For the first time since 2019, first year DCU Access students were invited on campus for an Access orientation. Over the course of three days, over 200 students took part in the orientation which assisted them in transitioning into the third-level learning environment.
Students received welcome addresses from the DCU President, Prof Daire Keogh, and Head of the Access Service, Cathy McLoughlin. Students were also introduced to the full Access team and informed of all the supports available during their time at DCU.
The orientation put an emphasis on socialising and ensuring that the students got to meet their peers and create new connections. Students had the opportunity to get to know each other through various teamwork activities lead by a team of Access student ambassadors. The ambassadors are current DCU Access students who support their younger peers by sharing their own experience of transitioning to university. By the end of the day, students were introduced to their Access support officer, were familiar with the campus and made friends with other Access students.
Speaking at the event, DCU President, Prof Daire Keogh said:
“As a student in DCU, you will have good days and bad days; this is normal but remember you always have a very supportive Access team and a dedicated support officer there for you. Access students are a very important part of this university, we value you.”
Speaking about the event, Head of the DCU Access Service, Cathy McLoughlin said:
“Meeting incoming Access students is one of the year’s highlights for the Access team. It enables staff and students to start a supportive relationship that lasts throughout and beyond their time in DCU. The Access orientation is a student’s first experience as a DCU student. It encourages the formation of friendships and support networks, which are vital to success while studying here”.
About DCU Access
From its inception as a small technological university DCU has sought to actively engage and provide equal access to all groups within the wider community.
In 1989, DCU’s Governing Body voted in favour of implementing a local initiative aimed at addressing the low numbers of students entering third-level from one of its closest neighbourhoods in North Dublin, Ballymun. In September 1990, a new scholarship scheme, later to become the DCU Access Programme, welcomed six students into DCU.
Today, over 1,100 Access scholars, representing every county in Ireland, are studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level across the university.