Galway Community College


Overview of Career Guidance at Galway Community College

Galway Community College Career Guidance service involves facilitating the full and holistic development of the student. It encompasses the three separate, but interlinked, areas of:

  • Personal and Social Development
  • Educational guidance
  • Career guidance

This involves learning to know and value students talents and abilities and effectively manage their personal transitions while at the same time learn to value and respect others while making a positive contribution to society.

Our aim is to provide a caring atmosphere, where our students are encouraged and helped to develop their unique gifts and talents. By providing for the intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs of each individual; we in partnership with parents/guardians, shall foster the academic and vocational skills which enable our students to attain their maximum potential.

'Galway Community College guidance plan aims to assist the holistic development of all students so that they learn to know and value their talents and abilities and effectively while at the same time learn to value and respect others and make a positive contribution to their commuinity’

GCC Principal Mr. Brian Melia.

Counselling is a key part of the school guidance programme, offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis. Counselling may include personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling or combinations of these, provided by the Pastoral Care Team or cooperating external support agencies.

Aims and Objectives of the Career Guidance at Galway Community College

The aims and objectives are identified as a guide for both students and staff to assist in developing an awareness and acceptance of all students’ talents and abilities and opportunities. Also to facilitate students to take responsibility for themselves; make informed choices about their lives and to follow through on those choices.

To help all students in the school to:

  • develop an awareness and acceptance of their talents and abilities
  • identify and explore opportunities
  • grow in independence and take responsibility for themselves
  • help to make informed choices about their lives and follow through on these choices.

One of the aims of any secondary school is to provide an academic service to its students that will fulfil their needs and allows them to pursue their chosen field of further study, training, or enable them to enter the world of work. However, this provision by a school only attends, in an narrow way, to one aspect of the adolescent’s needs.

Objectives of Guidance Programme

This programme sets out the specific activities and learning experiences that will be provided for students throughout the junior and senior cycles (the guidance programme), for example:

  • Transition programme from primary schools and introduction for transfer students as part of the Wellbeing module
  • Choice of subjects/levels and awareness of any implications for later third-level or career choice
  • Study skills, including time management
  • Personal and Social Education
  • Criteria and procedures for personal/group counselling
  • Support in progression to other educational agencies
  • Referral to outside relevant agencies and supports
  • Introduction to the world of work, including learning about employment rights and responsibilities
  • Career events, open days and workshops
  • Higher and further education events
  • Research and ICT skills so that students can be self-directed in their career exploration and development
  • Aptitude, personality and career assessments
  • Application to ACCESS and scholarship programmmes
  • Support academic attainment
  • Career Guidance programme as an integral part of the Pastoral Care Team and promotion of positive behaviour

Career Planning (Use of Abilities, Aptitudes and Interest Assessment):

REACH+ Programme

The REACH+ Career and College Preparation Programme is Ireland's most comprehensive, in-depth and multi-format careers programme available. Much more than any textbook, it is a complete, integrated, classroom learning environment that supports Students and Guidance Counsellors.

Unlike any other careers resource available, it contains four key components:

  • The REACH programme book
  • The Students Online Career File & Portfolio
  • Guidance Counsellor Administration, Resources and Lesson Plans
  • The REACH+ Network Support and Training.

The REACH+ programme has been designed to facilitate the delivery of Career and Educational Guidance in Senior Cycle.

The programme covers five core areas:

  • Self - Assessment
  • Study Skill
  • World of Work
  • World of Education

Students are encouraged to engage in a wide variety of career activities and research designed to prepare them for the transition from secondary school to work or college. Students taking part in the program each receive a Student Workbook and gain access to REACH+ Online, where they can complete additional exercises, do career research and monitor their study performance over the course of their senior cycle. 

Guidance counsellors gain access to an easy to use online management system that enables them to keep track of students' progress, and prepare and deliver classes using PowerPoints, videos and guidelines offered through lesson plans. 

This consists of three main areas:

  • Student /Class Management and View
  • Resources (lesson plans, Power Points, videos etc)
  • School Guidance Website

Customised online programme for different student groups
In response to requests from Guidance Counsellors, the online programme has been enhanced by the inclusion of a facility enabling administrators to tailor the Student Career File to include only those Apps appropriate to their particular school programme. So TY students, for example, can access a different set of Apps to LC students.

New student online Appointments Diary and Calendar
Administrators can now manage their appointments diary and calendar online. If a Guidance Counsellor activates this feature, students can request a meeting through their REACH+ file, without having to visit the Guidance Counsellor's office to make the request.

The CourseFinder allows users to search both PLC and undergraduate courses using any combination of filters including; Career Interests, Career Sectors, Regions, Colleges, CAO points, availability of QQI Progression routes, new courses, no maths required and many more.  

Educational and Vocational Guidance

Galway Community College seeks to assist students in developing self-management skills which will lead to effective choices and decisions about their lives. Our aim is to provide a caring atmosphere, where our students are encouraged and supported in developing their unique gifts and talents.This entails providing for the intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs of every individual. In partnership with parents/guardians, we will endeavour to foster the academic and vocational skills which enable our students to attain their maximum potential.

The Work of the Guidance Counsellor

The Guidance Counsellor is involved in guidance and counselling related activities such as:

  • Planning and delivering the school Guidance Programme
  • Providing one-to-one personal, educational and career counselling
  • Teaching Guidance and Wellbeing classes at Junior and Senior Cycle
  • Assisting students in the transition from (a) Primary to Secondary school (b) Junior Cycle to Senior Cycle (c) Second Level to Higher/Further Education/training and employment
  • Organising trips to career events (e.g. NUIG Open Day)
  • Assessment using psychometric instruments and inventories, to link student’s aptitudes and interests to career options
  • Promoting research and ICT skills, so that students can be self-directed in their career exploration and development (e.g. Qualifax, CareersPortal)
  • Study skills
  • Subject choice for the Junior Cycle
  • Subject choice for the Senior Cycle
  • Supporting students in choosing subject levels appropriate to their educational abilities.
  • Senior Cycle Programme Options (e.g. TY, Leaving Certificate Established, LCVP and LCA)
  • Third Level application procedures (e.g. CAO, SUSI, Scholarships, NUIG Access)
  • Further Education application procedures (e.g. PLC)
  • Apprenticeships and Training Courses
  • Third Level Access Programmes (e.g. HEAR and DARE)
  • Third Level Outreach Programmes (e.g.NUIGTY Taster Days, DEIS Links Access)
  • Organising guest speakers (e.g. Third Level Colleges and Further Education Colleges, past students)
  • Providing information on grants (e.g. SUSI) and scholarships
  • Interview preparation

Making an Appointment with the Guidance Counsellor

The Guidance Department operates an open door policy. Students can request an appointment by meeting with the Guidance Counsellor at any stage throughout the course of the school day or through the REACH+ facility online.

Parents/Guardians are welcome to contact the Guidance Counsellor through the secretary's office to discuss matters in relation to their student or to arrange an appointment.

Guidance Library

Students can access prospectuses and other types of careers information from the Guidance Office on request.

Guidance Noticeboard

Students are encouraged to keep a close eye on the guidance noticeboard.

Useful Links to Guidance Websites


Central Applications Office.The higher education institutions in the Republic of Ireland have delegated to CAO the task of processing centrally applications to their first year undergraduate courses.

nuig 1.PNG

Established in 1845, National University of Ireland, Galway is one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. It has a distinguished reputation for teaching and research excellence.


The State Examinations Commission SEC is responsible for the development, assessment, accreditation and certification of the second-level examinations of the Irish state.


GMITGalway-Mayo Institute ofTechnology is based at five locations in the west of Ireland — two in Galway city (Dublin Road and Cluain Mhuire), two in County Galway (Letterfrack and Mountbellew) and one in County Mayo (Castlebar).


SOLAS is building a world class Further Education and Training (FET) sector to help fuel Ireland's future. Our Programmes are responsive to the needs of learners and the requirements of a changed and changing economy.


Universities & Colleges Administration Services (UCAS) is a Central organisation through which applications are processed for entry to higher education.

Galway Community College,
Wellpark Rd,

 091 755464

© 2024 Galway Community College