Community Learning Center adds a ‘C’ to the three ‘R’s’

Published 6:12 am Wednesday, December 16, 2009

They are known as the three R’s — Readin,’ ‘Ritin’ an’ ‘Rithmetic.

Since the 1926 film famously misspelled those three words as its title, at least one more basic aptitude has been added to the American education — Computers.

The Adult Learning Program at the Community Learning Center will be offering a new course next term to help people who lack that essential skill. Adult Learning also continues to offer reading and math clinics, helping with the original “three R’s.”

Basic Computers is a six-week course, beginning Jan. 18. It will be offered Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon.

“With people out of work, or changing careers, they are finding that a lot of jobs require at least some computer skills,” said coordinator of Adult Learning programs Janice Mino.

“We have had many requests for the class, and we’re happy to have the resources to provide it,” Mino said.

Kaylene Jensen teaches the free course that includes basic use, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Internet searching in its curriculum.

“We think it will really help people who need these skills to take the next step,” Mino said.

Students will be welcome to stay before and after class to get extra practice on the computers. This will be good for spending time on things like typing or keyboarding — a skill that requires much practice and little instruction.

To go back to the original “three R’s,” Dennis Schwab teaches a Reading Strategies Clinic and a Math Clinic at Riverland Community College.

Though this term began in November, Schwab said the classes are not full, and students can still sign-up if they are comfortable joining late.

“These courses help people who want to go to Riverland, but need to do a little catching up first,” Schwab said.

Students entering Riverland take a placement exam called the ACCUPLACER, to help determine course selections. The test also helps students attain financial aid, Schwab said.

The clinics also prepare people who are not looking to enroll in college, but want to pass their GED exams.

Students in the reading class practice fluency, vocabulary and alphabetics — which is breaking down components of large words for comprehension.

Math students study the basics through decimals, fractions, percents, algebra and geometry.

“If we don’t use math, it leaves most of us,” Schwab said. “This is a good way to get your foot back in the water before taking college-level classes.”

These two courses are offered through the Community Learning Center’s adult programs, but held on Riverland’s campus.

“It’s a nice way for people to be on campus, and get a feel for that college atmosphere,” Schwab said.

Both of these classes are also free, and the program provides workbooks and other materials.

The Reading Strategies Clinic is Monday through Friday 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Math is Monday through Friday 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Students can show up at that time, in the east building’s Room C110 to inquire about signing up. They can also register in that room between 6 and 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday to sign up. A new term begins March 1, for those who want to start from lesson number one.

Students can sign up for Basic Computers between Jan. 11 and Jan 15 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Room 5 at the Community Learning Center, 912 1st Ave. NE.

The Adult Learning programs are designed to provide adults educational opportunities to improve literacy skills necessary to be self-sufficient. Courses teach the English language, basic skills and GED preparation. They also offer GED testing. Adult Learning programs are open to adults over 16 who are not in high school.

For more information, call 460-1707 or visit www.austin.k12.mn.us and click on “Community Learning Center.”