Civic Engagement at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
The key domains of Civic Engagement in ITB are:
1. Knowledge Exchange
Knowledge Exchange can take place by means of :
1.2 Knowledge Exchange Events
This relates to individual members of staff and students volunteering to work with community groups and organisations. This can happen in a variety of ways, for example, assisting with the practical/ operational aspects of community organisations or accepting a position on the board of directors of a voluntary organisation.1.3 Knowledge Exchange Projects (funded and non-funded)
Learning Exchange activities are designed to engage a broad range of networks public, private and civic to exchange, ideas, learning and solutions which have the potential to impact on identified economic, social and community challenges such as growing the local social economy or using digital media platforms to more effectively engage citizens.
Such projects leverage the expertise available at ITB to develop solutions in relation to specific community needs.
Service Learning occurs when students, as part of their coursework, participate in a project which assists a community partner to achieve a goal. The student is seen to benefit from this type of learning if the work done for the community is aligned with the learning outcomes of the module he/ she is undertaking. Such work for the community could be a service such as the development of a website, development of English language proficiency or assistance with strategy development.
3.Community Based Research.
Community Based Research relates to research that is undertaken in collaboration with the community. The work could be an analysis of community related data, which is already in existence, to assist in greater understanding of community challenges. An example of this would be the analysis of demographic data by electoral area in Dublin 15.
Service Learning and Community Based Research projects are conducted under the supervision of an academic staff member and normally there is academic credit gained by the student for the work done on such projects.
Given the mission of ITB, the Civic Engagement Office at ITB has worked closely with the Economic and Social Development Division, Fingal County Council, its designated RAPID(1) Area board and officer responsible for its prioritisation over the past 12 months in the delivery of its Civic Engagement strategy. This enabled significant synergy to be achieved among community organisations and the Civic Engagement domains which ITB has prioritised. The Office has also had a significant involvement with the Citizens Information Service at local and national levels. Currently an opportunity to collaborate with the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is being explored.
RAPID Areas were designated on the basis of disadvantage supported by data relating to the location of significant rented local authority housing, and schools designated as disadvantaged by the then Department of Education & Science. Fingal County Council has one designated RAPID area located in Dublin 15 encompassing all local authority estate areas and their immediate periphery which include significant private and housing association stock.
The Research Hub
At ITB we have a group known as the Research Hub which promotes and coordinates Service Learning and Community Based Research. At present the members of the group are :
Name Role Organisation Breffni O’Rourke Economic and Social Development Division Fingal County Council Miriam Ryan Blanchardstown Area Manager Foróige Cormac Doran Academic Staff member ITB ITB Des Moore Head of Civic Engagement ITB
More information on the above Civic Engagement domains is presented in the following sections.
For more information about Knowledge Exchange click here
For more information about Service Learning click here
For more information about Community Based Research click here
For more information about Community Partners click here
To stay up to date with our Civic Engagement initiatives follow us on twitter @itbDublinCE
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