Provost Linda Doyle today marked the beginning of College Awareness Week (CAW)with a visit to Scoil Cholmcille Senior National School in Ballybrack, Co. Dublin.
Scoil Cholmcille was one of the first primary schools to become involved with TAP in 2000.
Speaking at the school, the provost said: “Going to college should be an option for anyone. No one should ever feel excluded. College Awareness Week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight this message. And, of course, if someone chooses another pathway, that is ok, so long as it is the result of a real choice and not a decision forced by circumstances.”
“I am really proud that College Awareness Week originated from our Trinity Access Programme, which has been acknowledged internationally as a leader in promoting inclusion in higher education.”
“College Awareness Week this year includes a great line-up of events nationwide, many of which showcase local role models, and there are also very helpful practical resources for families, teachers, students, adult learners and mature students about becoming college-ready.”
“While this is an exciting week of activities, there is a committed team of people who work all year round on raising awareness of the huge benefits of going to college.”
To mark the week, 30 native Irish trees will also be planted nation-wide, coinciding with the anniversary of the foundation of the Trinity Access Programme 30 years ago this year.
The trees, according to a College press release, are “a symbol of the growth of learners and our roots in communities”, as well as contributing to the #SustainableTrinity campaign to enhance the biodiversity on campus.
Throughout this week schools, colleges, and universities across the country will take part in a range of events organised by Trinity, including Q&A sessions, community mentoring workshops, and informational talks to both students and parents. The majority of these will take place off campus however, with the focus on primary and secondary school students.
Another event organised for this year includes a presentation delivered by Dr. Ebun Joseph to fifth year students at Coláiste Bríde, in Dublin 22, entitled “Creating a compelling future”. Dr. Joseph is a social justice activist, diversity and career consultant, and has lectured at both UCD and Trinity.
CAW is now in its ninth year, with the stated aim “to promote the benefits of going to college, to help students of all ages to become college-ready and to showcase local role models”. Events will run from November 21 to November 28.
Since its inception 30 years ago, and its major reform in 2014, TAP has provided hundreds of students with additional opportunities, from funding foundation courses in level 7 institutions, to providing pre-allocated spaces in Trinity Level 8 courses.
TAP has inspired a similar initiative in Oxford University, Foundation Oxford, which provides up to 50 places for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.