students laughing outdoors east quad

Research shows that nearly two thirds of students who withdraw from college do so within the first year of their studies. Data from TU Dublin's Retention Office suggests if a student is at risk of withdrawing they are more likely to do so within the first six weeks. Support at the beginning of a student’s academic life is therefore critical to student engagement and sense of belonging in college                                                  

In response to this need the Career Development Centre designed the Connect, Commit, Communicate initiative.  During the workshop students discuss issues they may be faced with when making the transition into higher education and encouraged to come up with effective coping and development strategies.  Specifically, students are encouraged to:

Connect – to course material, classmates, college activities, sports and societies, career exploration…
Commit – attend lectures, submit course work on time, engagement in college life, employability development..
Communicate – with classmates, lecturers, family, college support services, career development centre..

Learning outcomes:
  • Know more about the ‘transition’ into 3rd level 
  • Become aware of how you are making the transition 
  • Introduce yourself to other classmates 
  • Increase awareness of supports and engagement opportunities 
  • Develop a personal action plan to manage your journey academic, social, personal and vocational (employability* journey through college)



The workshop was developed in response to a number of key agendas and objectives of TU Dublin - namely Student Engagement, Employability and Retention. 

Future Goals
  • to ensure that every first year has the opportunity to participate in the workshop within the first six weeks of starting college
  • to support first year tutors and other campus life colleagues to deliver the workshop, thereby ensuring its sustainability 

Transition into First Year

TU Student Transition; Expectations; Engagement and Retention

*Employability is "the development of a set of aptitudes, attitudes and attributes which enable TU Dublin students and graduates to develop academically, vocationally, socially and personally, empowering them to contribute meaningfully to society and the economy in career paths which are personally fulfilling and successful”. (Kilmartin, 2014)