My story: ‘Going to Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa was one of the best decisions I made’
Hannah McCarthy: From PLC to UCC
Hannah McCarthy narrowly missed a place on University College Cork’s (UCC) B.Ed. in Sports Studies and Physical Education honours degree programme, which jumped 20 points in a year.
Hannah, and her twin, Ciara — a student at IT Carlow — are basketball stars, most recently selected for the Irish squad for the Women’s U20 European Basketball Championship in Montenegro last month.
After her disappointment last year, Hannah (19) toyed with the idea of repeating the Leaving Cert and trying again through the standard entry route but, instead, opted for the one-year, post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) course, Coaching and Physical Education at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, (CSN), a college of further education, also in Cork.
Hannah, from Frankfield, Cork admits that as she embarked on this route she was “disheartened and unsure but after only a short few days, my outlook had completely changed. The positivity and enthusiasm in the college was extremely motivating.”
She was very impressed at how quickly “we got down to work and, within three days, I had already earned my first certificate, in this case in occupational first aid.”
The former pupil of Christ the King girls secondary school, Cork is full of praise for course director, Derek Scanlon, who, she says, ensured that students were reaching to achieve their full potential, whether on the sporting or academic side.
Looking back on the year, she says it was “one of the best decisions I ever made. I have left CSN a much more mature person.”
Hannah reapplied to the CAO through a pathway reserved for PLC students and went on to achieve eight distinctions in PLC, but despite that, in the face of strong demand in the lottery for places, she was not lucky enough to be offered her course of choice in CAO Round Zero.
However, she has accepted a place on UCC’s International Arts programme, while still hoping that an offer for the PE course will come her way.