Many Leaving Certificate pupils over the next few days will be sitting down with their parents and guidance counsellors applying for higher education course through the CAO website. In many ways, it is very exciting, plotting the next stage of your education. There are many emotions – excitement, nerves, anxiety, expectations. My main advice, and I give this advice as a Dad whose son is going through the exact emotions as many of you are, is to listen to all good advice. Everyone in your closest circle – family, friends, teachers and extended family – has your interests at heart and want to see you thrive. Above all else, listening to yourself is also very important. You know your capacity and capability. Choose a programme where you believe you will be happy but challenged. It will take sacrifice and you must be prepared for this. Focus on the programme and not the building or where your friends are going. It is always good to speak to the Admissions Office of the college you plan to attend and be happy you are making the right choice.

I also want to take this opportunity to clarify the position for the Montessori programmes in SNMCI.
(a) The SNMCI entry on the CAO handbook for the Bachelor of Arts in Montessori Education is at Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications;
(b) This is a three-year programme, followed by a one-year Level 8 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Montessori Education. Many of our Level 7 graduates continue with their studies onto this Level 8 programme;
(c) Once you have successfully completed the Level 8 programme, you are eligible to register with The Teaching Council under Route 4 of the 2016 Registration Regulations.
(d) SNMCI is the only college in Ireland with this specific relationship with The Teaching Council;
(e) This qualifies you for appointment as Learner Support/ Resource Teacher in Special Education classes in any Primary School or in Special Schools;
(f) The 2018 CAO cohort will be the last school leaver cohort eligible to register with The Teaching Council on this basis;

You can be part of this final cohort – it is a wonderful opportunity and set you a path for other careers. It should not represent the end of your learning. Many of graduates then return to study to pursue a Professional Masters in Education to become qualified Primary Teachers.

Coming to a small college like SNMCI works really well for our students. They are close to our lecturing staff, knowing that they will have professional and personal support. As a result, once you start with us, you will stay the course and finish with a Level 8 qualification. SNMCI has one of the highest student retention rates in Ireland.

Embarking on any higher education programme is also financially challenging. Again, SNMCI comes stands out from the other colleges. Unlike other private colleges in Ireland, students coming to SNMCI have access to SUSI grants.

If you are interested in working as a Learning Support/ Resource Teacher, or to work in preschool or Montessori settings, then SNMCI must be your first choice. If you want further information, then you should speak to Erica at 01 2806064 or email

Our motto is ‘shape a future’ – it can be yours or the children you will educate.

We would like to have you with us in September 2018.

Ian McKenna
Director, SNMCI

19th January 2018