By Richard Zagrzecki
Jacquie Vargas vividly remembers one determined woman who attended an introductory computer class offered recently to staff members of Facilities Management.
“She told me that she did not know how to use a computer, but she had already bought herself a laptop and her goal was to learn how to use it,” said Vargas, the communications manager for the department. “She said her friends send emails back and forth to each other and she wanted to be able to do that.”
The Creating Literacy in Computer Knowledge program, referred to as CLICK 101 for short, was developed in house and held during the fall semester. It was aimed at providing staff with little or no experience using computers the basic knowledge they need to operate one. It was offered twice a week for four weeks at different times in the day. The same material was provided in each class, but staff members were welcome to attend it as many times as they wanted.
“A lot of people wanted to make sure they got the information, so we invited them to come back two or three times if they needed to, depending on their level of comfort with the material,” Vargas said.
The class was an important and helpful tool for Facilities Management, which has close to 600 employees, many of whom do not use computers as part of their daily job duties but who still may need to access such online campus resources as PASS.
“We communicate so much by electronic means that it is really important to make sure that all of our staff are comfortable with using a computer so they can stay abreast with what we are communicating with them,” Vargas said.
Staff members and student workers volunteered to teach the classes, which were offered in both English and Spanish. They included Vargas, Yvonne Hernandez, Erika Diaz, Cindy Galvez, Rowena Castro, Khanh Hodges, Victor Kalani, Camille Porter, Esteban Mendoza, Sandra KitManYen and Andreina Garay.
The class was popular, with approximately 150 people – or around a quarter of all Facilities Management – attending it at least once. Vargas said the material covered in the class was very basic and assumed that those who came had very limited experience with using a computer.
Because of the popularity, a second class – which was dubbed CLICK 102 – was organized and held to provide additional information that was not covered in the first class. A total of 63 staff members took the second class.
“CLICK 102 took it a little bit farther. There were other topics that we could cover and we did,” said Vargas. “Most of the class focused on PASS, such as going through its menu and learning how to change passwords and such.”
Feedback from those who attended both classes was overwhelmingly positive.
“The class was very informative and the instructors were great. They made it fun,” commented one staff member.
“This was a very helpful class. Before I was not familiar with PASS, but now I am completely confident in being able to navigate it,” another commented.