The Role of the Access Service at ITB
The Access Service is responsible for coordinating and developing the Institute’s Access Programme and for implementing policies to ensure that access to third level education becomes a reality for students who are currently under represented at third level. The focus of the Access Service is to provide opportunities to students who traditionally might have found it difficult to access third level education, as well as to promote positive perceptions of the value of, and the enjoyment that can be gained from, education generally.
The Access Service aims to assist:
- Socio-economically disadvantaged learners
- Mature/Adult learners
- Learners with a disability
- Learners who do not have the usual Leaving Certificate qualifications but who can meet entry requirements in other ways
- Learners from the travelling community and ethnic minorities
ITB's Access Officer is Adrienne Harding.
Adrienne can be contacted at 01 885 1015 or at Adrienne.Harding@itb.ie.
The HEAR Scheme applies to the University sector and the Dublin Institute of Technology. ITB operates its own access programme called REACH.
REACH Access Programme
What is the REACH Programme ?
ITB's REACH programme is an admissions scheme which offers entry on ITB’s courses on reduced points. The REACH programme was developed by ITB to help support school leavers (who have completed an Irish Leaving Certificate) from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who may not traditionally go on to third level. REACH applicants are assessed on their financial, social and cultural status. Eligibility for participation in the programme is not dependent on the school you attend or the designation that your school may have. Applications are welcome from any student who meets the criteria for the programme.
ITB has a reserved a number of places on its courses for REACH students at reduced leaving certificate points. The REACH places are spread across all the courses on offer and consequently a student may not be offered their first choice, but might be offered a subsequent course choice in the Institute. The order of preference on the CAO application form should at all times reflect your genuine preference choice.
In addition to meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course, REACH applicants are assessed on their financial, social and cultural status. The following are considered to assess eligibility :
- Whether your family received means-tested payments from the Dept. of Social Protection for at least 26 weeks in 2012.
- Whether you belong to a group that is under-represented in higher education based on the occupation and employment status of your parents or guardians. Under-represented socio-economic groups are non-manual workers, semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers and agricultural workers.
- Whether you have completed five years in a second level schools that takes part in the Delivery Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) scheme run by the Department of Education & Skills.
- Whether you live in an area in which there is concentrated disadvantage – i.e. high unemployment, poverty and very few facilities in the community.
How applications are assessed ?
Applicants are assessed based on the submitted application form, the academic reference and supporting documentation submitted.
The criteria used to select students for the programme are
(a) Financial circumstances;
(b) Social background;
(c) Personal statement (which will be used to assess your interest in the course and your commitment and motivation to succeed at third level);
(d) Leaving Certificate results and
(e) Academic reference completed by the School Principal or Guidance Counsellor.
The applicant must ensure that the School Reference section is completed in detail by the School Principal / Year Head / Form Teacher / Guidance Counsellor. This reference is a vital tool used in the selection process and must be submitted to support your application. If your school wishes the reference to remain confidential, it should be noted in the School Reference section of the application form and the reference can be submitted directly to the ITB Access Officer.
We need to be able to assess the total family income. The documentation you will need to submit will depend on your family circumstances (i.e. employed, self-employed or unemployed).
Employed or Self-Employed:
If your parent(s) received an income from employment, self-employment, land, farming or renting property you should submit a P21 or a Notice of Assessment for 2011. Submit all pages including front and back. If your parent(s) are exempt from paying tax, provide a tax exempt letter from Revenue. Supply document for both parents. If you parents are jointly assessed one document is sufficient.
What is a P21?
A P21 is a statement of total income, tax credits and tax paid for a particular year for people in paid employment who pay all of their income tax under PAYE. You do not automatically receive a P21 statement from Revenue, you must request this document. Your P60 will not be accepted. The quickest and easiest way to get your parent(s) P21 is to request it online at www.revenue.ie. You can also request a P21 by forwarding your parent(s) P60 for 2011 to their local Revenue Office and ask for a P21. It is essential to apply for a P21 early as it can take up to 8 weeks to issue.
What is a Notice of Assessment?
A Notice of Assessment would have been sent out when your parent(s) completed their Pay and File tax return for 2011.
Contact your local Revenue Office or www.revenue.ie for more information.
If your parent(s) received an income from The Department of Social Protection (DSP) in the year ending 31st December 2012 you complete page 7 of the application form ensuring that the following information is provided:
- The total amount of social welfare income received in 2012;
- The name of the person(s) receiving the payment;
- The name of the payment(s) received.
Download the REACH Application form here.
Please note that students who wish to be considered for the REACH Programme must;
(a) have made an application through the CAO and
(b) completed the ITB REACH application form.
(c) meet the minimum entry requirements for the relevant courses, (i.e. required number of passes, individual subject requirements), details of which are published in the institute’s prospectus and on this website.
Due to demand the closing date for receipt of applications in ITB has been extended to 5pm on Tuesday 30th April 2013. You will also need to submit supporting financial documents relating to your household income by this date.
Completed applications are to be submitted to :
The Access Officer,
Blanchardstown Road North, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
One of the aims of the Access Programme has been to promote links with Primary and Second Level schools, particularly those designated as disadvantaged. Part of this remit has been to devise, in collaboration with the schools, initiatives for students who might be interested in pursuing third level education. Many of the activities are targeted at promoting awareness of the variety and nature of courses on offer as well as promoting the benefits of further education generally. The activities also have very specific aims including the following:
- To help create an awares of ITB with primary & secondary level students
- To allow students to participate in educational activities at ITB in a fun and non threatening environment
- To inform students generally about the range and content of courses offered at ITB
- To encourage students to view third level education as a desirable and attainable option
- To encourage students to opt to continue their education at ITB
- To enable ITB to target parents and the community generally as an Institute resource
There are many initiatives underway, some of which include:
- Robotics Summer School
- Science Week
- Schools Taster Programme
- Languages Access Programme
Robotics Summer School
ITB runs a Robotics Summer School for children from four local Primary schools - St. Phillip’s Senior National School, Mountview, Ladyswell National School, Mulhuddart, St Patrick’s Senior National School, Corduff and Scoil Mhuire Senior National School, Blakestown.
In June each year over one hundred 5th and 6th class children from the four primary schools, as well as the Blanchardstown Youth Service, participate in the summer school. The goal of the summer school is to introduce children to the exciting and challenging worlds of information technology. The children work together on building robots as well as learning how to create a Web Page and how to use Multi Media Game Building. The summer school culminates in a 'Robot Show' and 'Graduation' on the final day where the children are joined by their parents and friends.
ITB’s 2009 Science week was launched In November 2009 with a distinctly a maths focus. With financial support secured from the Dormant Account Funds ITB ran two maths focused programmes namely the “Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus” and “Working It Out”.
Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus
The interactive Magic Mathworks Travelling Circuls event targeted 125 local 1st year secondary school students. Magic Mathworks is a travelling hands-on maths exhibition. Its touring maths lab demonstrates and explores a multisensory approach to the learning of mathematics based on the Multiple Embodiment Principle of Z P Dienes. Particpants experiencing maths through sight, sound, touch and movement.
Working It Out
Working It Out was delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement and targeted 4 local primary schools resulting in 120 student participating in the event. Working It Out takes the maths out of the textbooks and into the real world. Using penalty shoot-outs, basketball, skipping, darts and bingo, students get a chance to show off their skills and have fun expressing their schores as fractions, percentages, ratios and averages.
Schools Taster Programme
ITB TASTER (Taste And See That Education Rewards) programme targets transition and 5th year students. The programme is designed to give the students an experience of attending a third level institute and expose them to the opportunities available.
The programme covers modules in a number of areas – Languages, Business, Creative Digital Media, Social Care, Engineering, Computing and Sport, each one designed to give the students a flavour of life at third level. Over 120 students from 11 schools in the surrounding areas - Dublin 15, Finglas, Cabra, Meath and Kildare attended this programme for two days.
Languages Access Programme
The ITB ACCESS Languages programme centres on four different language learning initiatives at primary, secondary and third level. It began in 2001 and has grown in size and strength to involve over 200 students today.
At primary level, 5th and 6th class Blanchardstown students visit ITB language labs bi-annually to consolidate the French, Spanish and German that they have learnt in after-school classes. The computer package ‘Talk Now’ is used, and students have the opportunity to engage with Languages and IT. In April ITB organises a month of cultural awareness talks in these same primary schools. Our Erasmus students prepare and deliver classes on the history, geography, customs, traditions, music and art of their countries, and they assist students with their Language learning. This very successful Language, culture and IT program concludes with a presentation of certificates, an exhibition of students’ work, and French, German and Spanish afternoons for parents and children that also involves educational institutes and community groups.
As part of the primary schools Science Week, ITB offers 4th, 5th and 6th class children the opportunity to learn Spanish through the medium of IT. Pupils are invited to the ITB language labs where warm-up games and activities in Spanish precede Spanish culture work on the computers. Class duration is approximately 50 minutes and technology is a key feature of these visits.
As part of the TASTER program students meet native speakers, explore the use of IT in Language learning, take a virtual trip to a target language country, and view foreign films. This initiative has had a very positive impact on potential third level students who see the fun and benefits of learning a Modern Foreign Language at this level.
In August 2006 the ITB ACCESS Languages Programme was awarded the European Award for Languages – Language Label. The winning of this award which recognises creativity in Language teaching has proven to be hugely motivational in the continued learning of Languages in the Dublin 15 area. Those involved in the ITB ACCESS Languages programme are delighted with this official recognition of its successes and plan to develop the programme further in the coming years
The Access Service has a specific remit to promote opportunities at third level for learners with a disability. Specific supports have been put in place for students with a disability. Post-entry supports are provided through the Student Services Office.