Michael Rainsford, one of the IT Carlow students who told his story at the recent IT Carlow Virtual Open Day
In what may be seen as a sign of the times, courses in pharmaceuticals and drug formulation received some of the highest number of enquiries from students during IT Carlow's virtual open day, which took place last Friday.
The initiative was a resounding success with more than 1,000 prospective students participating in the initiative.
The virtual open day kicked off at 10.30am and by 4pm virtual visitors, from Dungarvan to Donegal, had engaged in almost 1,300 online sessions with over 7,500 page views on the dedicated website www.itcarlowvirtualopenday.ie
"This is the first time we ran a virtual open day and it proved to be a fantastic way to explore a new form of interaction with prospective students.
"We launched a dedicated website and had a team of nearly 200 experts behind the event from lecturers, programme directors and admissions to answer the students’ questions in real time," said Alison Moore, School Liaison Officer at Institute of Technology Carlow.
"The students had already researched their course of choice and so their questions were very focused. Although circumstances dictated that this year’s Open Day was a virtual one, the students really took to this medium.
"Questions on pharmaceuticals and drug formulation – particularly relevant in the present climate – as well as common entry business, mechanical engineering, sustainable farm management and agribusiness were the courses that got the most attention," added Ms. Moore.
The Applying to IT Carlow room was the busiest, with students enquiring about start dates, accommodation, supports available and student life in general. The Institute informed prospective students that it is planning for a start date of 28th September for first years, based on current national guidelines.
"The Admissions team handled a high volume of queries from interested students who took the opportunity to gain more knowledge in advance of the CAO Change of Mind deadline of 1st July.
"Many asked how the new academic year will look in terms of online learning and the blended learning approach the Institute will be taking. Others had very specific questions regarding entry requirements, deadlines, applications for scholarships and the academic supports offered by the Institute," said Shauna Whyte, IT Carlow’s Head of Academic Administration and Student Affairs.
There were enquiries also in relation to scholarships, support and services.
Rosemary Flynn, Head of Learner Support and Student Services at IT Carlow, said: "Students all around the country are feeling quite uncertain about things right now and we welcomed the opportunity to answer their many questions at the virtual open day and to confirm that services and supports will continue to be offered at IT Carlow as in previous years."
Amongst those offering online advice about IT Carlow were DJ Carey and Pat Critchley, the Fitzgibbon and Sigerson senior managers of the college senior hurling and football teams – reflecting IT Carlow’s reputation as one of the best colleges in the country for sports courses and facilities, and sporting achievements.
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