About Us

“Today’s digital technologies have already been adapted to help overcome social isolation … we have proved that students who are dissatisfied, disaffected and disengaged are reachable.”

Lord David Puttnam, Patron of Virtual Community College

An Cosán

An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC) is a social enterprise set up to scale the work of An Cosán, a community education centre that has served the community of Tallaght West for over thirty years. An Cosán provides a wide variety of educational programmes for all age groups, including early years education and care, and community education, to empower through education and support social transformation. Please visit www.ancosan.ie  for more information.

The Chair of the Board
The Team
Liz Waters
Our VCC visionary, former CEO of An Cosán Liz is the director and driving force of VCC. Actively involved in community education for over 25 years, her dedication and passion for education fuels our social innovation to bring new digital technologies to those most in need of access to education.

Pedagogy Lead
Dr Thomas Murray
A political scientist by training, Thomas has extensive experience in higher, adult, and community education. His teaching and research interests include social justice, democracy and human rights. Thomas recently published his first book, ‘Contesting Economic and Social Rights in Ireland: 1848-2016’ with Cambridge University Press.

Matthew Waters
Educational Technology Lead Matthew started volunteering with VCC in the early days. When an opportunity arose to become more involved, he was happy to accept. Our in-house tech wizard manages the website and virtual learning environment, trains tutors and learners and still manages to find time to pursue a Masters in e-Learning.

Dr Farah Mokhtareizadeh
Farah is an educator and community activist with firm roots in local and global solidarity advocacy. Passionate about working with grassroots, bottom-up projects that nurture popular struggle for social change, Farah is delighted to be joining the An Cosán VCC team in building a more inclusive society.

Technology Moderator
Shane Regan
Shane is VCC’s technology moderator with responsibility for our online learning environments as well as assisting learners and tutors. He possesses a MA in English from UCD and has several years teaching experience both in Ireland and abroad before recently completing a Higher Diploma in Computer Science. Originally from Kerry, Shane has a keen interest in e-Learning, instructional design techniques and all things GAA.

Programme Coordinator
Maria McHale
Maria is a highly educated and decorated individual with qualifications in History, Politics and Social Studies, Women’s Studies and Adult Education. Involved in the community sector since 2004, Maria has experience in disadvantaged urban and rural areas as well as in community education, local development, youth work and community arts. Maria is proud to hail from Westport and is a fervent follower of Mayo GAA.

Community Partner Lead
Maria Flanagan
Maria holds qualifications in Public Administration, Business Management and Project Management and has experience working in various roles in Ireland with stints in USA and Australia in the non-profit, commercial, public-health and most recently the social entrepreneurship sector. At VCC Maria collaborates with community partners and helps new learners find their way to VCC

Finance Lead
Maria Towers
A Chartered Accountant with Big 4  Audit and Accountancy experience, Maria first joined An Cosán in 2012 as a volunteer, before taking on the role of Management Accountant for Fledglings Early Years and working on our special projects. We’re delighted to have Maria join VCC in the role of Finance Lead.

Skills 2 Succeed Project Manager
A PR practitioner turned Digital Skills advocate, Mark previously worked as a training coordinator in Dublin’s north inner city helping job seekers improve their employment skills. As Skills 2 Succeed Project Manager, Mark is utilising his experience and qualifications to roll out an innovative digital learning solution, across Ireland’s community sector, empowering young job seekers to grow their skills.

PA – Director and Office Manager
Patricia brings a wealth of experience to An Cosán VCC gained from her previous roles in project/office management and administration in commercial and diplomatic sectors. She holds qualifications in Human Resources: Management, Training & Development and Interior & Furniture Design. A long term contributor to adult education, she has many years teaching experience and continues to share her love of design with students.

VCC is lucky to have the support of an amazing team of tutors from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Our tutors are crucial to the VCC mission of providing excellence in education across our virtual platform.

We’ve partnered with Three Ireland to provide a tailored one-to-one mentoring service for learners. Our Three mentors provide extra support for learners to achieve their full potential as they progress through the course.

Our panel of technology moderators makes sure that every course and learner has the support they need to guide them through the online learning environment.

Our amazing volunteers continue to shape our pathway by lending their skills and expertise in a wide variety of areas.

AnCosán Virtual Community College Video

Why don’t you take a few minutes to watch our short video explaining how Virtual Community College aims to eradicate inequalities through providing online education.

Corporate Partners


“An Cosán Virtual Community College now Open and Recruiting Students in Tallaght through An Cosán.” – June 2015

<br>Sunday Business

Sunday Business

“EdTech moves to the top of the class.” – August 2015

<br>Irish Times

Irish Times

“Redefining outreach: Community education goes online” – August 2015