Check out the new Mentoring Journal

See Social Media for updates on recent news and events.


Education News

Download Education News Autumn 2022


First-time entrants to year 1 of an (undergraduate) programme in the academic year (2022/23), full or part-time, with a household reckonable income less than €24,500 in 2021, who are in the identified priority groups, can apply for the bursary.

Click here to apply

The 1916 Bursary is worth €5,000 per academic year

Closing date for applications: TBC.

Past Events

Access to Higher Education Symposium 2022: Community Engagement & Mentoring

A Symposium on Access to Higher Education: Community Engagement and Mentoring was held on the 18th October 2022. Community members and education organisations came together for the first symposium of its kind with events hosted across Ray McSharry Park, the Abbeyquarter Community Centre and Cranmore Community Co-operative Workshop.
The event was organised in order to share good practice, promote learning and offer community organisations an opportunity to let Higher Education Institutes hear about and respond to issues of community engagement and access to higher education.

The event was opened with a welcome address from resident and Community Learner, followed by an introduction to the partnership between ATU and the Cranmore Regeneration Programme Access Office, ATU and Sligo County Council. The Guest Speaker from Mentoring Europe, delivered an inspiring presentation on the importance of Mentoring, both formally and informally.
Workshops included:
• Best Practice in Mentoring: Uni4U & University of Sancturary, University of Galway
• Community Development Education & Mentoring – ATU Cranmore Education Mentor Programme & Cranmore Community Co-op
• Interagency Working: Foróige’s Third Level Mentoring Programme – ATU Connect Project & Foróige
• Social Inclusion: Supporting people with ADHD in Education – ATU Donegal Access Office

Participants came from the local community, Sligo Co Co, ATU and University of Galway and other partners across the region.

Watch Community Welcome and Keynote from Mentoring Europe

Watch Panel Discussion on Community Mentoring

Launch of The Cranmore Education Mentor Programme Abbeyquarter Community Centre Cranmore 12th November 2019

A panel discussion focused on the theme ‘Everyone needs a mentor and everyone can be a mentor’

Roddy McGuinn, local resident, parent and a former public representative spoke about the long history of community spirit in Cranmore and that taking part in community activities is in itself a form of mentoring as you learn so much from your colleagues.

Stories were shared by video from people from Cranmore including Dr Catherine McGuinn and Geraldine Barry, lecturers in IT Sligo, Dr. Keith Hopper, lecturer in Oxford University and author and Stephen Farrell, first-year student in IT Sligo.

Bernie Sheridan, guidance counsellor, Mercy Post Primary spoke about the range of supports that young people need in secondary school and welcomed the Cranmore Education Mentor programme as something that will enhance the support provided by teachers and guidance counsellors.

Kate McGoldrick, Youth Support Worker, spoke about how the Mentoring Programme can complement the work of the Sligo Home Youth Liaison Service.

Mark Elliott, Community Development Worker Cranmore Community Co-op highlighted the value of going back to education after leaving school early and the need in the community to hear what options are available for people.

Seamus Bannon, Cranmore former resident is now a third-year student in IT Sligo studying Sociology and Politics. He spoke about the opportunities opened up to him through moving from social welfare to student life, the challenges of balancing this with raising a young family but overall the benefits afforded to him as a result including an opportunity to do a work placement in the European parliament.          

Mr Ciarán Hayes, CE, Sligo County Council

As Chair of the Cranmore Regeneration Steering Group, Mr Hayes welcomed the over 40 people who attended the launch including Dr Brendan McCormack President of IT Sligo, Members of Sligo County Council , The Cranmore Community,  post-primary and third-level students and all the partners involved in the roll-out of the Education and Learning Strategy.

Numerous actions and initiatives have been delivered to date which range from storytelling on the mobile library in Cranmore, Study Support workshops for Leaving Certificate students, Robotics and Coding Workshops in Primary schools and a number of events in partnership with IT Sligo and St Angela’s College. 

Mr Hayes highlighted that the Mentor Programme is unique amongst the other mentor projects being funded by the Higher Education Authority Access Fund.  It is the only project that is working from the ground up with a community development approach and it is also the only project located within the community. 

Dr Brendan McCormack, President, IT Sligo

In IT Sligo we are constantly striving to improve access to higher education and recent research by the Higher Education Authority has confirmed our success in this. IT Sligo reaches more students from socio-economically disadvantaged areas than all bar one other higher education institute in the country.  This is an achievement that we are very proud of and we are building on it through a range of initiatives including this Cranmore Education Mentor Programme.

We are delighted to be able to collaborate with these partners through the Cranmore Regeneration office of Sligo County Council as we all progress a common goal of contributing to the positive development of the Cranmore community.

A good mentor comes in many forms but ultimately is a guide who is in the right place at the right time to help you navigate your life course. An education mentor is there to support you in taking the next step in your education. Dr McCormack stated that we all need mentors and all can be mentors at different times in our lives.

At IT Sligo we are well on our way towards a Technological University. Key elements of our mission are enabling access and opportunity for a diverse student community and working in partnership to enhance the development of the region.  We believe that the experience of the Cranmore Education Mentor Programme will ensure enhanced opportunities for the people of Cranmore and influence the development of Technological University based on diversity and inclusion.

Linda McGloin  Access Office IT Sligo, spoke about how the programme had come about through the ongoing partnership work between IT Sligo and the Cranmore Regeneration office.

Dr Celia Keenaghan, Cranmore Education Mentor Programme showed evidence that demonstrated the impact that a mentor can have in the long term on a person’s life. She will be available to anyone in the Cranmore Regeneration area who is interested in exploring their future education options.

  • You might be a school student who is thinking about college.
  • You might have left school years ago and would like to find out what is possible for you now.
  • Its not just about college, you might be interested in doing a PLC or an apprenticeship.
  • You might be a parent who wants advice supporting your child in their further education.

Patricia Keane, Sligo County Council Library Service  reminded people of the many services that the library provides to the community for people of all ages including supporting reading in the early years to help with putting together a CV and applying for a job.