Rosie Hegarty – BA Hons Early Childhood Studies Blended Learning Success
Early Years & Montessori
The BA Hons Early Childhood Studies Blended Learning course allows students to complete their Level 8 degree from anywhere in the world through online classes and one-to-one tutor support.
Portobello Institute makes your BA Hons Early Childhood Studies Blended Learning possible.
For recent graduate Rosie Hegarty, being able to study online from Donegal allowed her to balance work, study and family life.
She valued the one-to-one tutor support, particularly for making the connection with tutors while studying online.
“My tutor Marguerita Magennis definitely has been so supportive, so kind and encouraging and especially doing the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies blended learning in the middle of lockdown with my own commitments at home and young children at home.
“The guidance, support, direction, wisdom, laughter and student support that I received from her was excellent, I‘ve never had anything like it that inspired me and encouraged me to go on and do my masters.
“It was just brilliant; she was so good and there for anything at all by email or text and so quick to come back to me.
“I think everybody lost a little bit of self-esteem and confidence through lockdown so really I can’t thank Marguerita enough and I’m looking forward to taking on my master’s.
“I think having the one tutor and the same tutors throughout the whole course was definitely a massively positive experience. It made a big difference,” she said.
Why do the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies Blended Learning?
“I am a pre-school manager up here in Donegal, in Inishowen and what really enticed me to Portobello, first of all, was that I could do it online, I wouldn’t have to attend classroom-based learning while working and raising a young family. So being able to do it online made it a real runner for me.
“I had done my Level 6 quite some time ago and I was going to do my Level 7 locally but because that meant you had to do classroom-based learning every second or third weekend while I was working full-time with a young family on top of that it didn’t really work well for me so then I found out about Portobello and it being online was the difference that made it possible to do it.
“I have always been passionate about early childhood, it’s a passion I’ve always had I just never had the opportunity to do it because I had to work and had my priorities with my family.
“The online opportunity was massive, to have your tutors doing webinars, all of that contact and support without having to go into the classroom made it doable.
“When my children went to bed at night I could log on and work myself. Webinars were conducted at a time that suited, they might be later in the evening and the tutor always coordinated the times that was a massive help, they were not on during the daytime when I was working.
“Online learning really worked for me, the portal ePortobello was explained in the induction, the support from the tutors with webinars and one to one support and the feedback continuously was quick and efficient.
“I felt that I had the best opportunity to do it online, I felt like I didn’t miss anything by not being in the classroom.
“As a manager, I did the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies Blended Learning degree to encourage and support our employees and room leaders into further education and training. If the manager isn’t doing it it’s very hard to ask our employees to do it. The quality of the service you provide for the children improves too, the higher qualified the staff, the better quality of the service.
“The aim is to improve the quality of our service we deliver and the quality of the experiences for our children. Research has shown that professionals with degree-level education have a positive effect and positive outcomes for the children so ultimately that is the big thing.
“I found it very good because Marguerita was always there on hand to keep our direction and let us know where we should be at different stages when we were handing in drafts she kept up and would check-in. She is so experienced in what she does, we couldn’t see how everything would come together in the end but she did. And it did, it was brilliant how it all came together.
“The one to one tutor-student support is invaluable. We were all set up in a group but Marguerita made time for one to one support, we had what we would call ‘virtual coffees’ and it was checking in and how I was getting on and it was so comfortable, so at ease and anything I had to ask I just felt so good, supported, comfortable and natural.
“I was able to build a relationship with my tutor and it made me feel comfortable studying from home it made it that bit easier.
“When we were in lockdown for so long our confidence and self-esteem were knocked down a bit and Marguerita reinforced that and kept us on track. I knew what I was doing and affirmed things in myself so I found that really positive and really helpful.
“My computer skills have gotten better through learning to do this online where I wouldn’t have had those skills before, coming back into education has really helped that. I gained confidence as a practitioner, being further qualified supports that automatically if you are higher qualified it really helps,” she said.
Rosie is enrolled on our Level 9 MA Early Childhood Studies which started in October 2021. She hopes to go on and try tutoring after completing her masters.
“The role model and experience I have had from Marguerita has influenced that and it’s something I think I could do as an adult on top of working in the preschool during the day. I’m delighted, I absolutely would recommend it I have had a brilliant experience. The help I have received has been massive,” she said.
Portobello Institute offers a range of courses in Early Childhood Studies. See our department page here.
Follow @portobelloearlyyears on Instagram.