New Student Guide

Welcome to Dunboyne College

Welcome to Dunboyne College of Further Education and welcome to MyDCFE, the college's link for it's students to all the information needed while studying at the college.

The first time you see this page will be during your registration week. A member of the college teaching staff will go through the page with you section by section.

Before we get to that, we have a video message and letter from our Principal, Denis Leonard.

Message from the Principal

Welcome Letter to Students

September 2020

Dear Dunboyne College student,

On behalf of all the staff of Dunboyne College I want to welcome you to the 2020-21 academic year, and wish you the very best of luck for the year ahead. We thank you for choosing Dunboyne College. Like so many who have gone before you over the past seventeen years we hope that you enjoy your experience here. We also want to support you in every way in order to help you to access the college course or career choice you desire at the end of this programme. We hope that you will also meet a lot of new friends and have many new experiences.

This year we have worked very hard to create a safe learning environment in the Covid 19 situation we are in There will be a mix of classroom learning in small groups and remote learning in the weeks you are at home. Either way the staff here will be available to support you every step of the way in your learning and in your access to technology. We would ask that you respect and follow all the Covid-19 guidelines both on and off-campus to ensure that you and your class colleagues can remain safe and complete the course as scheduled in 2021.

College life is very different as you will be expected to do a lot of self-directed learning. There will be many assignments and constant deadlines, and sometimes you may feel under pressure from a few late nights or early mornings. The year goes by very quickly between now and graduation in May so we ask that you use the support services of our college straight away for career guidance, academic support, learning support, language support, IT support, mature student support, or counselling. Your main contact for support is your mentor and all the support information is in your diary and on the website. If you are ever in doubt all these services are available through any of the tutors or myself.

We ask that you respect everyone in the campus as well as the building itself. The student code of conduct is on the website and we ask that you familiarise yourself with it, as a breach of this code can result in you being asked to leave the course.

The Coffee Shop, Learning Hub and Library are open each day and you will be informed through the year on how and when you can access each. We ask that you only smoke in the designated area and that you only park in areas indicated by Bob Robinson or Fergal McIlroy, our caretakers. We ask that you do not park, smoke, or loiter at the front of the college at any time. As you will see we have near neighbours running businesses here over many years, and we need to maintain our good relationship with them.

Finally can you study your timetable closely! You must pass eight fifteen credit modules to get a full award. Most courses have at least nine modules to maximise chances of getting required distinctions. Do not drop a module unless you are very sure that you will still be able to get your full award. (Anything less than a pass in eight modules or failure in a specific module leaves you with a component award; and you would have to finish the unsuccessful modules in another academic year. IT Colleges will accept component awards once they have eight completed modules, but universities usually require you to get your full award in one academic year, as do all nursing programmes.)

If you are in a group where you have the option to choose one of two major awards, make sure you stay in the modules that will give you the award of your choice. Another point to note is that some modules could be a requisite for a particular university place (eg. Maths) or you may simply want a particular module as an enrichment course. If you are unclear on the modules you need, please make an appointment with our guidance counsellors Meabh Nimmo mnimmo.dbc@lmetb.ie or Derek Ball dball.dbc@lmetb.ie.

Good attendance, meeting deadlines for assignments, and preparing well for exams are the best ways to make sure you get your desired course. We wish you every success in the year ahead and if require any assistance please just ask.


Sincerely,

Denis Leonard


Principal

Welcome to MyDCFE

MyDCFE is your link to all the information you need to make the most of being a DCFE student. You can use it to get to nearly all the websites and information you need from day to day. There is a lot of information heading your way in the opening weeks of college, and it is really easy to forget something. Fear not, everything you need will be here, at MyDCFE.

Before we continue...

Take out your phone and head to www.mydcfe.ie


Bookmark the link, write it down, or email it to yourself.


1 - The New Student Guide

During your registration week, you will be introduced to MyDCFE, the main link for all DCFE students to find out about the college. This part of the website is a guide for our new students. On this page, you will read about some of the most important aspects to college life which you need to know about. From your timetable, to where you park, along with how your course is structured.

The layout of the page is simple. Each section will talk about an important topic which you need to know about before you start your induction sessions. There is a lot of information on this page so after each section, there will be Key Points which sum up the section you are reading. Whenever you see the DCFE logo like below, it means there is a Key Points section which summarises things for you.

Key Points 1: New Student Guide

  • This guide contains all the information you need to know about right now.

  • There is a lot of info here, so don't worry if you miss something.

  • Please ask questions during your registration session.

  • Remember you can visit www.mydcfe.ie to go through the guide whenever you want to.


2 - Your Mentor

Every class-group at DCFE will have a Mentor. This will be one of your teachers on the course. Their role is mainly one of support, though there is some admin involved too that relates to things like attendance and module choices, but more on that later. If you have any questions or problems about your studies, the class Mentor will be your first port of call. If you have a question and you don't know who to ask, your class Mentor will be able to help you too.

The Transition to College

Whether you are coming from secondary school or you are returning to education, switching to a college mindset can be difficult. Your learning will perhaps be more self-directed than you are used to. Your teachers will challenge you to think outside the box in a way you may not have experienced before. Your class Mentor will be there to provide support, advice and motivation. All you need to do is ask. For some students just asking can be the most difficult part, so don't be put off. Your Mentor will also be able to advise and refer you on to other student support services in the college.

Key Points 2: Your Mentor

  • Your Mentor will get to know well and they will be the first person you should go to with any issues.

  • Your Mentor will build up a picture of your progress during your time with us.

  • Your Mentor will also be the person who provides references, should you need them in the future.

IMPORTANT - YOUR MENTOR
If you have any questions or problems with your course, speak with your Mentor. They are there to help you.

3 - Coming to Class

As you can imagine considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation, college life is going to be a bit different from what you may have expected. All the staff in DCFE are working very hard to ensure that our students get the best experiences at the college, not just from the point of view of academics and your studies, but also from a social point of view. With this in mind, there are some very important things to know about how you will study at Dunboyne College.

Key Points 3: Coming to Class

  • You will be given a timetable for your classes.

  • Your studies at DCFE will be made up of a mix of face-to-face and online classes.

  • Face-to-Face Classes: If you are not present for your class, you are marked absent.

  • Online Classes: If you do not log into the live stream of your class, you are marked absent.

  • Face-to-Face & Online: You must be present for the entire duration of the class in order to be marked present.


4 - Class Groups

In the interest of safety, classes will generally be split into two groups which will be called Group A and Group B. For your first week of classes, Group A will have face-to-face classes and Group B will log into a live-stream of that class. The next week, the groups will swap and Group B will have a face-to-face class while Group A logs into the live stream. This pattern will continue for the rest of the year. If classes will run differently or change, your teachers will let you know ahead of time.

Key Points 4: Class Groups

  • Most classes will be split into Group A and Group B.

  • When Group A has a face-to-face class, Group B will log into the classes live stream.

  • When Group B has a face-to-face class, Group A will log into the classes live stream.

  • You cannot change groups once you have been allocated to one

    • This is in the interest of safety.

IMPORTANT - CLASS GROUPS
You must only attend classes on-campus when your group is timetabled to.

You can not come in the weeks in which you are not schedule to; this for the good of everyone in the college.

5 - Attendance

It may seem obvious, but attending your classes (online or face-to-face) is really important. If you miss classes, you miss out on exploring your topics so you can understand them better. Your attendance will also be used for your references, so don't expect a good one if you don't show up to class! No amount of reading notes or Powerpoint slides will make up for being a part of your classes each week.

Your teachers will monitor your attendance for every class, whether you are timetabled for a face-to-face class or to be a part of the live stream. Your Mentor will track your attendance across your modules, and if something seems the matter, will touch base with you to see what's up. If you are receiving a SUSI grant, SUSI will ask DCFE for information on your attendance.

Keep in mind that you are studying a full-time course. You will have classes for all your modules each week, but you will also be expected to work on assignments, projects and other activities outside of class time. For the most part, you won't be doing your assignments in class so make sure you factor that into your week.

Some courses such as Professional Cookery, Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing and Sound Engineering will require students to take part in practical assessments. If your attendance is poor in these modules, you will lose out on vital practical experience that you will need before any practical assessments. If your attendance drops below an acceptable level, you will not be permitted to take part in certain assessments.

Key Points: 5 - Attendance

  • Attendance is tracked by your teachers.

  • Full attendance is required (on-campus and remotely).

  • Poor attendance may exclude you from practical classes/assessments.

  • SUSI will request attendance data for those availing of student grants.

  • This is a one-year full-time course and you must make sure you are available for all of your classes, assessments and exams.

DCFE's Attendance Policy

'Students will be given a timetable that gives direction for attendance in the college building or online. Students are marked according to their timetabled classes, i.e. if a student is expected to be in the classroom, they are marked in when they are in the classroom for the duration of the class; if they are expected to be online for that class, they are marked in when they attend the full class online.

(Please note that if a student is expected to be present in the college on a given day and is not in, then he or she will be marked absent. If a student is expected to be online during a timetabled time, then they will be marked absent if they are not online for the duration of the class.)

If a class is split into A and B groups, you must follow the timetable for your own group. A student cannot choose to switch groups.'

6 - Absences

If you need to take time off from college for medical reasons, it is essential that you get your doctor to provide a medical certificate. This is the only way the college will be able to account for your absence and ensure that you are not penalised, such as in references, SUSI grants and attendance awards.

Key Points 6: Absences

  • Ensure you get a medical cert. for any absences you have.

  • Make a copy of the medical cert. for your own records.

  • Give your mentor the original copy.

  • If you do not see your class Mentor when you come back, you can post it in the Medical Certs box in Reception.

      • Make sure you put it in an envelope, addressed to your Mentor.

  • Your Mentor will ensure college records are kept up to date, when medical certs are provided.


7 - Timetables and Modules

Below is a sample timetable.

Key Points 7: Timetables

  • Your presenter will now show you your provisional timetable in a few moments.

  • You will be emailed your timetable shortly.

  • Feel free to take a photo in the meantime.

  • Your timetable will show you when your class is scheduled, what teacher you have and what room it will be in.

  • For face-to-face classes, you go to the room on time.

  • For online classes, you log into the live stream a few moments before the class begins at the time on your timetable.

  • Lunch times will be factored into your timetable and you will be given a room and time in which to have your lunch, this is to ensure social distancing and health and safety.

  • Your presenter will now show you your timetable.

IMPORTANT - TIMETABLES
Your timetable will change a few times, especially at the start of the year

Your Mentor and teacher will let you know of any timetable changes

8 - Modules

As a student of DCFE, you will be working towards achieving a full award, also known as your major award. Your full award is made up of modules, which are shown in your timetable. In order to achieve a full award, you must at least pass 8 modules on your timetable. It is important to know that you can't pass any eight of the modules. You will need to ensure you have the right combination of modules. Your Mentor will be able to explain this in more detail with you during your class time.

Module Combinations

DCFE breaks your modules down into three types; Red modules, Yellow modules and White modules.

Red Modules

You must pass all red modules.

If you do not pass them all, you cannot achieve your full award.

Red modules are core modules; the building blocks of your qualification.

Yellow/Green Modules

Most course have yellow modules, and you will have to complete a minimum number of these.

If you don't, you cannot achieve your full award.

Some courses also have Green modules; again, you will have to a minimum number of those.

These modules tend to be related to course area, but you have some options.

White Modules

In total, you need to have at least eight modules in order to work towards a full award.

Once you add up your core Red modules, and your optional Yellow/Green modules, you can use the White modules to reach your total of eight.

If you like, you can pick extra Yellow/Green modules instead of White ones. The main thing is that you have at least 8 modules.

Key Points 8: Modules

  • You must complete the correct 8 modules to get the full award.

  • You can not do any 8 modules

      • They have to be the right combination.

  • If you do not pass these 8 modules, you will achieve a component award.

      • Component awards are generally not considered for entry into Universities but maybe for some Institutes of Technology.

  • Your Mentor is there to help you with your module choices

      • If you are thinking about dropping a module, you must talk to your Mentor or the Guidance Counselling team first!

  • Closer to the start of official classes, your Mentor will go through your course in more detail.

  • They will go through what combinations of modules you need to achieve your full award.


9 - Getting Around

Key Points 9: Getting Around

  • DCFE is made up of a number of different buildings around the business park.

  • We have a series of useful campus maps available on MyDCFE.

  • Your presenter will now play a short video, showing our Google Earth campus map.

      • You can visit our Google Earth map by clicking here.

      • You can also visit www.mydcfe.ie/map for more detail.

10 - College Policies

Dunboyne College has a number of policies which essentially outline what Dunboyne College expects of it's students, and what students can expect from Dunboyne College. For example, DCFE has an Attendance Policy which states the rules and regulations relating to attendance. DCFE also has an Anti-Bullying policy, a Code of Conduct policy and Data Protection policy.

In order to be officially registered as a student of Dunboyne College and to access your course materials online, you must sign up to these policies. We will show you how to do that later on in this session.

Click here to see them all.

Key Points 10: College Policies

  • You must signup to our college policies in order to complete your student registration.

  • You can use the link above to take a look at these policies.

  • You don't have to sign up to them just yet, but you won't be able to access any class materials until you do so.


11 - Your College Email

In the coming weeks, Dunboyne College will provide you with your own DBC email account. There is not much to say here other than the really important bullet points below!

Key Points 11: College Email

  • You will receive your college email in the next two to three weeks.

  • Once classes start and you have received your college email account, only use your college email for college business.

  • It is your responsibility to check your college email inbox at least once a day, as there may be changes to your timetable, classes etc.

  • Your Mentor, teachers and all other DCFE staff will only use your college email to get in touch with you on a day to day basis.

  • The college may send a text message to your mobile phone for anything urgent.

IMPORTANT
Keep your email and password safe; do not share these details with anyone.

12 - Induction Week

The transition to college is a big one. You will have a new routine, new emails, new software to use and many new modules to get your head around. Dunboyne College will provide a series of on-campus and online student induction sessions before official classes start. For example, these sessions will include workshops on how to use your email and college computers among other things. A session on Career Guidance outlining important information in relation to your course choice, award and progression opportunities. You will also have some academic workshops, designed to get you up to speed with how to deal with assignments and how to study at college level.

From Monday 14th - Friday 18th September all courses in the college will have an induction week* that consists of mandatory "short courses". All students must access and attend/complete these induction courses, as they are a vital part of your student induction.

For certain college courses, there will be certified courses that must be completed, for example, manual handling courses will be provided to students on courses where there is a lot of lifting of equipment. Basic first aid, CPR and patient handling courses will be available for certain healthcare courses. At the end of those sessions, students will receive a certificate which must be kept and saved for future reference (as part of your work experience and college assessments).

*A schedule for this induction week will be sent to the email address that you applied with in the coming days, so check this email regularly this week for important information regarding your schedule and how to access these induction courses.

Key Points 12: Induction Week

  • Induction Week begins Monday 14th - Friday 18th September (unless you have been contacted with additional information).

      • Courses taking place this week will not be rescheduled.

      • Attendance is compulsory.

  • The schedule of your own Induction Week will be emailed to the email address you provided upon application.

      • You must check this email account regularly for updates.

  • For online courses, once completed you will receive a certificate - save this onto your computer! You will be asked to show it once your classes start.

  • All online courses must be completed within the specified time frame, this will be explained to you in the email you'll receive shortly.

  • For practical courses, you must arrive on time. Late entry will not be permitted.

IMPORTANT
Attendance for student induction sessions is compulsory

13 - Moodle

A big part of studying in college is using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is a special website which contains a digital space for your course and all of it's modules. Our VLE is called Moodle and on it, you will find a page for each of your modules. Your teachers will use Moodle to upload class materials, and it is also the place where you will engage with activities and submit your assignments for grading.

Your teachers will be using Moodle a lot in order to get you up to speed on the various topics and concepts covered in your modules. Make sure you engage with the materials on Moodle. They will be designed to make face-to-face and online classes more productive. You will soon be up to speed and used to using Moodle for your college work. We will be running tutorial sessions in the coming weeks for all students, with more details on how to use it.

Key Points 13: Moodle

  • Moodle will be the one stop shop for all your course materials.

      • These include notes, presentations and links to articles etc.

  • You should login regularly to stay up-to-date.

      • Your teachers will upload content to it in between your classes.

  • Microsoft Teams will be used to stream and record online classes.

      • You will be given links to find the recordings of your classes.

  • The video below will show you how to log into Moodle.

      • Your username is your 8 digit MIT number, which is also DCFE student number.

      • Your password is "changeme" and Moodle will ask you to create a new password once you login.

IMPORTANT
Along with Moodle, we use Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams.

If you have never heard of them, don't worry!

The college will be hosting a series of workshops on how to use Moodle, Teams and other software packages in the coming weeks

14 - Health and Safety: Covid-19

IMPORTANT

15 - General Points

  • DCFE is a busy college; take care of your personal belongings and respect those of other people.

  • All personal liability for the loss or damage of personal belongings is the sole responsibility of the student.

  • Student cards will be issued to each student once registration numbers are finalised in October.

  • CCTV is in operation in the college.

  • If you have any general health and safety concerns, you must discuss these with your class Mentor.

      • We can then plan what we should do to assist you.

  • All courses have a Work Experience module.

      • Your teachers and Mentor will discuss this module and it's requirements with you in detail during the first week of classes.


16 - What's Next?

  • During Registration & Induction, all communication will done through your private email (the email that you provided upon application).

      • Make sure that it is correct!

  • You’ll get two emails from us this week:

      • Email One:

          • Your Induction Virtual Timetable.

      • Email Two:

          • Your class group information (Group A or Group B).

          • Another copy of your provisional timetable.

17 - About MyDCFE

MyDCFE is a link for students to get all the information they need about a variety of things relating to the college. From campus maps, transport links all the way to information on student supports, the canteen as well as student parking. Use the buttons below and the navigation bar at the top of every page to explore the site.

  • Your presenter will now show you around MyDCFE using the links below

College Facilities

Student Services

Campus Map

Academic Support

Transport

Learner Support

CLICK HERE