CIT to radically change timetables and academic year amid coronavirus

CIT to radically change timetables and academic year amid coronavirus
XXjob 12/06/2014 NEWS CIT Bishopstown, Cork. Aerial Picture, /Picture: Denis Scannell

A redesign of semester one for first years, starting in November, and a careful look at timetables and delivery modes is underway at Cork Institute of Technology in preparation of the next academic year.

In a statement to The Echo, CIT President Dr Barry O’Connor acknowledged the overwhelming effort put in by staff and students throughout this semester that has seen a great deal of adaptation in line with the Covid-19 safety and hygiene measures introduced.

“These last number of weeks, covering most of CIT’s second semester has seen a tremendous combined effort by CIT staff and students in ensuring that the prescribed teaching and learning activities were fulfilled to allow CIT students to prepare fully for Semester two examinations. This will allow students to either progress to the next year of their studies or to graduate as the Class of 2020.” 

Mr O’Connor said major efforts were now ongoing in order to ensure that the necessary testing and examination are carried out.

“Major effort is now on-going in facilitating on-line and continuous assessment with the objective of ensuring that the vast bulk of assessment will be completed in a timely manner to allow students close off their academic year in line with the normal calendar.” Looking ahead to 2020/2021, Mr O’Connor said that there were a number of uncertainties facing the institute, along with society.

Looking to September, the normal starting time for the 2020/2021 Academic Year, social/physical distancing rules as are and will continue to be mandated by Public Health authorities may impact on the design of timetables and modes of delivery.” The CIT President said that the most immediate issue was their incoming first-year students.

“Clarification is still awaited from the State Examinations Commission as to when Leaving Certificate results may be available to allow the CAO mechanisms to start up in order to facilitate offers of places being made to students. Right now it looks like November is the most likely date for first-years to enter third level.” Mr O’Connor said that while a redesign was necessary, the student experience, which is more important than ever, will be prioritised.

“The CIT 'Good Start' programme will be key to integrating these late-starting first-year students into the CIT community from personal, academic and social perspectives.

“Given the great student-focused efforts made by all staff since this pandemic hit, the incoming First Years will be well looked after at CIT.

“The Institute will monitor the developing pandemic situation over the coming weeks, specifically, Public Health advice and national decisions from the Department of Education & Skills and clarifications will be issued at the earliest opportunity.”

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