Launched in 2013, the Centre for Academic Achievement (CAA) provides academic after school courses to high ability primary school children aged 8-12 years from economically disadvantaged areas of Limerick. To date, approx. 500 students have attended CAA's personal enrichment courses at the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick (UL), including subjects as diverse as animation, medicine, experimental science, architecture, how to make an app, volcanoes and earthquakes, and zoology.
The programme is run by Dr Stephen Kinsella, the Department of Economics in the Kemmy Business School, in conjunction with the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI) at Dublin City University, in cooperation with Limerick’s School Completion Officers.
- To provide educational opportunities for students from disadvantaged areas both inside and outside the school environment.
- To enrich the curriculum of primary school students by providing an opportunity for them to access subjects ordinarily only available at third level courses e.g. computers & animation, chemistry, engineering.
- To give these students the opportunity to access a university and its facilities.
- To promote positive attitudes to creativity, science and education in the community.
- To encourage support from parents and family of students from disadvantaged areas. The programme concludes with a Graduation Ceremony at the end of each term and family members are strongly encouraged to attend.
- To encourage students to aim for third level education when they are older, by basing the project on a university campus.
The programme has been actively supported by the Walt Disney Company from 2014 to 2016 and Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Science & Engineering programme from 2013 to 2014.