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Wisdom Meets Technology: NOVA student works with senior citizens

NOVA-Woodbridge IT and cybersecurity students teach seniors technology skills

Provided by Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)

Wisdom Meets Technology: NOVA student works with senior citizens

In an effort to assist seniors with computer literacy skills, Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) Woodbridge Campus has partnered with local non-profit organization Agape Love in Action, to host Wisdom Meets Technology (WMT), a free comprehensive computer training course open to all senior citizens.

Students enrolled in NOVA’s information technology (IT) and cybersecurity programs are teaching a total of 15 enrolled local seniors from WMT. For sessions held on Fridays from Dec. 1 through Feb. 2 (excluding holidays), seniors ages 65 to 87 are participating in a curriculum tailored for individuals with limited knowledge of computer software and operating systems.

NOVA students serve as instructors to provide seniors a unique learning experience based on content at a pace suitable for their needs. Each class is structured to be small in size to provide individualized assistance to maximize the learning experience. At the completion of the course, participating seniors will be able to navigate the Internet, read and open emails, open and send email attachments, compose, edit, save and retrieve Microsoft Word documents.  

WMT was the idea of Corliss Udoema, a business owner who was recently named Virginia Small Business Person of the Year. Udoema said as a senior citizen herself, she felt individuals within her age group should become familiar with technology for daily living and to stay connected with family. Since the inception of WMT, a total of 414 seniors have completed the program. To date the oldest graduate was 89 years old.

“Learning is enhanced when seniors are encouraged and allowed to learn at their own pace,” Udoema said. “NOVA students are not trying to teach our seniors how to create a spreadsheet or anything advanced. The curriculum will be focused on learning the basics, how to turn on a computer, check their bank accounts and pay bills online, watch content online, use the Internet and learn how to send and receive emails and photos. We are very appreciative of this new partnership with NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus.”

When WMT graduated its first class of seniors in 2016 at Central Carolina Community College, in Sanford, North Carolina, Udoema was looking for additional locations to host the program after relocating to the Northern Virginia area. She contacted the faculty and staff at NOVA-Woodbridge after speaking with Campus Provost Sam Hill about collectively offering seniors throughout Prince William County another option for educational resources. Udoema, along with Dr. Paula Ford, assistant dean of information technology, Michael Turner, dean of students,and several faculty and staff worked together with NOVA students to create a course schedule and curriculum to highlight basic technology concepts. Lorton resident Sue Miller expressed her gratitude to the College and its students for helping her to become more comfortable when using a computer.

“I know absolutely nothing about computers. I don’t own one and my friends have been begging me for years to purchase one of my very own,” said Miller. I’m excited and looking forward to learning everything that I possibly can from the WMT program and our NOVA student instructors.”

For registration and/or additional information about Wisdom Meets Technology call (703) 686.4846.

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