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‘Continuous assessment’ of course choices urged as CAO opens for applications

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‘Continuous assessment’ of course choices urged as CAO opens for applicationsWIT


Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Registrar, Dr Derek O’Byrne has advised Leaving Cert students and their parent/guardians to apply a ‘continuous assessment’ approach to making CAO choices.

The CAO online application facility opens on 5 November annually at midday and CAO applicants have until 1 July to list course choices in order of preference.

“Students have a better chance they are going to embrace the area of study they choose if they have put an ongoing effort into discovering what they will enjoy best,” says Dr O’Byrne.

WIT’s ‘right student, right programme’ ethos means the institute runs many initiatives to help CAO applicants assess whether a field of study, particular course, or location is the right fit for them.

“Our message to prospective undergraduate students, and in many cases their parents and guardians, is to engage early and often with us. There are plenty of opportunities in the coming months to do a ‘continuous assessment’ of interests and course choices. Our dedicated outreach team are on-hand throughout the CAO cycle to help students.”

WIT has developed booklets for use in class, by individuals and parent/guardians to help students uncover their interests. Initiatives such as its Try Waterford events, detailed course webpages, and hundreds of student stories give students a sense of what it is like to study a course. The one-to-one conversations at open days and evenings, as well as ‘Ask WIT’ web chat and helplines help people figure out the finer details.

Try Waterford events are set to be launched across various fields of study including Try Sport, Try Business and Try Science. The events are ideal for students who are unsure what an interesting area of study entails, or want to have confidence in their first choice or dream course.

In addition, support specifically for parents is on the cards. The institute’s traditional schools open day, and Saturday open day are both scheduled for January 2022, just before the CAO early bird deadline.

Dr O’Byrne says “Helping prospective students making the right choice for them is something we care strongly about at WIT. Our focus is that a prospective student finds out enough over a number of months to whittle down their choices to a strong CAO list of courses and fields of study and future careers they will thrive in. In addition our common entry degrees give students that extra time to choose their specialist area of study.”

The CAO online application facility opens on 5 November at midday. Applications to full-time undergraduate courses at third level in the Republic of Ireland are made through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants can choose 10 courses at Level 8, and another at Levels 7 and 6 and it is vital they get their order of preference right so they’re happy with the college place they get offered next year.

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