Since Respond! appointed its first Education Officer in 1992, when it pioneered family housing and Pre- and Post-Tenancy Training programmes, Respond! College has developed to work with a host of stakeholders across the housing and community sectors, offering estate-level, area-based training and a range of third-level programmes. This Education Department of Respond! continues to play a central and vibrant role in the life of the organization.
It is committed to the development of education that strengthens the community and housing sectors. We aim to develop and deliver creative, innovative and unique educational programmes for the Irish housing and community sector that support vocational, personal and transformational learning. To this end, we provide a range of courses across a continuum of learning opportunities, working in partnership with other organisations from the housing, community and educational sectors.
Respond! College also seeks to create a career pathway in housing and community work for those in local government, public service, community and voluntary sectors. To this end, Respond! obtained QQI-FETAC and QQI-HETAC accreditation and works collaboratively with other education institutions such as UCD, Maynooth University, CIH(UK), WIT and others, to deliver a variety of courses from Certificate and Diploma to full Degree levels
Respond! Education delivers services to three main groups:
- Respond! residents: To inform them of their rights as tenants as well as assisting them to gain access to opportunities for on-going personal and community development if they choose to avail of same.
- Outreach groups: To engage with those who have a role in the development of public and private housing policy, local authority staff, public servants, other NGOs and the wider community. Respond! College aims to provide a range of accredited and non accredited training and education in housing and community development which adheres to best practice and is governed by rigorous quality assurance procedures.
- Respond! staff: To ensure that all Respond! staff are equipped to deliver best practice models of estate management, community development and education in our programmes. Respond! College aims to support and encourage all staff to undertake training and education in areas which are directly relevant to their job within Respond! fostering competence, and professionalism.
The Education Department comprises five full-time staff dedicated to the design, delivery and quality assurance of a range of education and community development courses. In addition, a pool of some 30 further staff with graduate and post graduate qualifications and experience across a range of disciplines can be drawn upon as guest lecturers for subject specialisms. A practitioner housing association as well as an education provider, Respond! is uniquely placed to marry academic and professional learning in housing and community sectors, grounded in current practice and analysis. If you would like to read our Education Strategy (2012 – 2015), please click here.