Addressing the barriers standing between second and third level education in Ireland
FinTech 1 in 6 of those in their first year of college in Ireland will leave their course prematurely. When questioned as to why they chose to leave, many cited a lack of clarity and realistic expectations when making the transition into a new learning environment.
Slingshot Academy, run entirely by third level students and recent graduates, believes that by empowering 15-19 year olds through an exchange of knowledge and experience, the dropout rate can be lowered in a sustainable fashion whilst helping young people to realise their ambitions.
How does the Academy operate?
The Academy runs a programme of monthly events in the National Gallery of Ireland in which students are offered talks and practical workshops staged both by final year college students and by industry experts. Long term mentoring is offered for those attendees who wish to look at certain courses in greater depth or simply query the mentors on their options as a secondary school student. It is this unique combination of relatable experience and knowledge which makes the mentoring model so effective in providing meaningful guidance to the attendees.
What next for Slingshot?
To date, the events have focused on the areas of STEM, entrepreneurship and personal development, however students and leaders in finance and, later, in business and the arts will be phased in early in 2016 as more and more of Ireland’s 15-19 year olds are reached. Key to the success of Slingshot is impacting upon as many Irish students as possible, and as such; the academy will be brought to Galway in January, as well as Cork and Limerick in February. Plans are afoot to expand the Slingshot Academy program on a national scale in the near future.