CAO Change of Mind
Published on: Sunday, 01 May 2011
Top Tips for CAO
The Points System
When you are considering points levels for courses, please be cautious. Points levels change from year to year due to supply and demand for places. The points levels for the coming academic year cannot be predicted, and past points levels are given as a general guide only. Most important of all, do not judge the quality of a course or its employment value from its points level.
- Choose courses in your genuine order of preference, based on your own career aspirations.
- There are many advantages to using the CAO's online application system.
- The normal closing date for applications (online or paper) is February 1st 2011 by 5.15pm. After the 1st May 2011 and until the 1st July 2011 you may, if you wish, register a change of course choice. [However, you cannot add a restricted-application course for the first time using the Change of Mind process].
- It is imperative that you research your course choices thoroughly. For CIT courses, be sure to consult the Institute's Full Time Handbook Entry 2011 for more information. Please click here to request a Handbook by post.
- If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty you are encouraged to indicate this in your application as it will facilitate the Institute in addressing any specific support needs you may have.
- You should retain a record of your application information as well as all correspondence with the CAO.
- If in doubt, check for clarification with your school guidance counsellor, subject teacher or the Institute itself.
Whatever your plans and talents CIT has a course of study for you. We offer the full range of higher education qualifications, including Bachelor degrees and Honours Bachelor degrees, as well as postgraduate Masters and PhD degrees. There is a flexible “ladder” system in place, which, in many cases, allows you to progress from one award to the next. For those returning to education from employment or for those with other commitments, CIT has a varied part-time and evening programme, one of the largest at third level in the country.
Can't Make Up Your Mind?
CIT offers a common entry for a number of courses
This gives the student an opportunity, after a period of learning, to make a specific course choice.
Five Steps to Choosing a Third Level Course
Step 1: You and Your Interests
What areas of occupation are you interested in? Do you have a flair for writing, music, sport or science? What are your leisure interests? Identify your own preferences and strengths - whatever they may be. Ask a professional such as your guidance counsellor for a test of occupational interests and preferences.
Step 2: Subjects
If you are preparing for or have sat the Leaving Certificate, there will be particular subjects that you like; (these are often the subjects you perform best at). Your list of subjects will help you to select broad areas for third level. Talk to your subject teachers and your guidance counsellor. Be realistic when you weigh up your strengths, but don’t underestimate yourself.
Step 3: Get the Facts
There’s a lot of reliable information available about careers and courses. You can get this from:
- handbooks, leaflets, career books and reliable websites such as Qualifax.ie
- guidance counsellors
- talking to people working in the career
- friends and relatives whose judgement you trust
- your own work experience or summer job
- open days at colleges
- Don’t be slow to enquire. People know this is important to you, and they will help if you ask.
Step 4: Be Flexible
Be open minded and flexible. Look at broad careers, not narrow jobs. Many people change jobs several times during their working lives. Look at all the levels: higher certificates, degrees, and honours degrees. Remember, CIT will assist you to progress along our “Ladder of Progression” from one level to the next.
Step 5: Know the System
Most students enter third level through the CAO Points System. Talk to your parents, teachers and counsellors and with their help try to estimate your CAO points level. Once again, be realistic, but don’t underestimate yourself. Remember, the CAO is just a selection mechanism based on supply and demand. If you end up with “points to spare”, that’s okay; what’s important is to choose a course that matches what you want.
How to Succeed at CIT
Full-time study at CIT requires a full-time commitment from you. The combination of academic and practical subjects in many of our courses can make for a very busy timetable - usually between 20 hours and 30 hours per week. This schedule means that excellent class attendance and regular study are vital.