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Madera County's C.L.A.S.S. & Fresno State's Parent University Continue to Successfully Grow

Closing the digital divide is aligned with the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State's (OCED) goal of enhancing the economic prospects of low-income adults, immigrants, and disconnected youth in the San Joaquin Valley. For the past 9 weeks, OCED's Fresno State Parent University delivered Digital Literacy II classes to over 15 participants in Madera, California as part of The Madera County Comprehensive Literacy Activities Supporting Success (CLASS) pilot project.  OCED staff member, Eduardo Gonzalez, taught the Financial Capability training as part of OCED’s existing Fresno State Parent University curriculum. This pilot project provides an opportunity to demonstrate to other prospective sites in the region for replication. 


The Madera County Comprehensive Literacy Activities Supporting Success (CLASS) pilot project consists of replicating components of Mission Economic Development Agency MEDA’s Financial Capability program and OCED’s Fresno State Parent University digital literacy program into the package of existing services offered by the Madera County Workforce Investment Corporation (MCWIC) to low-income adult, immigrant, and disconnected youth clients.


The Digital Literacy II class intends to teach program participants the solid foundation in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Gmail, Google Apps, Basic Research and advanced computer security measures.  Additionally, the Digital Literacy II class contained new components of the newly developed Financial Literacy curriculum, which is intended to provide participants with essential money management skills that include: budgeting, smart spending, borrowing, credit and FICO scores, buying power, banking, and savings, tax-advantaged college savings programs including the 529 plan.  Additionally, this course guides participants on how to set financial goals and understand various lending programs. 


Over the next several months, OCED will continue to deliver its Fresno State Parent University bilingual digital literacy I and II curriculum to 2 additional cohorts of target population participants who are also simultaneously receiving other services related to the project. OCED expects the outcome of these outputs to be increased knowledge and ability of how to utilize computer hardware, software and the internet for finding employment, managing household finances, accessing social programs/services, monitoring healthcare patient portals, and communicating via email, among others. OCED will administer existing pre- and post-questionnaires to participants at each session to measure content acquisition.  If you like to learn more about the upcoming cohorts in Madera beginning May 2019 please call 559-278-0542.