Fourteen students who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood, Care, Health and Education, have become North West Regional College’s first ever degree graduands.

The fourteen students, three of whom achieved a first class honours degree, will graduate in October.

The course is delivered in a joint partnership with Letterkenny Institute of Technology, and is designed to upskill those who already hold a Level 5 qualification in Early Childhood Studies or Advanced Practice, to Degree level.

Students enter at Year 3 of the two year programme, which is delivered at Strand Road campus in Derry~Londonderry and Letterkenny.

Pictured at a celebration event marking the successful completion of the first ever Degree Programme at North West Regional College are: Student Louise McCrudden, NWRC Curriculum Manager for Early Years Lisa Taggart, Head of Nursing and Health Studies at LYIT Dr Louise Kavanagh, and student Lauren White. The students were part of the first cohort to study for the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood, Care, Health and Education.

Louise McCrudden who is one of the first graduands to complete the degree programme said: “The course is very accommodating for people who are working. To be able to do work and do a full time degree at the same time was amazing for me.”

Sarah Quigley Burns who also successfully completed the course, achieving first class honours said: “It was a tough two years but well worth it. I feel the best thing is that I was able to do it alongside my job. The course has made me better in the job that I am in.”

Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride, Head of Department in Nursing and Health Studies at Letterkenny Institute of Technology said: “Partnerships don’t just fall together by accident, they form through the hard work and dedication of teams, I commend the staff at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and North West Regional College on this collaborative initiative.

“It has been a pleasure, as the Head of School of Nursing and Health Studies at LYIT, to watch this partnership flourish. We wish the Class of 2017 the very best for the future and we look forward to the future ahead, developing further connections with North West Regional College and forging partnerships that support and significantly enhance the Northwest region.”

Vice Principal of North West Regional College Samantha Traynor said that the addition of the degree programme at NWRC means that local learners do not have to move outside of the North West in the pursuit of a degree.

Vice Principal Traynor and NWRC’s Curriculum Manager for Early Years Lisa Taggart expressed great pride in the graduands and wished them all the best in their bright futures.

“Congratulations to all of the students and staff, and of course our partners at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. We look forward to continuing this collaboration and enjoying similar success in the future,” added Vice Principal Traynor.