Supporting transition from Further Education to Higher Education

Supporting transition from Further Education to Higher Education

Supporting students through Further Education and towards transition to Higher Education

ACCESS+  will focus on supporting the transition of school leaving students from linked Cork City DEIS schools into Further Education (FE), their retention in Further Education and progression on to UCC, CIT or other Higher Education (HE)(third level) institutions. 

Support is focused on three phases: 

  • Transition of second level students into FE 
  • Retention of students in FE 
  • Progression onwards 





Since the nationwide restrictions on movement and the closure of workplaces, including schools, colleges and universities, ACCESS+ has been operating remotely. Outreach work with secondary schools has taken place through Zoom meetings with students, meetings with Guidance Counsellors, the registration of 6th years who are intending to go to PLC’s next year and the creation of online material.

 ACCESS+ will be providing support to students from schools linked with UCC PLUS+ in Cork City who are attending St John’s College, CSN or College of Commerce. By registering above you will receive information regarding key dates, including the ACCESS+ welcome event. With no firm dates currently around CAO offer dates, Leaving Certificate results dates, interview and recruitment processes for PLC colleges, there is much uncertainty, which inevitably will be unsettling and a source of concern for some students. As such ACCESS+ is available online throughout the summer to students, guidance counsellors and link staff.







 Access cogs diagram

 Who is it for? 

UCC ACCESS+   is an initiative of the UCC PLUSoffice.  The UCC ACCESS+ programme is specifically for the following :

  • students who have attended one of the Cork city DEIS Schools that are linked to UCC PLUS(see list below) 
  • students who are members of the Traveller Community 
  • students from Cork Life Centre 

It involves working with students during secondary school as they make decisions about their futureIf they pursue the Further Education pathway of progression, i.e. in College of Commerce, Colaiste Stiofain Naofa (CSN) or St. John’s College, ACCESS+  will work with these students throughout their time in FE and on towards Higher Education. 

What actually is it?  

The goal is to help you to progress in your studies. 

This will mean different goals for each person and goals and aspirations may change along the way. For example your progression goal may be: 

  • progress to UCC  
  • progress to CIT or another HE provider.  
  • completion of the year of study in the FE college and a Level 5 award 
  • progression within FE to a Level 6 course for the following year,  
  • employment, work, an apprenticeship 

Whatever your goal may be, the role of  UCC ACCESS+ is to help you get there. There will be many challenges on the way, there will be changes of mind, new ideas or realisations or maybe personal circumstances where life gets in the way of your studies.  UCC ACCESS+ aims to provide the student with additional supports in those circumstances. 

Do I need to apply? 

No, if you are from one of the listed schools (below), the Cork Life Centre or a member of the Traveller community then you will be included in the post-entry supports of ACCESS+ when you accept a course place at one of the FE Colleges (CSN, CCoCSt.Johns). You will be contacted with regard to attending the orientation programme. 

 Participating Schools & Institutions in Cork City 

  • Bishopstown Community School, Bishopstown, Cork
  • Colaiste Eamann Ris (formerly Deerpark CBS), St Patrick's Road, Cork  
  • Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, A.G North Monastery Road, Cork 
  • Mayfield Community School, Mayfield, Cork 
  • Nagle Community College, Mahon, Cork 
  • North Monastery CBS, North Mon Road, Cork 
  • North Presentation Secondary School, Farranree, Cork 
  • Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane, Cork 
  • St. Aidan's Community College, Dublin Hill, Cork 
  • St. Patrick's College, Gardiner’s Hill, Cork 
  • St. Vincent's Secondary School, St. Mary's Road, Cork 
  • Terence MacSwiney Community College, Hollyhill, Cork 
  • Ursuline Secondary School, Blackrock, Cork 

ACCESS+  will provide a range of supports that may include: 

Pre-entry :  

  • Meetings with 6th Years, Q+A in schools to be fully informed about the FE options, future progression routes and requirements 
  • attendance at Careers EventsParent evenings, open days  
  • Course shadowing support at FE Colleges 


Post entry:  

  • Orientation day to meet fellow UCC ACCESS+ students, visit the FE college, familiarise yourself with rooms, names and timetables, attend social events 
  • One to one meetings to discuss challenges, progress and goals 
  • Advocacy between you and your tutors and course director 
  • Signposting and referral to external support agencies 
  • Connection to UCC and CIT and opportunity to visit campus and lectures 
  • Course shadowing opportunity in UCC 
  • Info and support to apply for CAO and HEAR 
  • Study skill supports and signposting 
  • Access to resources 
  • Welfare and budgeting information 
  • Social events 



Guidance Counsellors and Secondary Schools and all other enquiries can contact James Bilson at james.bilson@ucc.ie or tel. (021) 4948500 ext. 851

Post entry

Students can make a one to one appointment using this booking app link or email james.bilson@ucc.ie

 Long link - http://bit.ly/312yze2Booking 

UCC PLUS+ Programme

UCC PLUS+, Access and Participation, First Floor, The Hub, UCC, T12 YF78