Career Development Summer School

Choosing Your CAO Courses & More

Complete about 90% of the groundwork for making informed career and course decisions before starting back in 6th year and develop important employability skills along the way. 


With so many competing priorities, Leaving Cert students find it difficult to give attention to what is, without doubt, their biggest decision so far. This programme has been designed to provide the opportunity to take time out at the beginning of the summer holidays to concentrate on what's next after leaving cert. It provides support to students wishing to ensure that course choices and decisions are well informed, setting them up to be happy and successful in their work-life. By the end of the programme, students will have a good 1st draft of the courses they plan to include in their CAO form, and in order of priority. 




The programme occurs over one week and uses an approach to learning that is active rather than passive, one that students find refreshing and very interesting. It is called Problem Based Learning (PBL) and equips students with a range of interpersonal skills not previously learned or practiced. These skills include; communication, research, problem-solving, working collaboratively, and the all-important self-directed learning, to name but a few. These are often referred to as Employability Skills because they are essential for success in the workplace. 


Unlike the classroom approach that students are used to, the group is small (6-8) and the day begins with the problem - what do they want to be - what do they want to do when they finish school. Over the week, I facilitate them to work through the steps of PBL. Each day we begin with a PBL session lasting approx. 90 minutes. Thereafter students are free to work as they see fit, researching information and meeting in small groups when they deem appropriate. I steer them towards useful resources and help them develop skills such as research. The approach is very democratic and self-directed, preparing them for college, work and life generally. 




Students will be able to:


  • Gain insight into their interests, skills/talents and values, as a prerequisite for making informed choices about what to do after leaving secondary school;

  • Research courses and careers effectively; 

  • Communicate effectively with peers and others; 

  • Work collaboratively; 

  • Use techniques to solve complex problems;

  • Make informed decisions about the course and college choices and in order of priority


Cost: €430

Dates: June 8th - June 12th















This programme is facilitated by Anne Mangan who is a Career Coach and Educational Developer. With over thirty years developing and delivering higher education programmes, working with students, and a mother of four young adults, Anne is passionate about the plight of secondary school students when it comes to making career and course decisions.