UTSA housekeeping staff learns computer skills from teacher education staff

ceremony

Housekeeping staff member receives graduation certificate from Dave Riker, UTSA associate vice president for facilities

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(June 4, 2014) -- Since May 2012, a group of students at UTSA has received computer training from the College of Education and Human Development faculty, staff and students, but these students aren't typical college students. They're housekeeping staff members. And, many of them had never even been in front of a computer before they started these classes.

The classes began when facilities worker Erlinda Castillo, who was interested in learning some computer skills, asked Ilna Colemere, senior program coordinator in the Office of Teacher Education Services, for help. Staff members participating in the training began calling it "Erlinda's Wish."

"She was very hungry to learn, and because we are in the business of education, we knew it was important to educate everyone in our midst," Colemere said.

Colemere took on the challenge and one student soon turned into more than 80. The class graduated May 30 from their third year of classes.

They celebrated their achievements -- many going from not even knowing how to turn on a computer to learning how to communicate via email -- with a special ceremony.

Since they began, the classes have expanded to include English-as-a-second-language skills. The housekeeping staff is allowed one hour a week to attend the classes taught by College of Education and Human Development faculty, staff and students.

Colemere recently won the Extra Mile Award at the UTSA University Excellence Awards ceremony for her work on the program.

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To learn more about Erlinda's Wish, email Ilna Colemere.

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