Six tips before CAO’s change of mind expires
Here Róisín O’Donohoe from Institute of Guidance Counselors has great tips and tricks IF you want to use the Change of Mind CAD form.
Well done to everyone who took the exams in the past few weeks. Now it’s almost time to put the books and study notes away, and enjoy the satisfying feeling of a job well done!
However, now that the exams are over and the dust is settling, there are only a few things left to check before you stop for the summer. The deadline for the CAO’s change of mind is Thursday, July 1.
If you’re applying through the CAO for a place in college, here are six key things to check off your list over the next few days …
1. Log in to CAD to confirm your details
The final deadline for change of mind in OAC is 5:15 p.m. on July 1. Before the deadline, you must log into your CAD to verify your application. In May, you should have received a declaration of candidacy email from CAO.
It is really important that you check this carefully as there can be serious consequences, such as losing a place, if information has been recorded incorrectly. Don’t assume it’s correct!
You need to log in and verify your personal information, the qualifications and assessments section (information about exams and exemptions) and course choices. In the event of errors or omissions, applicants must immediately notify the CAO.
For more details, applicants should visit www.cao.ie.
2. Rank your courses in real order of preference!
A common pitfall is to rank courses only in order of points. Remember that the points are never fixed in advance. It is important to remember that all point values attached to a course are from the previous year.
The reality is that no one knows for sure what the points will be for individual courses this year. Instead, applicants are best served by remembering to rank their list in actual order of preference, based on their interests and abilities.
3. Don’t ignore your list of levels 6 and 7
Some students may skip level 6 and 7 and thus limit their options. There is a wide variety of level 6 and 7 courses at colleges across the country and most offer the opportunity to progress to university level courses.
These are great courses in their own right, but can also be used as stepping stones to higher qualifications.
4. Think about your Safety Net courses
It may be a good idea to include a “safety net” or “banker” course in your application. This may be a course that interests you with a point range well below the level at which you are currently taking school assessments and exams. This gives you the best chance of getting an offer when the results and offers are published.
5. Minimum entry requirements
It’s a good idea to check the minimum entry requirements for each course on your CAD list. Remember that some courses require certain subjects for entry. A science subject or a language may be essential requirements for some courses.
If you do not have the minimum admission requirements for a course, no offers will be made to you, regardless of the points you score.
6. HEAR / DARE the results and the appeals
The results of the HEAR and DARE applications are released on June 29. A review and appeal process is open to applicants who wish to have a result reconsidered. If you wish to file a review and appeal request, you must complete the corresponding request form on the CAO website by 5:15 p.m. on July 5.
You can get more information about the appeal process HERE.
Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to CAD …
There are many other further education and training options outside of CAD that are not points based. PLC courses and pre-university courses offer many excellent opportunities for school leavers and adult learners. These courses qualify you with a level 5 or 6 qualification and can serve as a direct entry route into the world of work or higher education.
For many students, they can serve as a sort of post-school ‘transition year’ or alternate ‘gap year’, allowing students to focus on an area of learning that interests them. They are ideal for any student who is unsure if a course is right for them and wants to try a short course on a trial basis before committing to a longer program.
Many higher education institutions and PLC providers continue to accept applications until all places are filled and may not have a specific closing date. You can apply directly on the college website.
The apprenticeships, on the other hand, have a strong emphasis on practical skills and are suitable for practical learners. You get on-the-job training and earn as you learn because you get paid for the duration of the apprenticeship.
Over 40 courses are available in areas such as accounting, insurance, engineering, logistics, construction, electricity, engineering, ICT, hospitality and the automotive industry.
You will get more information on Apprenticeships.ie.
Internships combine school-based learning with workplace learning. They are delivered by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), in partnership with employers in fields that suffer from skill shortages such as business, construction, finance and fashion.
The information is available from your local ETB or on FetchCourses.fr.
The Institute of Guidance Counselors (IGC) is the professional body for guidance counselors in Ireland, practicing in a variety of settings including secondary schools, further education and training colleges, adult guidance, higher education and private practice.