DIT Access and Civic Engagement team moves to Grangegorman

25th July 2012:  The full DIT Access and Civic Engagement (ACE) team has arrived on the Grangegorman campus – the first full operational unit to move their offices on to the new campus.


ACE team pictured together in their new Grangegorman home

Known as ACE for short, the name is an appropriate description for all this team does! Led by Julie Bernard, the team works on a wide range of projects, including with students, schools and community partners in the Dublin 7 region.  Based in their new offices they will plan to build on their activities in the area. Last year for example, the team was involved in the following activities with Dublin 7 partners:

  • Students Learning With Communities  is a programme that supports DIT staff, students, and community partners collaborating on course-based projects for mutual benefit.  In the last year they worked on community-based research projects with voluntary organisations based in the Carmichael Centre in Dublin 7 (including the Dyspraxia Association of Ireland,  Care Alliance Ireland, AMEN and CanTeen); learning and research projects in five different disciplines with Wells for Zoe – a Dublin 7-based Irish/Malawian charity; and with Lifeline, an urban regeneration project based in Grangegorman. 
  • The Access Service supports students in the schools and community in the Grangegorman area including Mount Carmel Secondary School, St Paul’s CBS Brunswick St and St Joseph’s Secondary School Stanhope Street, including academic support, college taster programmes, higher education information programmes and individual and family support for students applying to higher education.  Thirty-two students from Dublin 7 came through the Access Service last year and are now studying in DIT on undergraduate programmes including Computer Science, Business Management, Mechanical Engineering and Social Care.   The Access Service is also active at primary level and recently hosted an awards ceremony  in DIT Aungier Street for students nominated by their teachers for their high level of achievement in academic, sporting or community service endeavours.  They included sixty 5th and 6th class students attending inner-city Dublin primary schools including Scoil Mhuire Iosaf,  St Mary's Place Boys National School, Stanhope St National School,  St Gabriel’s National School, St Paul’s Primary and George's Hill Primary.
  • Mature Student Access Programme is also very active in Dublin 7 and seven students from the area will start their studies on the foundation programme in September.  Ten students from the area graduated successfully from the programme this year and will begin their undergraduate studies at DIT in September. 
  • Computer Learning in Communities (CLiC) programme aims to encourage people to improve their ICT skills and their employment potential.  The programme provides hardware, software, technical support, training courses and tutors to a number of centres in the city, including three in the Dublin 7 areas - Holy Family Parish Centre, Prussia Street; The Gateway Project, Manor Street; and O’Devaney Gardens.  In addition, the programme works with primary and secondary schools such as St. Paul’s, Brunswick Street; George’s Hill, Halston Street; and St. Joseph’s, Stanhope Street.  CLiCmobile has also been developed to reach out to the elderly, homeless, unemployed and youth at risk and to offer computer-based courses to them also.

While very active in the Dublin 7 communities, the ACE team is also involved in other areas of Dublin, including in Ballymun.  The Ballymun Music Programme has been a long-running and highly successful partnership between DIT and local schools in Ballymun, providing instrumental tuition and ensemble opportunities in the recently opened Music Room.  Tuition begins at primary level and continues up to leaving certificate and third level.

Dr. Noel O’Connor, Director of Student Services in DIT, said “I am really delighted to welcome the entire ACE team to Grangegorman.  Now that they have settled in to their new offices on campus, they are right at the heart of DIT and will be making sure that access and civic engagement play a significant role in the development of our future campus.  With strong connections already established in the Dublin 7 community, they will work closely with the Grangegorman Development Agency in its community liaison role, and with Anne Casey, Employment Co-ordinator with the Labour and Learning Group, which includes DIT, GDA, VEC, DCC, HSE and the North West Inner City Network.”


Pictured left to right, Michael Hand, CEO of Grangegorman Development Agency, Julie Bernard, Head, DIT Access and Community Engagement, and Paul Horan, Head, Campus Planning in DIT.

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