Beaufort County Community College students benefit from new digital literacy platform

Published 2:13 pm Saturday, March 26, 2022

Beaufort County Community College’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) program has helped 56 students earn one or more digital literacy badges/certificates through the NorthStar Digital Literacy curriculum. The program gives students essential computer skills and explores the use of technology in daily life. A system of badges helps students stand out as technologically capable and ready for a modern workplace. The CCR program focuses on helping adults earn their high school equivalency and become proficient English speakers. Classes are offered for free.

The NorthStar Digital Literacy curriculum is now part of the larger curriculum for high school equivalency/GED students and English as a second language students. The 96-hour program differs from traditional CCR classes in that it runs on a specific schedule. Usually, CCR classes are self-paced, meaning that students can moved through quickly, stop and start or take their time finishing the program. The set schedule and the system of badges has motivated students and created both a competitive and cooperative spirit in the classes, so it is not only increasing students’ digital skills and awareness, but it is making students excel in the CCR curriculum.

“You see the younger students approach the older students to help them with their skills,” said Penelope Radcliffe, director of college and career readiness. “But you also see the older ones determined to keep up with the younger students. When a student sees all the badges that classmates are earning, it motivates them to keep pushing forward.”

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The program helps students learn how to send emails, organize emails and introduces them to commonly used software. Badges include learning the difference between Mac OS and Windows systems, internet basics, Microsoft Word and Excel, Google Docs, career search skills, social media, K-12 distance learning programs and understanding their digital footprint. These skills can help the students stay competitive in the workforce, but also help them support children who are increasing learning through digital platforms.

BCCC had implemented the program before North Carolina started the Promoting Innovation Initiative, which will fund the program until June 30, 2022. The CCR program plans to add the NorthStar Digital Literacy program to its classes in Washington County, as well as taking it to Washington Housing Authority residents.

For more information regarding digital literacy, GED or English as a second language, call 940-6325.