The Adult Basic Education for College & Career (ABECC) Division is partnering with the University of Arizona STEM Learning Center and Microsoft Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program to offer a new Early IBEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) program in computer science (CS).
This Early IBEST is an integrated education and training program that pairs introductory computer science with basic skills instruction and career exploration. Early IBESTs provide adult learners at the intermediate level and above with basic skills instruction contextualized to a specific sector and integrated training that will support employment in that sector. In this Early IBEST for Computer Science, an adult educator will partner with a trained teaching team from TEALS.
Microsoft’s TEALS program was designed to help high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between schools and the tech industry. The classroom teachers and tech industry volunteers work as a team to deliver CS education to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn CS in their school. In an effort to build capacity to impact underserved and underrepresented populations, the Microsoft Social Catalyst program recruits, and trains as volunteers, college students who have studied computer science. There are 344 high schools across the U.S. using the TEALS curriculum, but PCC’s Adult Basic Education for College & Career Division will be the first adult education program in the nation to pilot the TEALS model.
On Monday morning at 8am, 17 adult basic education students arrived at the El Rio Learning Center to attend an orientation for the Early IBEST in Computer Science.
Students shared what attracted them to the program:
- One student wisely noted that computers and programing will be an important part of all jobs in the future.
- Another stated simply, “I’m interested in a career in computer science.”
- One young woman wants to learn how to “program video games.”
- A woman who is currently a CNA said she is exploring other career alternatives.
- A man from Mexico said he’s worked with computers since the 70’s but now he wants to learn to code.
The 2-quarter program launches next week.