NUI Galway Partners
Going to College Project
In 2011, the National University of Ireland Galway launched the Going to College Pilot Project to support the civic engagement of persons with an intellectual disability to experience inclusive higher education through participating in academic, social, cultural and sporting endeavours. This pilot project will support eight students to achieve the full university experience from September 2011.
Through a vibrant university/community partnership, the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway, and the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies (a national organisation of intellectual disability services providing services to over 22,000 persons with intellectual disabilities in Ireland) are leading this innovative pilot project. The pilot project is supported by a diverse university/community partnership board including persons with intellectual disabilities, families, academic and administrative staff at NUI Galway and representatives of the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies and intellectual disability services. A critical employment partnership with Business in the Community Ireland (a business network of Ireland's largest companies with a shared goal of increasing and improving corporate responsibility) was recently formed to champion the employment of students with intellectual disabilities. Through this vibrant civil society partnership, a model of best practice for inclusive higher education for persons with intellectual disabilities is unfolding.
The Going to College Pilot Project is pioneering in that it is responding to the educational and community needs of a new cohort to higher education and promotes flexible and inclusive educational pathways. A strong mentoring alliance has been developed with Alberta Association of Community Living and the University of Calgary which will support NUI Galway in the development of inclusive higher education opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities in Ireland.
What is the aim of the Going to College Pilot Project?
The overall aim of the Going to College Pilot Project is to support each student to develop the vision, knowledge and transferable skills to live a more inclusive, independent life in their community.
Students will have the opportunity to:
Follow an existing NUI Galway programme of study and participate in classes and other learning activities alongside undergraduate students, based on their own individual abilities and individual pace of learning. Each student will undertake a series of learning activities based on participation and engagement in existing subject disciplines across the university: attending lectures, laboratory work, field work, tutorials, etc.
Participate in a number of existing NUI Galway community and civic engagement offerings, including: undertaking volunteering opportunities through NUI Galway’s student volunteering programme (ALIVE); involvement in community activities/projects; active engagement and participation in university clubs and societies, and; work placements/internships within NUI Galway and externally.
For further information on the Going to College Project, please contact:
Breda Casey,Project Co-Ordinator, Going to College Pilot Project
Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway
Tel: 091 493621