Adult Education Guidance

Jason Donohoe & Siobhan Mulleary
1 Churchview Sq.
Telephone: (049) 437 7001
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

What is AEGIS?

Cavan Adult Education Guidance Information Service (AEGIS) was established in Cavan VEC in 2006 as part of a countrywide initiative to promote and support adult education. It offers information, advice and guidance on training, education and careers for adults who are interested in returning to education. The service has an Information Library open to the public with information on courses in Cavan and nationwide.

The service aims to inform adults of the full range of learning opportunities available to them and to assist them in making choices that fit with their work and/or life goals.

 AEGIS provides information on

  • Options for adults interested in returning to learning
  • Full time and part time courses
  • Application forms and procedures
  • Grants and Funding options
  • Careers Information

 In addition the adults are assisted in

  • Identifying long term goals and interests
  • Education options they need to take to achieve these goals
  • Which options best suit their work/home life
  • The supports available to them on their return to education

Adults are offered one- to-one guidance sessions with an experienced Adult Guidance Counsellor, to identify their goals. Clients are then provided with information on how and where educational goals can be achieved. Some typical comments from users of the service are as follows:  

The service is available to any adult interested in returning to education or who would like to find out what courses are out there. In addition to the guidance and information practical help and support is available to adults already participating in educational courses who would like some assistance with study skills, time management, stress management etc. Staff are also available to give group presentations and information sessions at locations around the county as requested.    

The AEGIS service is free and confidential.

Returning to Education

Issues to consider when returning to education are:

  • Study Options  -  What are my study/course options?
  • Funding Opportunities

Study Options

You are thinking about going back to education. Maybe you have a few questions such as what do I want to do? How do I go about it? What are the options available?

To help answer these questions here are a few pointers to consider

  • Why do I want to go back to study?
  • Identify what your work or study interests are
  • What are your skills, education, work experience or qualities?

You are welcome to connect with the Guidance Service if you wish to further discuss your options at any time.

There are a range of opportunities available to you through Cavan VEC Adult Education Services. Some of which are:

Improve your Reading & Writing Skills - Cavan VEC Adult Learning Centre

Junior Certificate - FETAC Levels 3/4 - Cavan VEC Adult Learning Centre

Leaving Certificate

Learn in Your Community - Cavan VEC Community Education Services

Post Leaving Cert Courses -

Funding Opportunities

  • Back To Education Allowance

    If you are unemployed, getting a One-Parent Family Payment or have a disability, you may be able to pursue approved second-or third-level education courses through the Back to Education Allowance scheme. Participants in the scheme get a standard rate of payment that is not means-tested. 

    The allowance is payable for the duration of the course. If you were previously getting an unemployment or jobseeker's payment, you will not get the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) during the summer period between academic years. If you are unable to secure employment during the summer months, you may be able to apply for Jobseeker's Benefitt or Jobseeker's Allowance. However, you may continue to get BTEA if you are on work placement or experience that is an essential part of your course. To qualify for the Back to Education Allowance, you must be at least 21 years of age (24 years of age for a third-level postgraduate course).

    If you wish to attend a second level course you must be getting one of the social welfare payments listed below for at least 6 months immediately before you start the course (3 months if you are a jobseeker and out of the formal education system for at least 2 years).

    If you wish to attend a third level course you must be getting one of the social welfare payments listed below for 12 months immediately before you start the course (9 months if you are assessed and approved by FÁS under the National Employment Action Plan or a Facilitator from DSP).

    Qualifying social welfare payments are:

    • Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit
    • Farm Assist
    • One-Parent Family Payment
    • Deserted Wife's Benefit/Allowance
    • Widow/Widower's (Contributory) Pensionn
    • Widow/Widower's (Non-Contributory) Pensionn
    • Prisoners Wife's Allowance
    • Carer's Allowance (after your caring responsibilities have finished)

    If you are getting Illness Benefit for 2 years or more you can also also qualify for the Allowance

  • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme

This is a daytime general education and work-related training programme. Adults can acquire valuable educational qualifications while still retaining social welfare benefits. The programme is run on a full-time basis over a period of two years. Participants in Cavan can study subjects such as Childcare, Business Studies, Humanities, Art, Craft and Design and Information Technology as part of the programme.
For further information please refer to

Please click on  the link for the VTOS Information 2012 2013

  • Maintenance Grant

    The maintenance grant is the main source of financial help available from the Irish State for students in full-time Post Leaving Certificate Courses (PLCs) and full-time higher education undergraduate/postgraduate courses. Support is available to eligible students in most colleges in Ireland as well as eligible Irish students in many colleges in Northern Ireland, the UK and other EU States. For eligible students, the maintenance grant is there to help with the various costs of participating in further or higher education. Students on part-time courses, access or foundation courses (in higher education institutions) and short courses are not eligible to apply for a maintenance grant.

Further Information can be found at

Other Services

Other services AEGIS include:

  • CV Preparation
  • Writing Cover Letters
  • Interview Techniques
  • Completing Application Forms
  • Completing CAO / UCAS forms
  • Goal Setting & Action Planning
  • Job Search Skills
  • Study Methods  




Useful Links

Funding Information Links – Student Finance contains information on financial support for further and higher education, including the various financial assistance schemes, information on course fees and details on eligibility requirements for free fees.


University /College Links

www.pac.iePostgraduate Application Centre– Central Applications office

www.cavaninstitute.ieCavan Institute

www.ait.ieAthlone Institute of Technology

www.dit.ieDublin Institute of Technology University of Ireland (Maynooth & Galway)– Distance Learning with DCU - Use to search and compare accrediated courses from 14 Institutes of Technology.


   Job Vacancy Links – Job Search– Job search– Job search– Job search - Job Search


       Other Links – Irish National Database of all Third Level and Further Education Courses – Links to a range of career related resources -Provides Information on specific  occupations / job roles. – The organisation that manages applications to UK Higher Education Courses– Department of Education & Science – National Qualifications Authority of Ireland – Citizens Information– National Centre for Guidance in Education in Ireland – National Disability Authority - Graduate Link - Free Psychometric Testing - Sample Aptitude Tests


Outreach venues and times for the Adult Guidance & Information Service:

Ballyjamesduff Adult Education Centre - Every second Friday from 9.30am-11.30am.
Bailieborough Library - Every second Tuesday from 4 – 5pm.
Cootehill Library - Wednesday (on demand only)
Shercock Health Centre - Thursday (on demand only)
Please contact Siobhan on 049 4377001 to find out when the Guidance Service will be next in the above venues.

Useful Documents

AEGIS Brochure

CV Preparation Guide

Cover Letter Guidelines

Diary of an Adult Education Guidance Counsellor

Investigating Options for Training and Education

Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply Trends in Education and Training

Progression in Cavan VEC

CAO Factsheet - What is CAO

CAO Mature entry

Dates for your diary for August

Interview Skills

Time Management Skills

Comments from past users of the service

Mature Entry to Nursing - Preparation for the Written Assessment