Kildare and Wicklow ETB Newsletter Issue 11, PARTNERSHIPS - Page 58

Throughout the course I attended in VTOS Leixlip, we were encouraged to consider applying for a degree course in Maynooth University. Each member of staff motivated us, and assured us of our abilities. It was not difficult for me to select Maynooth University as my first choice. As someone who never had success with a State examination, my primary aim of returning to education was to attain a Leaving Certificate.

Although the prospect of entering third level education was daunting as a mature student, my personal experience was stimulating, challenging and rewarding. In Maynooth University, I discovered the ability to meet each module with eagerness and enthusiasm, and I expanded my subject knowledge while building confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Through team work in VTOS Leixlip I learned to communicate, reason and evaluate. During that time I grew and became an empowered individual, with considerable organisational skills and the discipline to meet assignment deadlines.

Team work has also shown me how vital it is to listen, and to acknowledge the needs of other mature students in a sensitive manner. I was one of the first students in VTOS Leixlip to take a Research and Study Skills module, and as a result, I was prepared well for time management; target-setting; using study timetables and for researching and reading course material. I also learned how to manage my time outside the university well.

In Maynooth University, I met and became friends with people of varying nationalities and ethnicities, broadening my life experience and with whom I remain friends. I am able to communicate and encourage other students into going out and applying for programmes that meet their own personal educational goals. Some of the most worthwhile comments that I have received are that I am approachable and that I maintain a sense of humour while communicating the importance of personal advancement through education.

As a consequence of the all these opportunities through VTOS Leixlip and Maynooth University I can track the natural progression of my education. I would like to be able to give back some of the wonderful experiences that I have had, because of the gratification of expanding my knowledge and the personal sense of achievement, growth, self-confidence and self-esteem. If I had not chosen to attend VTOS Leixlip I would not have been exposed to all of the qualities that the course had to offer and in turn I would not have attended Maynooth College and achieved an Arts Degree.

My next adventure is to do a course leading to a Higher Diploma in Adult Education, and to return to VTOS Leixlip as a student teacher to practice my new skills. The partnership between Maynooth and VTOS Leixlip, has endorsed my education and allowed me to take more exciting steps.

Leixlip VTOS student returns to carry out teaching practice for Higher Diploma with Maynooth University