Current Status

The Computer Literacy Program is ongoing and ISIEC is assisting with the program.  The program is currently running rotating 4 week sessions with 2 one hour training sessions each week.  Please contact us for more information or to reach out to volunteer.

General Program Information


Access current computer training videos on the Facilities Management webpage.  These videos are available in English, Spanish, and Laotian.  If you would like these videos available in another language, want training videos on another topic, or have any other general feedback or requests, please contact us.

We are proud to announce that we have received a grant to fund this initiative and expand its impact.  An article about this effort and grant can be found on CUConnections.  You can also see a PDF of the grant proposal here.

Project Summary

The Infrastructure & Sustainability computer literacy initiative is intended to provide professional
development opportunities for frontline service employees and increase employee engagement
in the CU Boulder community.

Computing is an important part of everyday life in the twenty-first century. From music and
photos to banking and communicating, computers have changed the way we work and live.
Computers and the internet are interwoven into our lives in ways that many of us don’t even
recognize. But for those who are not yet comfortable using technology, tasks such as sending
an email or filling out an online application form can be daunting.

Technology is made available to staff on the CU campus, but for some staff members, it is not
easily accessible. Staff may not be aware of the tools and resources available to them, know
how to access them or know how to use them. This can have many effects. Often, it means
frontline staff are missing out on key messages from the campus and, by extension, important
opportunities. Our hope is to provide the support needed to allow all staff the opportunity to
access these tools so that they can begin to participate and communicate in the growing digital

Program Description and Objectives

Our daily lives involve computers, smartphones and tablets - whether it’s emailing someone,
buying a train or bus ticket, or filling out an application form. Everyone needs the opportunity to
be successful in our high-tech world. Some staff come to CU Boulder with few to no computer
skills. Computer literacy is many times the key factor in a person’s ability to take advantage of
opportunities or being cut off from that information and knowledge. We feel the question is not
whether to teach our staff technology skills, but rather, how to best support them in a quest
toward computer literacy.

Because of the socioeconomic status of much of our frontline staff, many of these workers do
not universally share the same access to opportunities to grow and develop, advance their
careers and engage with the broader campus. While each staff member is different, there are
three primary reasons for this: language barriers, access to technology and technology literacy.
Until recently, the Infrastructure & Sustainability department had assumed that frontline
members don’t want to check their email and didn’t consider whether staff had the proficiency
and access to use campus computers. Our strategy for communicating with them and engaging
them was to work around technology. We were failing to bring our frontline service workers up to
speed with technology and to streamline or to make more equitable the communications with
our staff.

The purpose of the computer literacy program is to equip frontline service employees with
computer skills necessary to function in our technology-driven society. It will teach staff
members how to type, navigate computers, compose basic documents, send emails, and use
internet browsers to do basic searches. We teach staff how to access their email, log into the
myCUinfo portal, and search and register for free staff training opportunities. Ultimately, our goal
is to increase collaboration between frontline service employees and the rest of the campus

Qualification and Selection Process

Qualified staff members are identified selected from within the Infrastructure & Sustainability
team. To attend the class, an employee must be a frontline service worker. Anyone interested in
the session must complete the one-page application. Qualified staff members are then selected
(and/or put on a class wait list) based on computer lab availability, work group coverage, and
assessed need. Classes are held during work time and employee may attend classes during
paid work hours. Employees must receive supervisor approval to attend class, and schedule
adjustments are made in conjunction with the team lead and department supervisor.

Program Details

Staff attend a computer class during their regularly scheduled work hours once per week for 1.5
hours. A single class session runs for 6 weeks. The course curriculum uses visual aids, practical
application and performance based assessments making it appropriate for ESOL learners as
well as native English speakers. Each module aligns with the corresponding Northstar Digital
Literacy Assessment (see appendices C and D). Recognizing that many custodial employees in
Infrastructure & Sustainability are not proficient in English and speak Spanish and Laotian as
first languages, volunteers attend the class sessions to help translate lessons and assignments
for those who need extra support.

Computer literacy courses focus both on personal and professional development through the
previously mentioned methodology and philosophy. The program continues to evolve and grow
as real life challenges with the technology are uncovered and solutions created.

Supporting Diversity

The program creates a welcoming and inclusive environment by allowing any staff to apply and
take the course, no matter their ability. This class has also been an avenue for collaboration
with CU Boulder Housing & Dining as well as the library/linguistic resources and departments on
campus. In addition, by offering translation services when necessary or requested, it opens the
class up to all frontline service employees, regardless of their language ability.
Deepening our ability to share and to engage with diverse perspectives

For previous classes, we held a post-class term celebration, not only to congratulate the
students who had taken the class, but also to listen to their feedback and to try to incorporate
some of that into future class curriculum. For example, the original class did not have typing
practice, but after hearing a majority of people say that they wanted more typing practice, we
found a way to work it into the curriculum.

Maximizing the success and inclusion of all students, staff and faculty
Our hope in offering computer classes to frontline and ESL staff is to increase individual
students’ confidence in working with computers and boost their ability to take advantage of all
the opportunities that the university offers to campus staff.