N.C. Community College System Addresses the Digital Literacy Divide
Digital Literacy Project Supports N.C. Community College Vision to Lead the Nation in Diversity and Inclusion
RALEIGH – The N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) today announced an effort to help adults improve their digital literacy skills. The Digital Literacy Project (DLP), funded by the NCCCS and the College and Career Readiness (CCR) unit, aims to bridge the digital divide by providing instruction and support services for increasing digital skills necessary for adults to access job training and employment. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Survey of Adult Skills, nearly one-third of U.S. workers lack digital skills, and in N.C. nearly 82,000 residents lack foundational digital skills.
“The pandemic amplified the importance of having a comprehensive understanding of technologies many of us take for granted,” said Thomas Stith, NCCCS president. “As a result, we’re investing resources to train and upskill adult learners, so they’re prepared to find gainful employment.”
NCCCS created a cohort of programs to research, plan and coordinate immediate action items implemented to address the digital gap with adult learners. The initial cohort included Coastal Carolina Community College, Lenoir Community College, Piedmont Community College, Sampson Community College, Wilkes Community and Reading Connections. Experts collaborated to create a curriculum, a Digital Literacy Framework to guide work, a course tied to certification, and program models for delivery.
To bring to scale, an allocation of $1,075,000 was made to 43 Title II programs to create a Digital Navigator Network. The goal of this project is to train staff to serve as digital navigators and to collect data on the implementation of two levels of digital skills training to develop best practices in providing instruction to improve digital literacy resulting in a certificate.
For more about the Digital Literacy project, please visit: nccommunitycolleges.edu/digitalliteracy.