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ECC Providing Training in Digital Skills

Desmond Sykes, an instructor with the Division of College and Career Readiness at Edgecombe Community College, works with student Carolyn Bullock in his Transition to Digital Skills class. The class teaches basic computing skills.

As Edgecombe Community College students continue to navigate online learning and resources, the Division of College and Career Readiness (CCR) has created a Transition to Digital Skills course to aid those who may need stronger computer skills.

A focus of College and Career Readiness is to assist adults who have not earned a high school credential by helping them prepare to take the high school equivalency exam and continue on to post-secondary education and/or enter the workforce.

The Transition to Digital Skills class is the brainchild of Desmond Sykes, CCR instructor. “This course enables students who are enrolled in our CCR programs to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be more proficient in the use of technology,” he explains.

“It teaches even the novice student computing basics, how to use the internet and email, social media etiquette, and career search skills. It further enables students to compete and succeed in employment environments in which technology is utilized,” Sykes explains.

Students learn how to navigate the Microsoft Office suite of products, which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Once students have completed lessons on each application, Sykes presents them with a certificate of completion. “This is a credential they can add to their resumes,” he says.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of our students,” explains Dr. LaShawnda Washington, director of CCR. “This course helps ease the anxiety that students often associate with the use of technology. Some students don’t have computers in their homes, so technology can be a genuine barrier to higher education or employment.”

Students enrolled in CCR programs can enroll in the Transition to Digital Skills course free of charge while they are working to obtain their high school equivalency credential.

“The reward is that students have the opportunity to complete their high school equivalency program and receive certifications that place them among the best of the best when matriculating to college-level programs and/or competing for employment opportunities,” Sykes says.

“The course is a real confidence builder,” he adds. “I’ve seen some of our older students become much more self-assured with using technology.”