CLA offers free computer classes

Classes are free for CLA undergraduates. They would normally cost $40 to $65.

Cati Vanden Breul

Starting this month, College of Liberal Arts students will be able to take free computer classes sponsored by CLA and the University Technology Training Center.

The classes, which will take place September through November, are part of the University’s Get Wired! program. The classes would normally cost $40 to $65, but will be free for CLA undergraduates.

University Technology Training Center staff will teach courses on a variety of topics including HTML basics and Macromedia Dreamweaver.

“I think (the classes) provide an opportunity for people that might not be as skilled to catch up or get ahead on things you are pretty much expected to know these days,” University junior and CLA InfoTech Fees Committee co-chairman Adam Brookins said.

Jen Mein, coordinator of instructional technology at the University, said she thinks the topics covered in the classes are important to students and beneficial to their success at the University.

“It’s training that’s not really provided in classes that expect you to know how to use programs such as Excel,” Mein said.

Feedback on the classes in past years has been positive, she said.

Students have reported in course evaluations that they are grateful for the opportunity to take the classes and expand their knowledge, or learn things for the first time, Mein said.

Approximately 20 students can sign up for each class, and they fill up quickly, Mein said. Students should register online as soon as possible to guarantee a spot, she said.

Part of a $100 technology fee that CLA students pay each year is used to fund the classes, said Melissa Martyr-Wagner, former coordinator of instructional technology at the University and current manager of Networking and Telecommunications Services.

The InfoTech Fees Committee decides how that money is spent, Brookins said.

The fees committee is made up of students, staff and faculty, Wagner said. Committee members work together to brainstorm the best way to spend the money collected from students.

The money is spent providing and monitoring computer labs on campus, giving grants to CLA professors who want to add technology to their courses, and offering opportunities such as the computer classes, Brookins said.

Not everybody agrees with the way the money is used.

“I don’t like the idea of paying money so someone else can take a class,” third-year student Keely Grab said.

Grab said he has never participated in the classes and doesn’t plan to.

Classes are offered at the beginning of fall, spring and summer semesters.

The first class, PowerPoint Basics, will take place Sept. 21.