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Volunteering FAQ's

ITT Dublin Level 6 Certificate in Volunteering 2016/17
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

 

1. What is the Certificate in Volunteering?
The Certificate in Volunteering is ITT Dublin’s student volunteer programme and it was established by ITT Dublin to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that ITT Dublin students make by volunteering.

 

2. What do I get from the Certificate in Volunteering as a student of ITT Dublin?
The Certificate in Volunteering will give you the opportunity to enrich your personal development and employability skills; have a fun experience, make new friends, attain a 10 credit Certificate in Volunteering from ITT Dublin, learn from the community which could enhance your academic learning, build personal knowledge and skills whilst also contributing to the capacity of the community.


3. Why should I volunteer?
If you are a full-time student or a member of staff, volunteering could provide an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, gain some real-life experience and, at the same time, benefit the local community.

During interviews employers often ask candidates to share examples of your volunteering experience(s). Having volunteering experience will show that you have transferable skills. Volunteering is a great way to get to know more people from different backgrounds. Volunteering can also be a great way to improve your personal and professional development. While you are volunteering you can learn new skills which will benefit your professional life. Also, volunteering can be a great way to experience something totally different and maybe even learn something new about yourself.


4. Who can participate in the Certificate in Volunteering?
All full-time registered students of ITT Dublin and staff are welcome to apply.  

 

5. How can I learn more about the Certificate in Volunteering?
Information on the Certificate in Volunteering will be available on the ITT Dublin website -  Student Life section, on Moodle, the electronic notice boards and in your School Office. There will also be a number of announcements in class  and information briefings in ITT Dublin (times and dates to be advised). You can also email volunteeringaward@ittdublin.ie with any queries you may have about the Programme.


6. What support can I expect on the Certificate in Volunteering?
As a participant on the Certificate in Volunteering you will be assigned a Mentor. This person will be a  member of staff from the Volunteering Programme Board and they can assist and advise you (as needed) during the programme. If any volunteer is experiencing problems at any stage of the volunteering process, we are here to help in any way we can.


7. Is there a deadline to register for the Certificate in Volunteering?
Yes. The deadline is Friday May 13th 2016. Please email your expression of interest to  volunteeringaward@it-tallaght.ie

 

8. Will I have to do an interview with the volunteering/community organisation?
In some cases yes, but this is mostly an informal chat. They just want to get to know you and see where your interests lie.

 

9. Do I need any training to be a good volunteer?
Most voluntary organisations will provide the basic training required to carry out their work. Any specialist training (such as operating small pieces of equipment, codes of conduct etc.) will be given to you by the organisation itself.

In addition, the Certificate in Volunteering will provide training and resources to help you. We will be holding some informal lunchtime sessions when volunteers can come along, eat some food and share experiences about volunteering.


10. I've heard that I will have to get Garda Vetting. What's involved?
Some external organisations we work with require volunteers to undergo reference checks or Garda checks in line with current legislation. This means that your criminal records are checked to ensure that you will be a suitable candidate for working with vulnerable people such as children and the elderly.

 

11. Will this process take a long time? What documents will I need to bring?
The organisation/ITT Dublin will inform you of the process. Garda Vetting can take some time so, where possible, consider getting in touch with organisations as early as possible. Garda vetting will not cost you anything.

 

12. Can I still volunteer while the Garda checks are being made?
In some circumstances organisations might want to ensure that your results are returned before you can volunteer with them, but you will be advised about this should this situation arise. You should start the Garda Vetting process as soon as you decide to apply for the Certificate in Volunteering.


13. But what happens if I'm not happy with the volunteer opportunity I'm working on?
If, for whatever reason, you become unhappy, are not enjoying the experience or suddenly find you no longer have the time to commit to it, you should communicate in the first instance with the programme team. We are here for you at all times, so please contact us and we can talk about it and work out what the best course of action should be.

 

14. Do you have a list of opportunities that I can search through if I'm not sure what to do?
Yes, we do! Every week we advertise a selection of volunteering opportunities through emails, on our notice boards,  the ITT Dublin Facebook Volunteering page. We can also alert you to the main websites  e.g www.studentvolunteer.ie,  Activelink, SDVC volunteering database. Just come and talk to us.  

 

15. What happens if nothing takes my fancy but yet I still want to volunteer?
In the event that we do not have something that you like then we can set an opportunity up for you or you can investigate further volunteering opportunities. If you know of an organisation or area that you want to work in, please let us know. We are always looking to expand the range of organisations we have on our database, so your input is vital to us. Also be sure to send in an expression of interest anyway to receive regular emails about new opportunities as they arise.

 

16. Does the programme team have any information about international volunteering?
We do have lists of organisations that specialise in sending volunteers overseas so call in and chat to us if this interests you. We have also listed on this website things to consider when volunteering internationally.

 

17. Do employers recognise the ITT Dublin Certificate in Volunteering?
The ITT Dublin Certificate in Volunteering represents the volunteering, training and reflection undertaken by a student. Employers seek skilled, well rounded students. The Certificate in Volunteering represents your commitment to something further than your academic studies. By volunteering on or off-campus ITT Dublin recognises that learning that can come from outside the classroom and so do future employers.

On your CV it is important to mention the Certificate in Volunteering. The volunteering you committed yourself to and the training you received has been recognised by ITT Dublin through the Certificate in Volunteering. Employers seek employees with experience. Volunteering can offer a whole range of experiences that employers seek. Fundraising, raising awareness, retail experience, homework clubs, youth groups, etc. all illustrate different qualities of experience. Most importantly you have demonstrated experience of working with people and active communication skills.

 

18. How many modules are on the Certificate in Volunteering?
There are two modules on the Certificate in Volunteering; Volunteering and Civic Engagement. Each module is worth 5 ECTS.

 

19. How much work is involved in completing the Certificate in Volunteering?

In order to fulfil the requirements of the Certificate in Volunteering, participants must complete the following:

1.    At least 50 hours of volunteering activity

2.    A portfolio comprising the following five components:

o    A volunteering plan

o    A poster presentation of volunteering experience

o    A learning journal

o    A written report of volunteering experience

o    A performance evaluation from the Volunteering Organisation

The Certificate is worth 10 ECTS. This means there are approximately 200 hours of student work required. This includes the volunteering activity.

 

20. Are the assignments on the Certificate in Volunteering graded?
No, you will receive feedback on your work but the assignments will not be graded. The module will be awarded on a pass/fail basis.

 

21. Are there any upcoming preparatory events for the Volunteering Certificate?
Yes; participants on the Programme will be expected to attend preparatory sessions during the academic cycle. Dates will be advised well in advance. There will also be approximately 4 - 6 hours of workshops and tutorials to attend each semester.

 

22. Who can I contact with queries about the Programme?
You can email volunteeringaward@it-tallaght.ie with any queries you have about the Certificate in Volunteering.

 

Programme Board  - Points of Contact:

Representatives from Schools:

Chair: Head of Department of Humanities - Angela Feeney

Programme Board Co-ordinator /         Lee Haines - Lecturer in Elec Engineering

Lecturer in Humanities: Gerry Gilvarry

Lecturer in Computing: Mary Hendricks

Lecturer in Social Care Practice: Margaret Fingleton

Lifelong Learning: John O’Neill

 

Student Services:

Chaplain: Sr. Bernadette Purcell

Careers Officer: Marie Kielty

Access Officer: Colm Downes

Sports Officer: Tim O’Connor

Centre for Learning and Teaching (CeLT): Administrator: Niamh Hyland

 

Please note:
There will be representation sought from each school / department in the first instance.
Quotas will be in place.
The Level 6 Certificate Programme is open to full-time students only and staff of the college.
The Certificate must be completed in the academic year 2016 / 2017.

 

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