Andrew Keown

Computer Systems & Networks with Mobile Technologies (Network Tech.) Castlebar Campus
Hello. My name is Andrew Keown. I am 18 years old. I am from a place called Snugborough outside Castlebar. I was at a secondary school before I came here to do this course.

I picked the Computer Systems and Networks with Mobile Technologies because I have always enjoyed using computers and have enjoyed using gadgets and decided to try this course.

The facilities in CCFE were good but because of the year we were had having to deal with Covid-19 and its restrictions, we weren’t allowed to certain places and facilities. Normally there was a cafeteria to have your food but what we had to do was eat at our seats in the classroom and there wasn’t a lot of space because there was other equipment left on our desks, but I was still able to have our food.

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The computer room we were in for most of the classes was big enough for everyone and I was sitting at the front of the class and where I was, I had space. When I looked behind me there were desks separate and some that were joined together. The people on their own seemed have space to themselves, but some people seemed close, but there was space between them.

The computers that we used had the most recent system called Windows 10 and that worked well. The computers that we used weren't the newest and didn’t work well all the time, but when we had to go online for the course, our own computers worked well. Some people had problems with their computers, and some people didn’t have computers at home and the college provided laptops. Some people that did have to use those laptops said they were good for the schoolwork, but if they wanted to download anything it would be blocked. That’s a good thing because those laptops were mostly for schoolwork anyway.

For the year we had nine modules. I enjoyed Mobile Technologies because we had the chance to make/ create our own app and I learned a lot from that class. ICT Security Policy Management was a good class because I learned a lot about the security side of computers and that is interesting to people that don’t use computers. Programming Design Principles was a class that I found interesting because a lot of people don’t know what the computer must do to get things to work. Computer Systems and Hardware (CSH) was a good class because we learned about the hardware side of computers, and we were able to take apart a computer and learn about it. Operating Systems was a class that we learned about software and programs and how they work. Communications and Work Experience are the classes most people didn’t seem to enjoy, but for me I enjoyed them because we learned skills that we need for the future. The only module that I didn’t enjoy was the Maths for Information Technology. For a lot of people, you need to be good at Maths, and some people just find it difficult than others, but I still learned a lot and it wasn’t too bad.

The best event of the year was at Christmas. We had a Christmas quiz and that was fun. A lot of our group was at home during the quiz, but we were able to take part in the quiz and we enjoyed. During the quiz our group were able to talk to each other online and we enjoyed that.

The online learning was difficult at times because we had to do a lot of work and sometimes in a short space of time. I was able to get the assignments done this year, but the only thing is when I was given an assignment, I would start it and spend a few days at a time to get it finished early and out of the way. Sometimes it wasn’t too bad, but there were times where I found something difficult to understand and it would take me an hour or two just to get something small done and it was exhausting at times. When we had to learn online, we couldn’t get help like we would in the college and that was a challenge.

The staff in the college were nice and helpful. They would help anyone out if you needed help. They were friendly and easy to understand and talk to. My classmates were nice and a made friends with them. At the beginning of the year, we were supposed to be put into groups and go to a few places, but because the year that we had with Covid-19 that wasn’t possible.

Altogether this year hasn’t been good for everyone outside of the college, we still got our work done, even though we had to rush to get it done. But other than that, I had a good year this year and doing the level 5 course. I am thinking about the level 6 course I'll see what happens with that.

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Sean Arthur Putz

Computer Systems & Networks with Mobile Technologies (Network Tech.) Castlebar Campus
My name is Sean, I'm 21 years old and I'm from Westport. I'm a student in the Computer Systems and Networks Level 5 course; before starting this course, I was in Youthreach Ballinrobe, where I completed my Leaving Certificate Applied.

Why did you pick this course, why did you pick CCFE?

I've always had an interest in computers, particularly programming. CCFE seemed like the most accessible place to do a computer related PLC course.

How would rate the facilities in CCFE, the computer rooms, the canteen, the carpark.

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Well, we didn't spend much time in the college at all due to COVID. Still, in my short time there everything seemed decent, albeit I was never made aware of a canteen, nor did we have access to the carpark.

What modules did you enjoy, what modules did you not enjoy?

I really enjoyed the Programming module. It's really satisfying to put together programs, and I wish the course was more focused on that particular module. Although our teacher was lovely, I didn't enjoy work experience; because we weren't able to get work experience placements this year, our classes consisted of mostly paperwork and filling things out.

What was the best event this year, why?

The best even this year was certainly the Christmas quiz, hosted by Kitty Ganley. Most of our class got together in a voice call to watch / participate and although we didn't do all that great in the quiz, we had a great laugh talking to each other and commenting on the event itself. It was a really fun time, and I hope I get along as well with other classes as I did with this one.

Did you enjoy online learning?

There are some good sides and bad sides. I don't have to get up and drive to the college early in the morning, instead I can just crawl out of bed and be ready for class. It is isolating though. I certainly didn't get to know my class and teachers nearly as well as I would have in person.

How were the staff, how were your classmates?

Every member of staff was patient and kind with us, even when we maybe didn't deserve it. I'm looking forward to meeting them in person next year. My classmates this year were great. I got along with a good few of them despite the circumstances; some of us even played Among Us. I hope some of them like me do the Level 6 for this course.

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Office Administration (Westport Campus)
I chose to study Office Administration at Westport College of Further Education because I knew of people who had done the course before and they found a good job out of it and I hope it may do the same for me, if I don’t decide to further my studies at third-level. It seemed like an ideal course for me personally as I enjoy using a computer and learning new techniques. It’s a part-time course, therefore, it was super handy as, I could work after finishing up at college for the morning.

The course offers an array of different modules. From learning about Spreadsheets to improving your typing skills in Text Production classes. I have gained many skills from this course and I have found what weaknesses and what strengths I have. I really do feel that this course has so much to offer, to both young and mature students. Web Design is another module in this course which I enjoy very much.

I have met so many wonderful people coming into this course. Every one of us was shy at first but we have all come out of our shells and we are enjoying the year together. We all have different reasons for studying this course. Some want to further their education, some want to strengthen their skills and others want to get back out into the working environment.

Tanya Jaeger

Office Administration (Castlebar Campus)
This past year I have completed the Office Administration course and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am a mature student and have worked all my adult life but have not before had the opportunity to access formal education since leaving school, which has left me with experience but no formal qualifications. This course has bridged that gap for me.

The modules studied covered all the various aspects of office administration. From this I was able to see where my strengths and weaknesses lie and update my skills. I have even discovered, to my surprise, that I am very interested in Payroll and Bookkeeping. As a foreigner, this course was helpful too in introducing me to the way organisations operate under Irish and EU regulations. The lecturers are so professional and helpful, which was a great encouragement for me.

I have also made some lovely friends during the course. We have been there to help and encourage one another the past year and I am sure we will continue to do so in the future. All in all, this has been a very positive experience for me and I look forward to joining the workforce in the near future!

Louise Flanagan

Office Applications for The Public & Private Sector (Castlebar Campus)
I chose this course, as a mature student, to upskill in the office technology area. Having previously studied in this area in the 1990s, I felt this course would be very beneficial to me in seeking employment in the office administration sector. The course covers several modules including word processing, customer service and bookkeeping. The computerised elements of the bookkeeping and payroll modules was a fantastic asset for me as I had previously done the accounts and payroll manually in my own business. This course enabled me to enhance my typing skills as well as my business document layout and computer skills. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in studying part-time as this course is mornings only and this helped several students with part-time jobs and those with young families to retrain. The course also gives students an opportunity to apply for third level courses via CAO.

Tara Wallace

Medical And Legal Secretary
My time at this college was a year well spent given the on-going Covid 19 pandemic. The staff were friendly and very accommodating. They continued to encourage and push me through a difficult academic year and achieve my goal. My course offered various insights into different topics and new programmes which ultimately will stand to me for future employment opportunities. I have gained a vast amount of knowledge that will benefit me in my academic and day-to-day life. The decision to partake in this course was hugely beneficial.

Leanne Holmes

Business Studies With Software Applications (Castlebar Campus)
I loved my time here. I hope to do business in Sligo in September. This course gave me a good insight of what it will be like. I would highly recommend coming here if you have an interest in business

Robert Kenny

Business Administration (Castlebar Campus)
As a student studying Business Administration at CCFE, class of 2020, I found the course was very interesting, well-rounded, and well presented by the lecturers. I learnt important skills like typing and proof-reading which will greatly help me while furthering my education.

I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in starting their own business or unsure which business career field they would like to pursue because it covers a bit of everything!

I plan to use my certificate as a steppingstone to study Finance at Maynooth University.


Horticulture Level 6 (Westport Campus)
I started the Level 6 Horticulture course after a time away from education. The course content is up to date and relevant and deals with changes in horticulture practices. This course is helping me to plan and prepare for a career in sustainable horticulture.


Agriculture Level 6 (Westport Campus)
I am finding Agriculture Level 6 at WCFE to be brilliant and fun too. We are learning so much about large animals. The teachers are great and helpful which really makes the course for me.


Motor Technology (Westport Campus)
My studies in Motor Technology in WCFE have helped develop and expand my knowledge of auto mechanics, with both theory and practical classes giving me the confidence to work in this environment.


Animal Care (Westport Campus)
This is a one-year course designed to provide students with a range of practical and theoretical tuition in all aspects of the Animal Care industry. I would highly recommend this course as it not only accommodates students who have just left school, but also mature students and equips them with a fundamental knowledge of the Animal Care industry. It gives graduates a chance to pursue a range of opportunities in the areas of Veterinary Clinics, Dog Kennels, Catteries, Animal Sanctuaries and Pet Shops. It has been designed to meet a growing demand in Ireland for people to work in the Animal Care services. Graduates may also be eligible to progress to higher education courses in various colleges around the country.


Agriculture Level 5 (Westport Campus)
The Agricultural Level 5 course is an excellent opportunity for students looking to peruse a career in Agriculture. The course has shown me the opportunities I have as a farmer. The staff and teachers are very approachable and always willing to help. The course has the balance of practical and theory so each day is different. The course will provide me with the knowledge to attain my Green Cert and perhaps more importantly a career in the agricultural industry.

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