Continuing professional development (CPD) is the means by which dedicated professionals can seek to enhance their existing skillset.
Stranmillis University College’s vision is of “leading innovative professional practice” and this is clearly evidenced in its engagement with and commitment to continuing professional development for education professionals from all phases and sectors in Northern Ireland. The College is committed to improving and shaping educational practice and draws extensively on the research and scholarship of its staff to provide relevant, challenging and innovative courses to equip educators to be more effective in their roles.
The year 2015/16 saw a nine per cent increase in numbers enrolling upon our CPD short courses and our involvement with many schools and other educational settings means that our CPD has a direct and immediate impact on practice across Northern Ireland. We offer courses on key curricular areas of numeracy, literacy and ICT and have a strong profile in special educational needs. Other courses include dealing with bullying including cyberbullying, playful learning at foundation stage and a range of courses on pastoral care.
Partnerships and community engagement are central to the concept of CPD. Our learning hubs in particular provide an opportunity for schools across Northern Ireland to avail of Stranmillis continuing professional development opportunities at regional host schools. These schools then act as a hub for their local schools to come together to learn. In this way we are able to build strategic relationships with a number of schools across Northern Ireland, and develop and sustain collaborative partnerships, promoting the concept of learning communities.
Master’s level study provides another avenue through which many educational practitioners choose to continue their professional development journey. We have a wide range of courses at master’s level to suit teachers and other professionals working in education who wish to critically reflect on pertinent issues and enhance their professional learning. Study at master’s level equips professionals with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead innovative professional practice in their own contexts. The master’s level programmes provide a blended approach, incorporating a range of face-to-face and online learning opportunities. They encourage professionals to share their perspectives, cultures and practices and to challenge each other’s assumptions about practice. Graduates from these programmes will be well equipped to manage and co-ordinate the work of a wide variety of practitioners and to contribute to the further development of research and policy making.
Master’s level programmes on offer at Stranmillis include a Master of Teaching, a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies and a Master of Education with specialisms available in Pastoral Care, Education Studies or Special Education Needs: Literacy.
Stranmillis University College is therefore ideally placed to offer a full range of development opportunities to anyone working in the education sphere, from one-off short courses to complete master’s level qualifications.
For further information contact
Dr Patricia Eaton,
Director of Teaching and Learning,
Stranmillis University College, Belfast, BT9 5DY