Parent University Spring '18 Courses Kick Off throughout the Region
OCED’s Parent University kicked off its 2018 spring semester of courses on January
22. Nine-week courses are currently active in the communities of Coalinga, Firebaugh, Huron, Madera and Riverdale with more than 20 parents enrolled per site.
Parent University is part of OCED’s San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center and
is designed to build capacity in rural communities, by training and hiring local instructors
to teach participants various life skills. The program offers courses in digital literacy,
English as a Second Language and parenting skills – and all courses are provided at
no cost to participants.
Community members are encouraged to enroll in the courses. The goal is to educate
parents on how to better communicate with their children understand the technology
their children utilize at school and home. Participants of computer literacy courses
learn basic computer skills, while also learning how to conduct scholarship searches
and how to help their children gain access to higher education.
“Parents are grateful for the opportunity to learn even though they occasionally think
they are ‘too old’ and can be apprehensive at first to try to use technology,” said
Felipe Perez, the Parent University project coordinator at OCED, who instructs courses
in Firebaugh where he is also the community's mayor. “But they are in some ways ideal
students because they crave new knowledge. Parent University helps them to overcome
mental barriers, and lays the foundation for them continue to work with technology,
just as their children do.”