The wait is finally over for Leaving Certificate students of 2015, as today is results day. No doubt there have been numerous reactions, from tears and joy to doubtfulness and disappointment. Some students will have been lucky enough to secure the required points for their chosen courses, however others may not be as lucky.
From working with students for the past number of years I know only too well that when they are disappointed with their results their parents often have no idea of what they should do or say.
If your child has done well in their exams then obviously you will all be happy, however it may be a different story if your child has not achieved the adequate points to achieve their dream. Students will feel deflated and in some cases feel hopelessness. It is important for parents to let their child know that they are still in control of their choices and that there are still options available to them regardless of how they have done in their exams. It is important to let them know that disappointments happen to everyone and are part of life, and that the most important thing about disappointments is the way in which one deals with them and moves forward.
It is only natural that you will want to help your child should they be disappointed today and the only way in which you can do this is to be armed with as much information as possible regarding alternative options so that you can pass it on to your child readily. Options include:
Students who are dissatisfied with their Leaving Certificate result can in fact appeal those results to the State Examinations Commission. Your appeal must be received before 2 September. In order to appeal your results you will need to contact your school as the State Examinations Commission will have already provided your school with a personalised appeal application form. If you sat your examinations as an external candidate, you will have received your appeal application form with your Leaving Certificate results. It is important to note that your result can be upgraded or downgraded as a result of an appeal.
Second chance mathematics examination
If you did not receive the adequate maths grade to undertake your chosen engineering course, fret not. Most colleges throughout the country are offering second chance mathematics exams. Furthermore, most colleges are holding intensive preparatory courses for individuals intending on sitting such courses. Check out your chosen colleges for further information. Students who pass this special maths exam will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing that they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer in round two.
Vacant place list
If any college places remain unfilled in courses after all offers have been made and the waiting lists of applicants meeting minimum entry requirements have been exhausted, all vacancies will be advertised. Check out the CAO website regularly for a list of available or vacant places.
Post Leaving Certificate courses
Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are an excellent alternative to repeating the leaving certificate. PLC courses are available in schools, colleges and community education centres around the country. These courses serve a variety of purposes such as equipping school leavers with the necessary skills for the workplace or acting as a stepping stone to third level study. Completing a PLC course can provide a direct route to third level courses if students do not satisfy point requirements. PLC courses are full-time in nature and can last for between one to two years. They offer a blend of “hands-on” practical work, academic work and work experience. Currently, there are over 1,000 courses on offer in some 229 centres in Ireland offering a wide range of disciplines including; business, electronic engineering, computing, catering, sport and leisure, theatre and stage, performance art, art craft and design, equestrian studies, multi-media studies, journalism, tourism, marketing, childcare and community care, hairdressing and beauty care, applied science, horticulture, etc. On the Department of Education and Science website (www.education.ie) there is a list of PLC courses available, categorised by county.
The points required to complete a certificate, diploma or degree at private colleges are generally lower than non paying colleges. It is important for students to note that if they choose to undertake a course at a private college then they will have to pay fees for each year of study (average cost is approximately €5,000 per year). Furthermore, students are not eligible for any state subsidies such as student grants or research funding.
Repeating your Leaving Certificate
Repeating the Leaving Cert is a difficult choice to make for most but it can be an astute decision for some. Repeating is a decision that entails careful deliberation, as there can often be emotional implications of being left behind whilst friends and peers embark on a new chapter of their life in college. However, it is not all doom and gloom, the good news is that the majority of students who repeat the Leaving Certificate enhance their points, although this is obviously not automatic. Grades are inclined to be superior as students have a clearer idea of what is entailed second time around. Improvements in results vary significantly and depend on the student’s capability and, obviously, their willingness to put in the work.
Students should however take note that they will have to wait until next Monday for CAO offers to know for certain whether they have secured enough points for their chosen courses so therefore students should relax and refrain from second guessing.
Remember there are numerous options open to students if they did not receive adequate points, it’s just a case of knowing what backdoors, avenues and byroads are available into their chosen careers.
Finally, for professional advice and guidance contact Clodagh Higgins of Galway Careers Clinic, Salthill, Galway on 091-581234 or firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively visit www.galwaycareersclinic.com.
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