G R A M M E ( / )

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