Bridging the Gap has five major strands:
1 Research - a 'community approach' to gathering and analysing data is adopted, which supports greater collaborative effort and enhanced ownership of project outcomes. This is an innovative approach in the context of educational disadvantage in Ireland .
2 Networks - through Bridging the Gap, UCC is working with networks of teachers, principals and others (for example health professionals and community workers) on topics of interest identified in collaboration with participants.
3 Dissemination - Bridging the Gap offers an opportunity to disseminate good practice emerging from a number of sources: research; literature; local, national and international projects and initiatives. Through Bridging the Gap's annual evalutaion reports schools and teachers can collate examples of good practice occurring locally and share these with a wider audience.
4 Professional development - Bridging the Gap is investing significant resources in professional development for teachers. This has been shown by research to produce considerable gains in student achievement. Workshops and seminars on relevant topics are provided for principals and teachers on a regular basis.
5 School and community level interventions - there is scope within Bridging the Gap for schools and community groups to seek support for targeted interventions at local level, provided these meet certain criteria. This 'bottom up' approach has been found to be an effective catalyst for change.