IT Sligo wants carers and others who find it hard to access college to apply for online writing course

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

IT Sligo wants carers and others who find it hard to access college to apply for online writing  course

IT Sligo lecturer, poet and author, Una Mannion

Carers, single parents, those with disabilities and other groups who cannot or do not want to attend campus are being urged to apply for IT Sligo’s acclaimed Writing and Literature degree.

IT Sligo wants to open its doors to people who may not have considered a third-level education because of barriers they face attending campus fulltime.  

From September 14, students can apply for the BA (Hons) Writing and Literature course (SG254) through “Available Places” on the CAO. This means that anyone who didn’t complete the CAO still has a chance to register their interest for the 2020 academic year.  

“Available Places” is open to all Leaving Cert students (this year and in the past), as well as mature students and will remain open for two weeks from September 14. 

Writing and Literature programme materials and classes will be delivered via IT Sligo’s Virtual Learning Environment with extra tutorials available, alongside support from IT Sligo’s ETB partners who will provide access to their facilities if needed.  

IT Sligo has implemented this innovative model of learning – as part of the Higher Education for All initiative – to better facilitate equality of opportunity and access to higher education across Ireland.  

This course is supported by Family Carers Ireland, Disability Federation Ireland, Donegal ETB and Mayo-Sligo Leitrim ETB and these organisations will provide advice on access and needs issues.  

The course is also available to those who are physically able to attend campus but have chosen not to as a result of Covid-19 worries. IT Sligo is a leading provider of online learning with 16 years’ experience in the development and delivery of distance education making it a great choice for anyone looking to study remotely. 

The brand-new online course draws on the experience of its current campus-based course of the same name which is now in its fourth year. Since the campus course began in 2016, a number of well-established writers, including Laureate for Irish Fiction, Sebastian Barry, and Pat McCabe have presented talks, while author and poet, Una Mannion, screenwriter and director, Marion Quinn, and poet and novelist, Alice Lyons, teach on the course.  

Commenting, Dr Una Mannion, Programme Chair of the Writing and Literature fulltime on-campus course and author said:  "The Writing and Literature course at IT Sligo is enormously successful and is a flagship undergraduate writing course in Ireland. The online option allows us to open the course to writers all over Ireland who because of circumstances or work commitments can't commute to Sligo. We are building an online environment where they will feel they are part of a writing community with many opportunities to share their work, attend online readings and contribute. 

“The Writing and Literature online course is a brilliant choice for writers as it immerses students in intensive, applied writing covering a range of genres from fiction, non-fiction, poetry, play writing, to screen writing, digital storytelling and cultural journalism.  

“Many of our students have published work produced during the course and they have also gained a range of transferable skills including a strong foundation in English literature.” 

Students can study from their own home anywhere in Ireland, while gaining the benefit of learning from lecturers who also have on-the-job writing, editing and film making experience.  

Project Manager for the Centre for Online Learning, Louise O’Gorman said: “With our strong commitment to quality and academic excellence we will support access for students via a number of pre-enrolment tools to build their self-confidence and help them evaluate their skills and strengths.  

“We will also use a range of online processes to gauge any requirements for special educational needs, following up with local assessment if necessary. All lectures will be delivered live online via our virtual learning environment and students will be able to fully participate in group work and project work by means of innovative online supports. There is no requirement to attend campus, but students will still be able to avail of services on campus.” 

Anyone interested in learning more about the course or discussing funding options can contact Louise O’Gorman at O'Gorman.Louise@itsligo.ie. Further information can be found at www.itsligo.ie/SG254 

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