Adult Education Center- Columbia Heights/Fridley

Partner Agency: Adult Education Center Columbia Heights/Fridley 
Location(s): 4111 Central Ave., Ste 100, Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Site Supervisor:  Kathleen Moriarty, ABE Program Supervisor       

CTEP Program Description

The AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the “digital divide” for new Immigrants and low-income communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Join our cohort of 35 CTEP AmeriCorps members and help make the information age accessible to all. CTEP is a project of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN).

Site History and Mission

We here at the Adult Education Center couldn’t think of a more joyful, challenging, and rewarding place to work. Every day we are enriched by the lives of our students, who are mainly refugees and immigrants from around the world establishing new lives here in Minnesota. Our student population is typically 60% female and 40% male; the largest age group served is 25-44 years of age; and our top language groups served are Spanish, English, Somali, and Arabic speakers, in that order. Students here are some of the most motivated, hard-working, inspiring people we have met and contribute to our work culture of learning and community building.

The Adult Education Center – Columbia Heights/Fridley (CHF) is one site location for the eight school district consortium, Metro North Adult Basic Education: https://www.metronorthabe.org/. We serve adult learners who are 17 years or older, assisting them with reading, writing, math, and English listening and speaking skills. Our free programming helps learners build academic skills and plan their next steps for post-secondary opportunities or career pathways.

Similar to our students, our staff are a creative and dynamic bunch of people dedicated to instilling skills and knowledge that will help our students thrive. Licensed teachers, literacy assistants, clerical staff, a team of volunteers – and a CTEP member! - support learners on a daily basis.

Specific Site Responsibilities

The CTEP member will be building relationships with adult learners who attend classes regularly in a year round program, helping them improve their digital literacy skills. The CTEP member will:

  • Teach basic computer skills, internet/email use for job search purposes, and Microsoft Word to intermediate and advanced level learners in our computer lab - both online and in person

  • Teach basic mousing skills and computer skills to pre-literate level ESL learners

  • Create additional classes based on learners’ interests (social media, internet safety, etc.)

  • Support all levels of learners when they are in the computer lab (on site) or via short class session before or after core classes (online)

  • Provide direct support to learners in an online or in person open computer lab time 

  • Support learners with online job search skills

  • Support staff instructors on use of online instructional tools and platforms

  • Provide orientations,support learners, and track proxy hours for use of distance learning platforms

  • Recruit and help train and manage technology volunteers to assist in these tasks

  • Administer assessments for the North Star Digital Literacy Standards

  • Assist in the plan for sustainability of these new digital literacy supports for the site

Preferred Site Schedule for Member

The CTEP member will regularly serve Monday – Thursday daytime hours and one evenings/week. In addition, some Saturday class sessions will be scheduled, based on the member’s availability. 

Site Environment

The Adult Education Center – Columbia Heights/Fridley is located on the first floor of an office building. Abundant windows allow natural light into the classrooms and a view of the street front. The city bus stops directly in front of the center. It is a comfortable environment and the staff and students take pride in the center. We serve a population that reflects that of the district k-12 programs – with over 30 different language backgrounds, new refugee groups, longer term immigrants, and native born students.

The staff at CHF work collaboratively, supporting one another and the learners. Regular staff meetings, email communication, shared staff desk area, and smaller team meetings help build communication between various staff who work daytime and evening hours and between classroom and office staff.

We anticipate having a mix of online and in-person offerings beginning in fall 2021. Onsite, the CTEP member has a desk in the shared staff desk area, a phone, and a desktop computer (as well as a laptop). The member has access to all shared resources on site. The CTEP member will be able to build skills in flexibility, cross cultural communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution as well as the myriad of skills for instruction (using Gsuite for education: google meet, google classroom, jamboard, etc; differentiating instruction, creating activities that connect with various learning styles, accommodating students with varying degrees of formal education and literacy in their home language, etc.)

The CTEP member also spends a lot of time in the computer lab that houses 22 desktops and is available for all classes to use. Other technology that the member may use with learners includes a set of ipads, set of student laptops, and many chromebooks (currently distributed for student use at home, but may also be used in on-site classrooms).

The CTEP member is well supported through the site and through the consortium and district services. We look forward to welcoming you to our team!

How to Apply

Apply online at my.americorps.gov and click on “Apply to Serve” (be sure to search for the “Community Technology Empowerment Project” or “CTEP” when asked to indicate what program you would like to send your application to).  Contact: Joel Krogstad, krogstad@spnn.org or 651.298.8918

We are committed to recruiting and engaging individuals without regard to disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.  Reasonable accommodations will be made upon request.  Alternative formats of this document are also available.