New phase of successful computer training program for teachers

12/6/2002 12:00 AM

Last summer, 52 secondary teachers received specialized computer training through a collaborative program coordinated by TEEX in conjunction with the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Industrial Vocational Association (TIVA). The pilot program was held in Kingsville and San Antonio during June and July, and sponsored by the Coastal Bend and Alamo Workforce Development Boards.

Teachers from the two Workforce Development Board service areas could enroll in classes focusing on computer hardware, PC repair and troubleshooting, or in classes focusing on PC operation using the Microsoft Office Suite. Teachers accepted into the program received free training valued at several thousand dollars.

The initial Teacher Technology Training Camp (T3C) program was so successful that two additional classes have been scheduled. In October, 20 teachers enrolled in a computer hardware class held two evenings a week at the Career Advancement and Applied Technology Training Division (CAAT) in San Antonio. One additional computer software class will be held at Texas A&M Univesity-Corpus Christi in June and July 2003.

The goal of the program is to increase the number of industry-certified IT teachers in Texas secondary schools. TWC has identified computer technology as one of the top three training needs in Texas and has funded the pilot program through an APEX Demonstration Grant of $873,670.

“There is a shortage in Texas of teachers that are computer savvy,” said Jacqueline Martinez, who coordinates the program for CAAT. “We are preparing high school teachers who don’t have computer-related degrees.

“This is hands-on training at its best,” she added. “It’s important for them to have the chance to have hands-on training, so they can learn to incorporate this into their high school curriculum.”

Martinez says the pilot program has been so successful, she hopes the training can eventually be offered to teachers from other areas of the state.

All of the teachers who took the hardware track last summer passed their Computer Service Technician (CST) exam on the first try and one had a perfect score, Martinez said. About half of those who attempted the A+ certification exam passed on the first try.

More than half of the teachers who completed the software track earned their Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) Master Instructor certification, she added.

Thomas Harper recently became the first teacher from the summer classes to pass the Certified Technical Trainer (CTT) exam. CTT exam preparation classes will be offered for teachers in March and led by Dr. Trina Smith of the TEEX Technology and Economic Development Division.

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