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Lisa Shields

Steven Always dreamed of a PE Teaching Qualification 

Having just completed the Leaving Certificate, Lisa Shiels began her third level education journey at at ATU Donegal in 2010. Lisa’s love for all things sport encouraged her to study on the Bachelor of Business in Sports Development and Coaching programme at ATU Donegal.

“I loved campus life. I played for the ATU Donegal ladies GAA team. I was delighted to receive a scholarship in Year 4 of my studies”.

“There was lots to get involved in. I love athletics and I have represented Ireland Internationally. The Scholarship helped to fund my sporting trips which was fantastic. I loved every minute at ATU Donegal and I made so many friends that I am still in touch with all the time. The nightlife was amazing, we had many fun times. Being originally from Donegal, I enjoyed being so close to home”.

“The lecturers were great, we had some lectures in theatres and we had lots of practical lectures in the gym facilities within the college. The programme also had a work placement module. I got to go back to my secondary school for my work placement. This was a really proud moment for me. I got to see what PE Teaching would really be like as a career and hands on experience of what was involved. I really enjoyed it and it strengthened my love of the career even more.

Having graduated in 2014, Lisa had always dreamed of a career in PE teaching. Having been unsuccessful in progressing to The Professional Master of Education in Physical Education, Lisa decided to take a break from her studies and set out on her travels to Australia.

“During my time in Australia, I was lucky to do a lot of travelling around and seeing different cities and towns. I worked as a Sports Development Officer in the University of Queensland and I coached athletics. This was great experience and I learned so much during this time. It was wonderful to be able to travel the world and work in the area of sport, which I enjoyed.”

“I returned home in 2017 and the dream of becoming a PE Teacher was still with me. I didn’t know how to go about achieving this dream. I met one of my lecturers from ATU Donegal who told me that a new Bachelor of Science Honours with Sports and Exercise programme had been developed and that it had the missing modules that I needed in order to progress to the Masters programme in UL. I joined this programme in 2017. I felt both excited and nervous to be back studying again but I enjoyed being back at ATU Donegal and felt like I was getting a step closer to my PE Teaching goal”.

After successful completion of this programme, Lisa reapplied for The Professional Master of Education in Physical Education and was successfully granted a place in the University of Limerick (UL).

“Anybody wishing to pursue a career in PE Teaching is very fortunate to have the option at ATU Donegal today. The new Sports and Exercise programme at ATU Donegal has a progression agreement in place with UL where students can then progress to complete a masters programme. This means that you can progress directly from ATU Donegal to the Professional Master of Education in Physical Education programme at UL”.

Lisa has just completed her Master in Education, Physical Education at UL in 2020 and has been offered a job as a PE Teacher. “I am excited to embark on my dream career as a PE Teacher”, says Lisa.