In September Dunboyne College of Further Education commenced its 17th year of offering a quality education product to Meath, west Dublin, north Kildare and surrounding areas. We have grown to over 960 students doing QQI level 5 and 6 courses at our campus in Dunboyne Business Park. Students mainly complete one of fifty programmes that fall into the department areas of Health and Community Care, Pre University, Business, I.T. or PreEmployment options. This year the college is proud to include 12 new courses: Forensic Science; Environmental Science; Business and Accounting,; Criminology and Psychology; Community and Youth Work; Journalism, Digital Media and Public Relations; Architectural Technology and Design; Physiotherapy Studies; Fine Art and Design 2D; Physiotherapy Studies; Pre Paramedic Fire and Ambulance; as well as Office Accounts Administration and Information Processing (a Family Friendly Option).
As well as being the only dedicated PLC further education college in County Meath, west Dublin, north Kildare and the surrounding areas, over 90% of the students who have achieved a full QQI level 5 award with Dunboyne College in recent years have received third level offers and countless others have proceeded directly to employment. The feedback on the courses from students has been excellent in terms of the new skills and confidence; students felt they received the confidence to go on to future learning, to build up their skills, and to access job opportunities. Courses are increasing in popularity with this year over 2350 students applying for 900 places.
One year QQI level 5 Programmes like the majority run in Dunboyne are an ideal way to pursue a course in an area of interest and to access a third level course. By having a day a week in work experience students can also put into practice their skills and assess their competency. The flexible options in Dunboyne allow students to sample various modules in September to make sure they are pursuing the correct course choice. Dunboyne also run a week of short courses in subject related skills to make sure everyone is equipped to fully engage in their programme. Students often do far better at further education level as they are now studying in an area of their passion and aptitude like nursing, sports, computers or science rather than in the Leaving Cert where Irish English Math’s etc were compulsory. As students also learn referencing, research and selfdirected learning they tend to stay the full third level course afterwards, unlike many who go straight from leaving cert and are not fully sure of their options. Dropout rates of less than 3% at higher education for those who do a further education course like those in Dunboyne College first, can be compared to an average of 8 to 10% drop out rate in the universities and 20% in the IT colleges.