Online tools to ease college research for Leaving Cert students over Christmas holidays

Online tools to ease college research for Leaving Cert students over Christmas holidays

Leaving Cert students have two full weeks without study pressures this Christmas to get a head start on their CAO applications which will take stress off them as the Leaving Cert looms later in the year.

“Time at home together over the school break is the perfect time for parents and Leaving Cert students to talk about college choices,” says Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Derek O’Byrne.

There is no need for people to have a last minute rush at the end of January to start their CAO applications before the 1 February deadline or 20 January early bird deadline or to be worrying about careers and course research in the last week of June after their Leaving Cert exams and before the 1 July CAO change of mind deadline. "In the last week of December and first week of January Leaving Cert students have more free time than they will have in the following six months to research their college choices,” Dr O’Byrne advises.

Colleges may be closed over Christmas, but there are plenty of online tools at the disposal of CAO applicants and their families. WIT has developed a number of tools to help anyone considering starting college next September.

“As part of our right student, right programme ethos, we help CAO applicants figure out their interests and what courses and careers they may be suited to. The most important thing is a student ends up on a course they will enjoy that leads to the type of work that leads to career fulfilment for them.”

Apart from our open days and evenings, where students can talk to lecturers or explore that campus, WIT has online tools people can access at anytime. There is the Parent’s Guide to College Choices booklet and the How to research CAO options booklets. Both include worksheets to help people understand their interests as well as compare colleges, courses and costs. These can be found at

Once people know what they want to do they can find out via the CAO website which colleges offer those courses. In the case they discover WIT has a course they’re interested in, O’Byrne explains, each course page is filled with real-life stories.

“Our student stories section at has more than 400 real-life student stories from across our 70 CAO courses and our postgraduate courses. These are written in graduates and students own words. They also appear on the stories section of each course page. So without leaving the comfort of their homes prospective students and parents/guardians can do through research this Christmas.”

For those who would like a more real-life way to discover if a course of study is for them, upcoming ‘Try’ events can be found at Campus tours can be booked online year round at and run weekdays in one hour slots 10am-3pm from 6 January 2020.In addition, in January WIT’s ‘Ask WIT’ online chat and phone helpline will be available. All these details can be found at a dedicated CAO resource section. The Ask helpline and online supports start from 6 January 2020.

As part of our Ask WIT 1 February events (7 January - 1 February 2019) and the CAO deadline on 1 February you can talk to us about courses at WIT by calling our CAO Helpline on 051 834176  (9.00am - 5.15pm).

To continue reading this archived article for FREE,
please just kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.