BA i gcúram agus Oideachas Naíonán BA Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education Student Handbook Lámhleabhar

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1 BA i gcúram agus Oideachas Naíonán BA Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education Student Handbook Lámhleabhar 1

2 1.1Welcome from the Dean of Education/ Fáilte ó Déan an Oideachais Dear Student, On behalf of my colleagues I extend a warm welcome to you to the Faculty of Education at Mary Immaculate College. We are proud of our tradition of teacher education and of the high standards achieved by our graduates since the establishment of the College in As the largest Education Faculty in Ireland, we are particularly aware of the significance of the BA degree in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme in developing, promoting and sustaining a high quality education experience for all children. We are also cognisant of our special responsibility in developing Early Years Educators for the twenty-first century who share a professional belief in, and moral commitment to, working towards excellence, equity, diversity and social justice for the nation s children. As a student within the Faculty of Education you are part of a vibrant and innovative community which continues to design and develop new programmes. Our BEd continues to be very successful and the BEd in Education and in Psychology is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland. Both of these programmes have now been revised and a new four-year programmes commenced last Autumn. Our commitment to ensuring our students have the most appropriate education is evident in the extent of programme renewal within the Faculty. Third-year students on the BAECCE now undertake an off-campus semester. This exciting initiative provides students with the opportunity to work in a range of placements including early childhood education settings in countries with welldeveloped early childhood education systems such as Norway and the United States, in developing countries and in early education and primary school settings in Ireland. The Faculty is also involved in the development of other new programmes; our Masters in Educational Psychology (MAEP) was accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland and our first cohort of Educational Psychologists graduated in October Our Graduate Diploma in Adult and Further Education was recently accredited by the Teaching Council and the graduates of this programme were the first professionally recognised teachers of Further Education in the country. These programmes contribute to the extensive range of postgraduate programmes already being provided by the Faculty in SEN, ICT, Mentoring and Teacher Development, and Professional Studies in Education, at masters and PhD levels. Our lecturers are very approachable and dedicated to providing you with a top quality educational experience. Please engage with them and with your fellow students to enrich your own learning and to broaden your understanding of what is means to be an Early Years Educator. Participate in the life of the College, join clubs and societies, and enjoy the many sporting, social, cultural, and personal development opportunities available to you. In closing, I wish you well in your studies and I hope that your time at Mary Immaculate College will prove both enjoy able and rewarding. Guím gach rath ort i rith na bliana, Professor Teresa O Doherty 2

3 1.2 Welcome from the Head of Department/ Fáilte ó Cheann Roinne Dear Student, With my colleagues in Early Childhood Studies I am delighted to welcome you to Mary Immaculate College and to the BA ECCE programme. We hope that you enjoy and benefit from the many learning experiences that both the programme and College life provides. In the belief that high-quality early education can make the crucial difference in helping all children to develop to their potential, we are committed to providing a programme to enable all of our graduates to make this crucial difference in the lives of children. As lecturers we are here to support and enrich your learning experiences in the college and on your placements. We wish you well in the year ahead and will do our best to make your experience in the BA ECCE beneficial and worthwhile. Guím gach rath ort i rith na bliana, Dr. Emer Ring 3

4 1.3 Table of Contents Section 1: Overview of the College Page 1.1 Welcome from the Dean of the Faculty of Education Welcome from the Head of Department Table of Contents Introduction Mary Immaculate College A brief overview Mission Statement of the College The Faculty of Education A brief overview Mission Statement of the Faculty of Education Mission Statement for the BA ECCE Qualifications Required for Entry to the BA ECCE Programme CAO applicants to the BA ECCE Programme Mature Applicants to the BA ECCE Programme Access Applicants to the BA ECCE Programme Additional Requirements for BA ECCE Students Important Contact Points Useful Weblinks Finding your way around Administration Offices / Oifigí Riaracháin College Services Opening Hours 14 Section 2: Overview of the BA ECCE Programme 2.1 Introduction to the BA ECCE Programme Conceptual Framework Aims and Learning outcomes of the BA ECCE Programme Programme Structure and Organisation Practicum Progression within the Programme Personal and Professional Development Opportunities 25 Section 3: Student Academic Life 3.1 Library Learner Support Unit Computer Services Access/Disability Office Assistive Technology Options (AT) Exams and QCA Cheating and Plagiarism Medical Support Services Health Promotion and Health Promoting College Chaplaincy Counselling Other Services 38 Section 4: Staff Contact list 4.1 Staff Contact list 39 4

5 Please note that the information contained in this handbook was accurate at the time of publication. Unavoidable circumstances may arise from time-to-time in the College that will impact on the accuracy of the information in this handbook. Should you discover any information contained in the handbook to be inaccurate, please inform Paula Treacy in the Education Office and we will amend the relevant section accordingly. Also if you have any suggestions that you feel might contribute further to the content of this handbook, please forward to Paula Treacy and we will be delighted to incorporate these suggestions. 5

6 1.4 Introduction Welcome to Mary Immaculate College. We hope that you enjoy your undergraduate studies here in the College. This handbook will provide you with much of the information that you will need over the next four years about the course content and organisation of the BA ECCE Programme. It provides key details about the BA ECCE Programme and life within the College, in addition to contact details for members of Faculty. This handbook also supplies information regarding teaching and assessment on the programme, and an overview of the supports available to you as students. It also provides details of the many social and personal development opportunities available to you as students on the BA ECCE Programme. 1.5 Mary Immaculate College A Brief Overview Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is an autonomous third-level college, linked academically to the University of Limerick, offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Education and the Arts. The College was established as a College of professional education for Catholic Primary School teachers in 1898 by Bishop O Dwyer and the Sisters of Mercy. Seventy-five students were enrolled in the College on completion of the building in Since then, the College has expanded significantly both in terms of numbers and of programme provision, and continues to be a centre of excellence for the professional education of teachers. The College is committed to early years education and it is in this context that the BA ECCE programme was established in order to develop early years educators with the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide high-quality experiences for children in the early years. 1.6 Mission Statement of Mary Immaculate College: Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, founded in 1898, is a third level Catholic College of Education and the Liberal Arts. The College community promotes excellence in teaching, learning and research at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It seeks to foster the intellectual, spiritual, personal and professional development of students within a supportive and challenging environment that guarantees the intellectual freedom of staff and students. In particular, the College seeks to foster in its students a spirit of justice and compassion in the service of others, together with an openness to the religious tradition and values of each individual. The College promotes a sense of identity enriched by an awareness of its Catholic tradition, the cultures, languages and traditions of Ireland, and its special commitment to the Irish language. Mary Immaculate College respects cultural diversity. It strives to promote equity in society and to provide an environment where all have freedom and opportunity to achieve their full potential. Is Coláiste Caitliceach triú leibhéal Oideachais agus Saorealaíon é Coláiste Mhuire Gan Smál, Luimneach, a bunaíodh in Cuireann pobal an choláiste ardchaighdeán feabhais chun cinn ó thaobh múinteoireachta, foghlama agus taighde ag an leibhéalcéime agus iarchéime. Déantar iarracht forbairt intleachtúil, spioradálta, phearsanta agus ghairmiúil na mac léinn a chothú laistigh de thimpeallacht chabhrach agus dúshlánach a chuireann saoirse intleachtúil na foirne agus na mac léinn chun tosaigh. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an gcoláiste, go háirithe, cothrom na féinne agus comhbhá a chothú ina gcuid mac léinn agus iad ag freastal ar dhaoine eile, chomh maith le bheith oscailte do na traidisiúin agus do na luachanna reiligiúnacha a bhíonn ag gach duine aonair. Cuireann an Coláiste féinaithne chun cinn a bhfuil traidisiún Caitliceach an Choláiste mar chuid shaibhir di, chomh maith le cultúr, teangacha agus traidisiúin na héireann agus tiomantas speisialta an Choláiste don Ghaeilge. Tá ómós ag Coláiste Mhuire Gan Smál d éagsúlacht cultúir. Oibríonn an Coláiste chun cothromaíocht a chur chun cinn sa tsochaí agus chun timpeallacht a chur ar fáil ina mbeith an tsaoirse agus an deis ag gach duine a gcumas iomlán a bhaint amach. 6

7 1.7 The Faculty of Education A Brief Overview The academic work of the College is divided into two faculties: the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts. The Faculty of Education at Mary Immaculate College is proud of its tradition of education and of the high standards achieved by graduates since its establishment in The Faculty is one of the largest education faculties in Ireland, with a staff of more than 65 full-time academic staff and a further 25 associate members. The Faculty is strongly student-centred and is committed to excellence in its teaching and research. The Faculty offers programmes at certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our flagship undergraduate honours programmes include the following: BA in Early Childhood Care and Education, which focuses on the development of educarers, professional leaders in the provision of care and education for children from birth to six years in a variety of educational settings. B.Ed., which is a full-time four-year programme and is the professional qualification required for teachers in primary schools. B. Ed. in Education and Psychology. This four-year full-time programme prepares graduates to be recognised primary school teachers while also holding a degree in Psychology. The Faculty also offers a number of postgraduate programmes. The Professional Master s in Education is a recognised teaching qualification for primary level teachers who already possess a Level 8 degree. In addition a suite of postgraduate and master s degree programmes is available. The Faculty also provides a range of postgraduate research options and the numbers of students engaging in master s and doctoral studies by research and thesis within the Faculty continue to grow. The research work of the Curriculum Development Unit, the Centre for Educational Disadvantage Research and the Transforming Education through Dialogue Project, all within the Faculty of Education, reflect the commitment of Faculty to researching aspects of curricular interest, but also issues of equity and justice within education on local, national and international levels. Faculty members cover a wide range of expertise and professional interests and bring to their students a wealth of professional knowledge and experience. An internationally recognised standard of excellence has been achieved in the areas of professional development, curriculum design and educational research. The Faculty of Education has close links with many of the crèches, pre-schools and primary schools in Limerick city and the wider mid-west region. These connections facilitate an on-going professional relationship between the Faculty and these settings. The Faculty is greatly facilitated by the settings and practitioners who make their settings available to students for professional practices, a crucial aspect of Mary Immaculate College s BA ECCE programme. 1.8 Mission Statement of the Faculty of Education: To foster the social, emotional and intellectual development of our students; to promote and enhance their well-being during their time in college, and to provide opportunities for them to access a range of cultural activities. To encourage students to aspire to standards of excellence in their professional lives compatible with their individual potential. To promote reflective, creative, open-minded, sensitive, competent and committed practice among teachers in the national primary schools system. To empower such teachers to deal not alone with pupils and inschool colleagues but with parents, local communities, colleagues generally, other professionals. To engender in our graduates a commitment to the full, social, emotional, intellectual development, and cultural diversity of the children they teach so that as citizens of the future they are competent, assured and caring members of society. To promote and develop educational research and the application of existing research for the benefit of schools and of the community. To promote among our graduates an openness to research and methodological innovation and to help them to foster a sense of ongoing professional and personal development. To engender in students and graduates a positive, critical attitude to change in their professional lives and the capacity to develop skills and competences to deal with changing needs and demands. To promote and develop educational thought and practice for the benefit of the community, both local and national. 7

8 1.9 Mission Statement of the BA ECCE Programme: We foster excellence within a culture of respect, support and intellectual creativity for all those who work for and with young children E n t r y R e q u i r e m e n t s f o r t h e BA ECCE Programme All applicants are required to fulfil at time of enrolment the minimum entry requirements of the University of Limerick. These are: At least Grade C3 in two subjects at Higher Level in the Leaving Certificate (or approved equivalent)and Grade D3 in four subjects at Ordinary or Higher Level including Mathematics, Gaeilge or another language and English. The following are accepted as approved equivalents in fulfilling minimum entry requirements for the BA ECCE programme: National University of Ireland Matriculation Certificate University of Dublin (TCD) Matriculation Examination Northern Ireland Schools Examination Council GCSE/GCE (Advanced Level) Candidates may fulfil minimum entry requirements from more than one sitting of the Leaving Certificate. Foundation Level Mathematics is acceptable in fulfilling minimum entry requirements. It is not accepted for specific subject requirements or points calculation P o t e n t i a l Applicants to the BA ECCE Programme 1. School Leavers who apply and compete through the CAO system. 2. Mature Students Mature Student Direct Entry System Interview and written test. 3. Up to 10% of places available to FETAC Level 5 entrants through the CAO system. Please refer to the Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies portal on the MIC website ( for further information. 4. Up to 10% of places available in the 2nd year of the programme. Please refer to the Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies portal on the MIC website ( for further information. 5. Entry into the 3 rd year of the programme for MIC Diploma holders in Early Childhood Care and Education. 6. Entry into the 4 th year of the programme for pass degree holders (Level 7) in Early Childhood Studies. 7. Registration is contingent upon Garda Vetting approval Mature Applicants to the BA ECCE Programme Mary Immaculate College is committed to improving access to higher education for adults. If you are at least 23 years old on the 1 January of the year of entry to College you are considered a mature student. Mature students wishing to apply for MI004 / MI007 have the following options: Apply through the CAO only. Apply directly to the College only. Apply through the CAO and directly to the College. Mature students wishing to apply directly to the College should note the following: Application Requirements Applicants must not be less than 23 years of age on 1 st January of the year of entry. Closing date for receipt of completed applications in the College is in April Application forms are available on request from the Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College. 8

9 Interview All mature applicants who make a direct application to the college must attend for interview. Mature students who do not meet the normal minimum entry requirements may be considered for admission if, having attended for interview, they satisfy the College Authorities as to their ability to benefit from and sustain the programme. In addition to the interview, such applicants may be required to take a short written test before admission. Offer of Place Mature students who have accepted the offer of a place as a result of the mature student competition having applied directly to the College will thereby be precluded from receiving a CAO offer of a place on that programme. Fees Mature students who have not registered on a college programme within the past 5 years are eligible for free fees. Graduates who wish to register on an undergraduate programme as mature students are not eligible for free fees. Additional information on fees is available from the Department of Education and Skills: Student Support Unit, Tel Grants A single student grant scheme was introduced in the Government budget Details are available at: Scholarships Gaeltacht University Scholarships, 1916 Commemoration Scholarships awarded on the results of the Leaving Certificate and Irish Language Third-Level Scholarships are tenable in the College. Details are available from the Higher Education Grants Section, Department. of Education and Skills, Tullamore, Co.Offaly, Tel Additional Information Admissions Office Tel / Registration for the BA ECCE is conditional upon receipt of Garda vetting approval Access Applicants to the BA ECCE Programme The College s commitment to educational equality and its efforts to promote educational participation among groups from areas of socio-economic disadvantage and other groups traditionally under-represented in third-level education lies at the heart of its mission statement. The College participates in the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) programme and applications for entry to 2013/2014 are assessed according to the criteria of this route. HEAR is a third- level admissions scheme for school leavers from areas of socioeconomic disadvantage and has been established by a number of higher education institutions. Mary Immaculate College may reserve up to 5% of its places on each relevant undergraduate programme in any given year for eligible HEAR applicants. Potential candidates must come within a margin of 40 CAO points below the standard entry requirements for the course in the year in question. Students who secure a place through HEAR are offered a variety of academic, personal and social supports while studying at Mary Immaculate College, which are coordinated though the Access office. The Access/Disability Officer provides information to students on access/disability issues and co-ordinates support and the provision of assistance and services for students. An ethic of confidentiality is applied with all students Additional Requirement for BA ECCE Students Health Declaration: All registered students for the BA ECCE degree programme are required to complete a health declaration questionnaire. Submission of the completed questionnaire to the College Medical Officer is a requirement of the Department of Education and Skills. Garda Vetting: The registration of all successful candidates on the BA ECCE Programme (CAO and direct routes) is conditional upon receipt of Garda vetting approval. The College introduced Garda Vetting in January 2008 for all students over the age of 18 years who have substantial unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults during the course of their studies at Mary Immaculate College. Garda Vetting is only conducted in respect of students between the ages of 16 years and 18 years, on receipt of the written consent of a parent or guardian. Applications for Garda Vetting from students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a completed Parent/Guardian consent form. Each student receives a Garda reference number to be used in all applications to schools and Early Childhood Centres. Upon request, letters detailing Garda reference numbers are issued to students. Disclosures from the Garda Vetting unit are managed by the Assistant Registrar. 9

10 1.15 Important Contact Points Dean of Education: Professor Teresa O Doherty Contact: Office: 304a (061) Head of Department Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies Dr. Emer Ring Contact: Office: (061) Year Co-ordinators of the BA ECCE Programme: Co-ordinator for ECCE Year 1 Deirdre Breatnach Contact: Office: (061) Co-ordinator for ECCE Year 2 Des Carswell Contact: Office: (061) Co-ordinator for ECCE Year 3 Dr. Mary Moloney Contact: Office: (061) Co-ordinator for ECCE Year 4 Lisha O Sullivan Contact: Office: (061) Dr. Emer Ring will take on this role for the Autumn Semester 2014/2015 Aum Co-ordinator of Placement Dr. Jennifer Pope Office: (061)

11 Higher Executive Officer Education Office Fintan Breen, Higher Executive Officer Education Office Contact: Office: (061) Whom should I contact? If you have a concern or query in relation to general academic issues, please contact your Year Co-ordinator. The following are details of the Year Co-ordinator Year BAECCE 1 BAECCE 2 BAECCE 3 BAECCE 4 Name of Co-ordinator Deirdre Breathnach Des Carswell Dr. Mary Moloney Dr. Emer Ring Autumn Semester Lisha O Sullivan Spring Semester If you have a concern relating to examinations/repeats/link-ins etc. please contact Paula Treacy in the Education Office ( ). You may also go to the Education Office, Third Floor, Main Building, if you have a general query. Text and Please give your mobile phone number to the Education Office or other members of staff when communicating with them, as if a matter is urgent, this will enable them to contact you directly. For less urgent matters please staff as this approach will mean that you are not spending long periods trying to find them. Remember they will be in classes and out on Placement Supervision during both semesters. Also it is important to ensure that you have provided the Education Office with your correct address and consult your regularly in order to keep yourself informed of issues and developments related to the BA ECCE programme Useful Weblinks Faculty of Education: Staff Contact List: Students Union: Finding Your Way Around/ Eolas na Slí The following is an outline of the signage system and main areas of the College: Foundation Building (Main Building) All rooms beginning with G, e.g. G01, refer to the ground floor of the Foundation Building with the exception of G65 to G69 and G70, which are to the rear of the quadrangle, between the Foundation Building and the Library. Rooms beginning with 1, i.e. 101 are on the first floor, Foundation Building. Rooms beginning with 2, e.g. 204, are on the second floor, Foundation Building. Rooms beginning with 3, e.g. 302, are on the third floor, Foundation Building. Offices beginning with R are located in the Residential Block. All rooms beginning with RG, e.g. RG1, are on the ground floor of the Residential Block. Rooms beginning R1, e.g. R101, are on the first floor of the Residential Block. Library Building (Áras an Phiarsaigh) All rooms beginning with L refer to the Library Building. Rooms beginning with LG, e.g. LG1 (Main Issue Desk) are ground floor in the Library Building. Rooms beginning with L1, e.g. L107, refer to mezzanine floors (not fully first floor). Rooms beginning with L2 are what would normally be referred to as first floor, but because of the 11

12 mezzanine (between floors) are now designated second floor, e.g. L203, (AV Library). Where dashes exist between numbers on signs, e.g. L102 - L112, this means those specific numbers plus all those in between. Gerard House (opposite Main Gate on South Circular Road) All room nos. with N e.g. N1, N2, N3, etc. are located in Gerard House which is across the South Circular Rd., opposite the Main Gate of the College. Mount Building (opposite Main Gate on South Circular Road) All rooms beginning with M, e.g. M1, M2, etc., are located in the Mount building, which is across the South Circular Road, opposite the Main Gate of the College. In order to access this building you have to go through Gerard House. The offices of the ECCE team are located on the first floor of this building. As access to these offices requires the use of a security card, it is advisable to let the lecturer you are visiting know in advance of your visit so that he/she can arrange for you to be provided with access to the offices. Summerville House All room nos. with S, e.g. SG01, S101, S201, etc. are located in Summerville House. Rooms beginning with SG, e.g. SG01, are on the ground floor. Rooms beginning with S1, e.g. S101, are on the first floor. Rooms beginning with S2, e.g. 202 are on the second floor. Tailteann Tailteann provides a range of indoor and outdoor facilities. T1, T2 are the main teaching gyms/dance studios on campus. Indoor facilities include a weights room, two indoor soccer courts, IBA approved basketball court, three volleyball courts, six badminton courts, and table tennis facilities. Outdoor facilities include: a full-size GAA pitch, training pitch, astro-turf tennis court and 480m astroturf running track. Teamhair / Tara Level 0 Rooms begin with: T-0 Room Number: Student Forum, Student Union, Student Lounge, An Siopa, Bank of Ireland. Level 1 Rooms begin with: T-1- Room Number: 500 Seater Theatre, 300 / 150 / 100 Seat Lecture Theatres, Simulated Classroom, Microteaching Rooms. Level 2 - Rooms begin with T-2- Room Number: Lecture Rooms. Level 3 Rooms begin with T-3- Room Number: Computer Laboratories, Lecture Rooms, Medical Centre. 12

13 1.18 Administration Offices/Oifigí Riaracháin The following is an outline of the administration offices in the College: Accounts Office (Room 104) Location: First floor, Foundation Building Services: All financial concerns: Paying of tuition fees. Fees for accommodation in College Residence. Paying of Student Service Charges. Education Office (Room 304) Location: Third Floor, Foundation Building. Opening hours: 10.00am 12.30pm and 2.15pm 4.30pm Monday to Friday Services: All matters relating to the Education component of the B. Ed. Degree and all matters relating to the BA ECCE including: Liaising with Dean of Education. Liaising with Education Faculty Academic Staff. Administration of Placement. Submission of coursework/assignments. Facilitation of script viewing for students and management of the grade re-check and placement appeals process. Distribution of course specific materials. International students taking Education Modules. Student Services (Room 112) Location: First floor, Foundation Building. Services: Admissions: Information re: entry to College. Registration: Subject choices, registration for courses, timetables for lectures, arrangements for conferring of degrees, transcripts, letters confirming student status, stamping of Social Welfare forms, etc. Examinations: Timetables, entry forms, regulations, results. Grants: Local Authority maintenance grants. Access/Disability: Co-ordinates the services available and provides information and advice on access issues. The following website address will advise students of important dates and how to avail of results on-line: Curriculum Development Unit (Room 302) Location: Third floor, Foundation Building. Service: Sale of Curriculum Materials. Opening hours: 9.00am 12.45pm and 2.00pm 5.00pm Monday to Friday Website: Buildings Maintenance Office (Room G39) Location: Ground Floor, Foundation Building Service: Facilities The Buildings Maintenance Manager is Mr. Brian Kirby. Tel (061) Security Location: On Corridor Entrance to Canteen, Foundation Building. Service: College and Campus Security Personnel can be contacted on (061) or by contacting the Main Reception desk. 13

14 1.19 College Services Opening Hours Students Union Office An Siopa (SU Shop) (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) (Wed) (Monday-Thursday) (Friday) The Student Lounge The Canteen Canteen Deli Bar Breakfast Afternoon Lunch Evening MIC Library In Semester: (Monday-Friday) (Saturday) Out of Semester: (Mon-Fri) UL Library Computer Laboratories Student Services Office and Education Office and Learner Support Unit Medical Centre Health Promotion Office Counsellors Chaplaincy and (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday) Nurse available 10am-4pm (Monday-Friday) Nessa Breen: (Tuesday-Thursdays) Brid O'Connell: (Monday and Tuesday) (Friday) 'Daily Drop-In' in S102 (Monday-Tuesday) and C5 (Wednesday- Friday) for a chat, without an appointment (Monday-Friday) Bank of Ireland College Branch: and (Mon,Tues,Thurs,Fri) Wednesday 14

15 Section Introduction to the BA ECCE Programme The BA ECCE is a full- time four years degree programme designed to provide an exciting and challenging programme for those interested in working with young children in a range of educational settings. Mary Immaculate College, with its long tradition of excellence in teaching and learning in the early years has designed this degree programme in Early Childhood Care and Education in response to the Department of Education and Science s White Paper on Early Childhood Education, Ready to Learn. The college recognises that quality provision in the early years is crucial in helping each child develop to their full potential. Quality provision...depends in a crucial way, on the quality and training of the personnel involved... (National Forum Report, 1998, p.103). The benefits that accrue from quality early childhood education and care apply to all children and in particular children from areas of socio-economic disadvantage. This degree programme focuses on the holistic care and education of young children in a diversity of settings. Today, the BA ECCE programme is more relevant than ever before. Why? In 2010, the Government introduced the Free Pre-School Year in ECCE scheme which gives children access to a free pre-school year of appropriate programme-based activities in the year before they start primary school. This scheme is directly linked to the qualifications and experience of the staff working directly with the children participating in the scheme. In order to qualify for increased funding, all pre-school leaders in participating ECCE settings must hold a nationally accredited Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 7 or Level 8. The BA ECCE at Mary Immaculate College is a level 8 programme and qualifies for this increased funding ( 2.2 Conceptual Framework of the BA ECCE Programme The programme is inter-disciplinary in design and offers students the opportunity to become specialists in the care and education of young children between birth and six years of age. Recent government reports, along with a growing body of international research, highlight the importance of the early years period in human development. The programme focuses on the concept of the term educare and as such views the education and care of young children from a developmental perspective, which is holistic, yet, tailored to suit individual needs. Specialisation in the combined areas of care and education demands a deep knowledge of both theory and practice. Theoretical underpinnings encourage students to understand the nature of child development within an ecological framework that is influenced by such things as the concept of family in contemporary society, the community, societal attitudes and values, social policy and a host of historical, philosophical, sociological and international factors. Work placement allows students an opportunity to learn from experience through supervised work practice. Allied to experiential learning in this way is the opportunity for students to engage in reflective practice. The process of reflective practice establishes the foundation for observation, which is an essential element in meeting the developmental needs of children. This in turn facilitates curriculum planning, assessment, conducting research and analysing the findings. 2.3 Aims and Learning Outcomes of the Programme On completion of the BA ECCE programme students will be able to: Employ the theory, key concepts and pedagogical practice pertaining to the field of early childhood education and care. Design and implement early learning programmes that effectively link theory to practice while meeting and assessing children's diverse learning needs through on-going critical reflection. Display professional and ethical practice within a wide range of ECCE environments and in the field of research. Collaborate with colleagues, parents, other professionals and communities to forge strong teamwork alliances on behalf of young children. Adopt leadership and advocacy roles around the issue of children's rights in relation to change, policy, legislation and global issues. Demonstrate proficiency in communication skills and the use of ICT for teaching, analytical and research purposes. Adopt an on-going, proactive role in managing their personal and professional learning needs to equip them adequately for a career in early childhood care and education that will inevitably be subject to change across their life-time. 15

16 2.4 Programme Structure and Organisation BA ECCE Modular Programme Organisation Autumn Spring Ancillary Programme YEAR 1 Semester 1 EN 4141 [6] EN 4151 [6] EN 4161 [6] EN4171 [6] EN4181 [6] Semester 2 EN 4142 [6] EN 4152 [6] EN 4162 [6] EN 4172 [6] EN 4182 [6] Totals Credits = 30 Credits = 30 Total Credits = 60 YEAR 2 Semester 3 EN 4233 [6] EN 4253 [6] EN 4263 [6] EN4273 [6] EN4283 [6] Autumn Spring Ancillary Programme Semester 4 EN 4244 [6] EN 4254 [6] EN 4264 [6] EN 4274 [12] Totals Credits = 30 Credits = 30 Total Credits = 60 YEAR 3 Semester 5 EN 4385 [6] EN 4355 [6] EN4375 [6] EN4365 [12] Autumn Spring Ancillary Programme Semester 6 EN 4356 [30] Totals Credits = 30 Credits = 30 Total Credits = 60 Autumn Spring Ancillary Programme YEAR 4 Semester 7 EN 4457 [6] EN 4467 [6] EN4477 [6] EN4487 [6] EN4497 [6] Semester 8 EN 4408 [6] EN 4418 [6] EN4428 [6] EN4448 [6] EN4458 [6] Totals Credits = 30 Credits = 30 Total Credits = 60 16

17 The following table outlines how contact time is organised in each semester: BA ECCE 1 Semester 1 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams BA ECCE 1 Semester 2 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Placement during semester EN Week Block Placement Birth 3 years Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams BA ECCE 2 Semester 3 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Placement during semester EN Week Block Placement 3-5 years Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams BA ECCE 2 Semester 4 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Placement during semester EN Week Block Placement 3-5 years Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams BA ECCE 3 Semester 5 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Placement during semester EN Week Block Placement Birth 3 years Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams BA ECCE 3 Semester 6 Weeks 1-12 EN4356 Off-Campus Semester BA ECCE 4 Semester 7 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Placement during semester EN Week Placement Pre-school setting Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams BA ECCE 4 Semester 8 Weeks 1-12 Lectures Placement during semester EN week Placement Week 13 Study Week Weeks Exams 17

18 BA ECCE Module Outlines: Semester 1 EN4141 Foundation Studies in Early Childhood Care and Education Students will be introduced to the programme on two levels: 6 ECTS (a) information technology and its application to learning and communication at third level. (b) the concept and practice of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE); the principles of ECCE; the concepts of whole child and holistic development. EN ECTS Child Development 1 This module introduces students to current theories relating to child development with an emphasis on development from conception to adolescence; participants will become familiar with the major developmental tasks and issues at each stage of development and develop an understanding of the biological and environmental influences on development. EN ECTS Language Development in Early Childhood Early speech and language development; pre-linguistic communication; language rules systems; early phonological, semantic, morphological, syntactic and pragmatic development; the biological basis of speech and language acquisition; the linguistic shaping of thought; the adult s role in progressing early communication; basic communication difficulties; an introduction to bilingualism and optimising bilingualism in early years settings. EN ECTS EN ECTS The Role of Play in Development 1 In this module students will be introduced to: historical and contemporary theories of play; the development of play for babies and children from birth to six years; various categories of play; the role of play in supporting development across domains; the role of the adult in providing for adult directed play and free play; the provision of developmentally appropriate play materials and suitable play environments. Professional Development 1 Babies and toddlers as young learners - key principles; effective communication with babies and toddlers; sensorial learning in the early years; Heuristic play with objects; introduction to interaction play; promoting young children s physical development; introduction to reflective practice; foundations of good practice in caring for young children and manual handling techniques Semester 2 EN4142 The Pedagogy of Early Childhood Students will be introduced to pedagogical practice; early childhood pedagogy and 6 ECTS how it is embedded in the natural contexts of childhood viz. relationships and play; learning and the young child; early childhood as a foundation for life- long learning; the role of the adult in pedagogical practice; behaviour management; developmentally appropriate practice and cultural considerations; pedagogical practice and special educational needs; quality issues; the role of reflective practice and assessment and an introduction to research-based evidence on the benefits of quality early childhood education. EN ECTS Child Development 2 Students will explore child development from the perspective of cultural and individual diversity; identify key theoretical concepts from a variety of psychological paradigms; examine contemporary issues that influence children s development; study patterns of atypical child development including developmental delay and childhood psychopathologies; review current research methods used to study child development and evaluate contemporary research literature on the topic. 18

19 EN ECTS EN ECTS EN ECTS Child Health and Well Being 1 Students will be introduced to the basis anatomy and physiology of children; the immune system, role of immunisation and the Irish immunisation schedule; signs and symptoms of common infections; preventing the spread of infections and infestations; food and nutrition; an awareness of the different ways of feeding babies and young children to ensure healthy growth and development; nutritional conditions that may affect a child; epidemiology of childhood accidents and how to prevent accidents and reduce risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Models of Curriculum Students will be introduced to the concept of curriculum in relation to early childhood care and education; guiding principles of curricular models designed for young children nationally and in a range of countries including New Zealand, the US, UK, Scandinavian countries and other European countries; introduction to the concept of intervention models in early childhood; historical and cultural influences on curriculum; influence of Piaget and Vygotsky; introduction to some of the pioneers of early childhood education e.g. Froebel, Montessori, Steiner and Malaguzzi. Professional Development 2 Students will be introduced to enhancing the holistic development of very young children; evaluating the educare environment for babies and toddlers; effective communication with babies and toddlers; the role of the adult in promoting the development of very young children; appropriate care routines for babies and young children; safety and hygiene in the early years environment; observation skills in practice; professionalism in practice; the reflective educarer and compilation of Year 1 placement portfolio Semester 3 EN4233 Educational Psychology Students will be introduced to the field of educational psychology; the manner in 6 ECTS which key psychological processes and concepts impact on the field of learning; the nature of intelligence; multiple intelligences; effective teaching methodologies and how learning is enhanced through a knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of attention, motivation, memory and information processing; cultural diversity and gender issues in early childhood; assessing individual difference in the areas of intelligence and learning and the sociocultural context of learning; EN ECTS Child Health and Well Being 2 This module will address common chronic conditions e.g. asthma and allergies, diabetes; epilepsy; introduction to genetic and congenital disorders; physical and intellectual disabilities; role of screening, surveillance and early intervention in promoting children s well-being; impact of disabilities on families; contemporary theories of grief; broad determinants of health including social and emotional well-being and inequalities in the health of children and families; prematurity and low birth weight; key principles of health promotion and strategies to promote child health and children s understanding of health and well-being. EN ECTS Creativity Students will explore media, techniques and processes used in the creative arts; how pre-schoolers communicate ideas and experiences; the safe use of art materials and resources; guidelines to the principles of architecture and design in early childhood settings; product, fashion and graphics; expressing personal experiences creatively; exploring the concept and practice of creativity ; creativity across the early childhood curriculum; exploring a variety of creative media and techniques in an individual capacity, in small groups and in collaborative work and designing a portfolio. of creative practices. 19

20 EN ECTS Child, Family and Community 1 This module introduces participants to a range of sociological terms and concepts necessary for the exploration of the relationship between families, educational settings and the community; identifies the historical and current relationships between families, educational settings and the community; identifies societal influences that reflect family formation today; identifies and appraises the functions of early childhood care and education in contemporary Ireland. EN4283 Professional Development 3 Students will learn to work with pre-school children in a manner that supports 6 ECTS their learning and development; promote play in learning activities; explore pedagogical practice and teaching methodologies first hand; employ observation techniques and reflective practice; learn how to embrace diversity and difference in the pre-school environment. Semester 4 EN4244 Child, Family and Community 2 This module provides participants with an overview of international and national 6 ECTS policies affecting early childhood care and education relative to the child, the family and the community; an overview of early childhood education infrastructural development in Ireland; an overview of the role of statutory and voluntary sector early childhood organisations relative to the child, the family and the community; an examination of the role of the educarer relative to contemporary policy; an examination of the centrality of reflective practice in assessing the quality of institutional practices aligned to policy objectives relative to the child, the family and the community EN ECTS EN ECTS EN ECTS Language Acquisition and Early Literacy Students will explore the current theories informing debate about language acquisition; enhancing speech and language development in the early childhood setting; bi/multilingualism; from oral to written language; a language-rich environment; language acquisition and Ireland s National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education; identifying problems in young children s speech, language and communication; working with parents of a child with communication difficulties; the concept of multiliteracies ; stimulating adult/child language interactions; skilfully choosing and reading a suitable children s book; designing a shared book. The Role of Play in Development 2 In this module students will be introduced to factors which influence children s play including culture, gender, socio-economic status and individual diversity; strategies for assessing play and learning in early childhood settings; characteristics which define quality play experiences; the role of play as an effective pedagogy in the early years curriculum; current theory and research on play in the early years curriculum; suitable play interventions in specific contexts such as therapeutic hospital play, play therapy, play tutoring and play work. Professional Development 4 Students will experiment with different teaching methodologies in practice; plan, present, implement and evaluate learning activities; learn how to support play and learning through interaction; embrace the challenge posed by cultural and linguistic diversity in pre-school settings along with catering for special educational needs. Semester 5 EN4385 Curriculum Guidelines for the Early Years (Under 3 s) Students will explore the application of the knowledge of curriculum through a 6 ECTS study of curriculum design techniques; apply the concept of holistic development to the early years curriculum; recognise the need for breadth and balance in a curriculum; learn the need to adopt a balanced approach in relation to child initiated and adult initiated behaviour; value relational pedagogy as a foundation for appropriate behaviour management; accommodate the concept of difference; see how assessment links with learning reflexively. 20

21 EN ECTS EN ECTS EN ECTS Child, Family and Community 3 This module provides a comprehensive analysis of the concept of quality ECCE from the perspective of the child, the family and the community; an exploration of approaches and strategies that enhance partnership and collaboration with parents in a range of educational settings leading to the design and appraisal of same; applied project designed to enhance skills in working with families and/or community agencies. Research Methods Introduction to paradigms of research; researching within early childhood care and education qualitative and quantitative modes of research; description and evaluation of the various research methodologies; appropriate selection of data collection methods, clear analysis and interpretation of data and critical reflection on findings; ethical principles of research; confidentiality and security of information; critical appraisal of research papers; understanding the issues involved in writing proposals and conducting a small scale research study.. Professional Development 5 Students will be introduced to professionalism in the early years context; devising and implementing appropriate holistic daily activities for very young children; relational pedagogy within an integrated curriculum for very young children; observational and research tools; devising and compiling a learning programme for very young children and professional and personal development through reflective practice.. Semester 6 EN4356 Professional Development 6. During Off-Campus Placement experiences, students will be introduced to: 30 ECTS professionalism within ECCE workplaces; effective communication and interpersonal skills; working for and with others; teamwork within early years settings; on site workbased learning within a range of settings both national and international involved in the delivery of services to young children and families; recent and relevant research in the field of provision in the early years and submission of a report on the placement learning experience. Semester 7 EN4457 Sociological and Global Perspectives in the Early Years Students will encounter contemporary post structural sociological and feminist 6 ECTS theories exploring children s socialisation; media representations of children; the historical meanings of childhood ; the Irish discourses of pre-school childhood, state intervention, poverty, children s work in the family, the global child, and challenging or new family forms; discourse analysis applied to media (film) and comparative analysis of pedagogic practice in early childhood settings. EN ECTS The Early Years: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives and Analysis Students will be introduced to the historical development of the concept of childhood in Greek and Roman civilisations and trace the progression of this theme to the present day. Students will encounter the philosophical perspectives of some of the principal contributors to the enduring concept of childhood including Jean Jacques Rousseau, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Friedrich Froebel, Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, the McMillan Sisters, John Dewey, Loris Malaguzzi and Howard Gardner. Students will apply conceptual analysis to specific discourses of early years education such as childcentred ; play, holistic development educarer, values, inclusion and profession. Specific links will be made between the historical development of early years education, the work of significant philosophers of education and current policy and practice in the field of early years education. 21

22 EN ECTS Curriculum Guidelines for the Early Years 3-6 Students will learn how to design, plan and implement a curriculum that is holistic in its orientation for pre-school children; value the key role of play, activity based learning and creativity; implement key elements of information and communication technologies in the pre-school; present all subject areas in an integrated and interrelated way; adopt sound pedagogical practice and a child-centred approach; familiarise themselves with the Primary School Curriculum; learn how assessment links with learning and understand the concept of quality in the early years. 22

23 EN ECTS Professional Development 7 Students will experience partnership and collaboration within the pre-school setting; employ specialist teaching methodologies and curricular planning techniques; display competence in the use of educational software with pre-school children and expand their professional expertise in the areas of observation, reflection and assessment. EN4497 Dissertation 1 In this module students will be introduced to the process of selecting and refining 6 ECTS suitable research topics within the area of ECCE ; writing a literature review; gaining access to research sites; the application of quantitative and qualitative research methods of data-collection and analysis; the process of conforming to ethical standards during the research process and working collaboratively with programme staff in refining the research topic. Semester 8 EN4438 Including Children with Special Needs in the Early Years The historical development of provision for children with special needs will be 6 ECTS explored from both national and international perspectives. Current policies and legislation relating to inclusion and special needs provision will also be examined. The concept of inclusion will be interrogated, models of disability will be examined and societal attitudes to disability deconstructed. The pivotal role of developing partnerships with families, other professionals and the wider community will be highlighted. The criticality of early identification and intervention will be considered and students will develop a range of observation, assessment, intervention and inclusion strategies to support both early identification and intervention. The implications of specific special needs on children s development will be explored with a particular focus on individualised planning and transition planning. Students will be encouraged to draw, as appropriate, on their experiences of participation in other modules of the programme and in particular on their placement modules. EN ECTS EN ECTS Early Childhood Care and Educational Management This module explores quality in practice in ECCE settings; essential characteristics of early childhood leaders; multi-professional teamwork in early childhood care and education; sociological understanding of the organisation of work; sources of conflict within early childhood settings; constructive approaches to conflict management; effective implementation of change; action research to facilitate decision making and problem solving; development and reflective analysis of policies and mechanisms of institutional quality assurance in accordance with national standards and regulations. Teaching and Learning for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity This module explores the critical issues facing teachers and young children in contexts of increasing cultural diversity in Ireland; the interactivity of race, ethnicity, gender, class, ability and community; the twin and interrelated themes celebrating diversity in young children s lives and confronting social injustice and oppression; culturally and developmentally appropriate teaching and learning approaches and the immersion method of language acquisition. EN ECTS EN ECTS Professional Development 8 Students will examine the system of primary school education in Ireland today; compare and contrast the role of the teacher and the educarer when dealing with children up to six years; collaborate within the infant classes to support the children s learning and development; progress the skills of observation and reflection and acquaint themselves with the research literature in this area. Dissertation 2 In this module students will: carry out a piece of active research in the area of ECCE ; collect data using sound research methods; analyse collected data; develop recommendations based on findings; adhere to ethical principles; participate in a structured supervision process and present the research project in the form of a dissertation. 23

24 2.5 Practicum ECCE Professional Development Modules incorporating Practicum As part of the modules in Professional Development, ECCE students undertake practicum (placement) within a variety of ECCE settings throughout the four years of the BA ECCE programme. These placements give students an opportunity to integrate fully into ECCE settings in a learning capacity and to develop as professionals in the field. Placements take place in both Autumn and Spring semesters as follows: Professional Development Module Semester Focus Age Group Duration of Placement Professional Development 1 Autumn Children under 3 years (as viewed through DVD material) (No setting-based placement in Autumn semester Year 1) Professional Development 2 Spring Children under 3 years Professional Development 3 Autumn Children from 3-5 years Professional Development 4 Spring Children from 3-5 years Professional Development 5 Autumn Children under 3 years 2-week block (6 hours per day) 3-week block (3 hours per day) 3-week block (3 hours per day) 3-week block (6 hours per day) Professional Development 6 Spring Off-Campus Semester (Student-Selected age group) Placement/s undertaken over full semester (See note below)* Professional Development 7 Autumn Children from 3-5 years 3-week block (3 hours per day) Professional Development 8 Spring Children 4-6 years (Infant classes primary schools) 10 day block (school day) *The Professional Development 6 module was created within the revised ECCE programme in order to enable students to expand their knowledge and skills through extended work- based learning or study (Erasmus) in an Irish or International context (Erasmus gives students the opportunity to study for a period of 3-12 months at a university or higher education institution in another participating country). 24

25 2.6 Progression within the programme At the end of each semester, students are awarded a grade for each module for which they are registered and have been assessed on. This represents the quality of their performance in that module. The following table details all grades and standards. Academic Grades and Standards Grade Standard Affects Quality Credit Average A1 First Honours Yes A2 First Honours Yes B1 Honours 2.1 Yes B2 Honours 2.1 Yes B3 Honours 2.2 Yes C1 Honours 2.2 Yes C2 Third Honours Yes C3 Third Honours Yes D1 Compensating Fail Yes D2 Compensating Fail Yes F Fail Yes NG Fail Yes P Pass in a module taken on a pass/fail basis No N Failure in a module taken on a pass/fail basis No G Audit: verifies attendance only No I Certified illness/immediate family bereavement (uncapped repeat) No M Awarded in the case of projects spanning multiple semesters or sequences of definitely linked modules No The quality and standard of a student s academic performance is expressed as an average numerical value that is based on the grades they have received in the credited modules they have been assessed on. This numerical value is known as the Quality Credit Average (QCA) and is calculated on a semester and cumulative basis for each part of the programme. Once a BA ECCE student moves onto Part 2 of the programme, a new QCA calculation begins and this new QCA determines the starting base for their final degree award. The following table shows that grades A1 to NG are each given a numerical value known as a quality point value (QPV) on a scale from 4 to 0. A student can obtain a QPV of a maximum of 4.0 to a low of 0.0 for a module. The individual module QPVs are then used to calculate the cumulative QCA. Grades and QPV Grade QPV A A B B B C C C D D F 0.00 NG 0.00 While D grades can be awarded, it is important to note that there are no D grades awarded for ECCE placements (grades range from A1 to C3 and F). The BA ECCE degree is awarded at First Class (1), Second Class: Grade 1 (2.1) Second Class Honours: Grade 2 (2.2), or Third Honours. To be eligible for the award of the BA, a student must pursue all the approved courses of study for at least six semesters of 15 weeks each and must pass the prescribed University of Limerick examinations as delineated below: Students must secure a minimum QCA of 2.0 and obtain grades from A to D2 in all modules of Part 1 of the degree programme (Year 1), including a Pass in their ECCE centre based practicum before progressing to Part 2 (Year 2 and Year 3). 25

26 To qualify for the award of BA degree, students must secure a minimum QCA of 2.0 and obtain grades from A to D2 in each of the modules of Part 2 with the exception of ECCE Practicum where students are required to obtain a minimum C3. To qualify for the award of BA First Honours or Second Honours, a student must attain an overall QCA of 2.6. Where a student holds a QCA of between 2.5 and 2.59 she/he is within the discretionary band, and based on published criteria for discretion, she/he may be awarded a 2.2 degree. A Third Class Honours degree is awarded when a student obtains: an overall QCA 2.49 or less and an overall QCA but does not meet the published criteria for discretion. 2.7 Personal and Professional Development Opportunities Mental Health Matters: Mental Health programmes: The Health Promotion Office makes a number of mental health programmes available to all students during the academic year. Mental Health Matters is a 12-hour programme facilitated by Mental Health Ireland. The programme is primarily peer-led and takes place over a six-week period each year in Semester 1. SafeTALK is a half-day programme that prepares participants to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and to highlight suicide first-aid resources. Specific skills involved in suicide alertness are taught with the expectation that the person learning them will use these skills to help reduce suicide risk in their communities. Gatekeeper Training Course is a 12-hour programme which also focuses on suicide awareness and prevention. The course is open to students and staff. ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) provides the opportunity for participants to learn how to use suicide first-aid when required and on the application of the Suicide Intervention Model (SIM). This two-day course takes place each year following the summer examinations. It is open to both students and staff. Manual Handling Training Course For ECCE students Following completion of the Manual Handling course; participants will have the skills and techniques required for the safe lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load. They will gain practice on the manual handling skills and techniques covered during the training session, and gain feedback from a trained manual handling instructor. Manual Handling Course Objectives On completion of the course participants will be able to: o o o o o Lift and handle loads safely. Recognise a load which is too heavy or awkward. Understand the limitations of the spine and muscular system. Avoid manual handling by using mechanical aids where possible Improve their Posture, Fitness levels and Flexibility following the training to prevent back injuries First-Aid Training Programme For ECCE students Prior to completion of the four-year programme all students are provided with the opportunity to participate in a first-aid training programme and are provided with a certificate as evidence of their attendance at the training. Careers Day For ECCE students In the fourth-year of the programme students are invited to a careers day where they receive advice in relation to job applications, CVs, and job interviews. Opportunities in the field of ECCE are also explored. 26

27 Section 3: Student Life: Giving you a voice, helping you to use it, enriching your college experience Mary I Students Union (MISU) is the representative body of students within Mary I. Like any union such as INTO, IMPACT etc, MISU aims to stand up and fight for its members. The SU s main aims are to: Give students a say in their own student/college life. Protect and represent students in academic and non-academic matters. Create a positive college experience for students. Help new students integrate into college life Facilitate extra-curricular activities for students. MISU works to achieve these aims by: Working together with all college departments to ensure that key relationships are developed and maintained. Providing assistance, information, services, guidance, security and entertainments for the student population. Providing the best possible balance between academic and social experiences. Being an approachable and welcoming point of contact for students, even if it s just for a chat! Encouraging increased student participation in extra-curricular activities. Improving the college physical environment Every student within Mary I is automatically a member of the SU when they enter Mary I, so make sure we hear your voice and you get involved. See for more details. 3.1 The College Library The library is situated on the first and second floors of the building complex on the western side of the College campus. The Library contains over 200,000 books and periodicals, available either for lending or for reference. There is, in addition to the main collection of materials, a Children s Library and an Audio Visual Materials Library. Facilities are provided both for private study and for using the wide range of audiovisual media available in the Library. Material Available for Borrowing: Books from the Lending Collection and the Children s Library. Books on 3-day loan. These are marked with the yellow 3-day loan sticker and shelved with the lending collection. Books on 4- hour loan. These are items that are in high demand and they are shelved in a separate section. Audio Visual items. The main issue desk is on the ground floor. All material, apart from audio-visual material, is issued and returned from this desk. Audio-visual material can be borrowed from the Audio-Visual Library desk on the first floor. Number of books/items allowed: Students Number of Items Loan Period All 1 st and 2 nd Year Undergraduates 3 rd Year Education Education Postgraduates o 5 General Lending o 4 AV/Children s o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans o 7 General Lending o 5 AV/Children s o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans 2 weeks 2 weeks 27

28 Other 3 rd Year Undergraduates All 4 th Year Undergraduates All Education Undergraduates Education Postgraduates All Other Undergraduates Masters & Doctorates Postgraduate Diplomas Postgraduate Diploma Masters Students Doctorate Students o 6 General Lending o 5 AV/Children s o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans o 10 General Lending o 5 AV/Children s o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans o 10 Textbooks o 5 Textbooks o 10 General Lending o 4 AV/Children s o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans o 15 General Lending (Including AV/Children s) o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans o 15 General Lending (Including AV/Children s) o 1 One Day Loan o 2 Four Hour Loans 2 weeks 2 weeks 1 day 1 day 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks Photocopying Where are the copiers? 1 coin operated colour/black & white copier near the textbooks on the ground floor. 2 copiers in the ground floor education area. 1 copier in the short loans area. 4 microform printers in the AV Library. Where can I get a photocopying card? You will need a photocopying card to use the photocopiers (except the coin operated one). These cards can be bought from the vending machines in the library foyer. Cards are also available to buy in An Siopa, the Students Union Shop. 3.2 Learner Support Unit (LSU) Introduction and background The Learner Support Unit provides academic support for students taking a degree at Mary Immaculate College. The centre aims to improve the quality of learning by supporting students in the transition to thirdlevel study. Among its staff are an Academic Support Counsellor and Academic Support Tutors. Students are welcome to drop in to the centre for advice on any aspect of learning. The LSU has put together a study skills handbook to provide useful and practical advice on learning at third level. This is also available online, along with other supports, on the LSU website: Services One-to-One Tutoring on Learning: students are welcome to call to the LSU for one-to-one advice on aspects of learning at third level. LSU tutors are available to assist students in areas such as essay planning, study skills, exam techniques. Pre-exam planning: the LSU offers help in planning individual study programmes especially in the lead up to exams. This will help you make the most of your time and it will be useful for future exam study planning. Advice on essay writing: independent and confidential advice is given on how to improve the structure and writing style of student essays. 28

29 Website: the LSU website offers advice on learning. It will also show you how to reference your essays and provides online access to LSU tutors via an connection from the site. Materials LSU Study Skills Handbook: Facing New Challenges Website: Computer Services Here are some handy tips for getting the best use out of the computer facilities in the College. If you have any problems, just ask any of the IT technicians. To use your off campus, go to Login with your username i.e. Firstname.MiddleInitial.LastName (If Middle Name Registered) and password Your student addresses are in the following format: e.g. 29

30 Printing The printing system is linked to your student ID card. If you have any questions please ask the computer laboratory assistants (CLAs) who will be more than happy to help you. Laptops If you wish to use your laptop on the College wireless network, please ask the computer laboratory assistants (CLAs) who are located in Room G36. Computer Laboratories opening hours Public access Computer laboratories are open from 09:00-22:00 (Monday- Friday). Computer labs are open on Saturday mornings from 09:00 to 13:00 from Week 6 onwards. Importance of backing up You are responsible for your own files, whether they are stored on the network or on removable media, e.g. CD, USB. Remember to always keep more than one copy of your work. Use memory sticks or CD-R/CD-RW to back-up important work. Logging on to Student computers Username: Firstname.MiddleInitial.LastName (If Middle Name Registered) Password: This will be made known at the beginning of term Domain: MICStudent Accessing Lecture Notes Lecture notes may be accessed on the Moodle platform both on campus and from home. Accessing when off-campus Step

31 Step 2 In the Domain \ Username box, enter DOMAIN micstudent followed by a backslash and then you network logon name. Enter your password in the Password box e.g. micstudent\joe.m.murphy Step 3 Click on Sign In can now be accessed and viewed To Access Moodle Step 1 Step 2 Click on Create New Account Step 3 Lecturer will issue keys to allow students to register for certain courses Scanning A USB Key Open My Computer (Start / My Computer) Highlight the USB drive ( e.g. E: ) Right Click and select Kaspersky (K) Click on Scan The USB key will then be scanned for viruses 31

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