SCOTTSBLUFF — AIM Institute, an innovative nonprofit committed to growing a strong and diverse tech community through education, career development and outreach, is offering free tech education classes and academic placement testing services at its Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) in Scottsbluff.
Beginning Aug. 11 and continuing through Sept. 8, a five-session, in-person Introduction to Technology course will be offered every Wednesday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. This fall, the EOC also will provide free Accuplacer testing services to help students interested in taking dual-credit classes meet qualification requirements.
The Introduction to Technology course is intended to link people interested in careers in technology with the opportunity to learn fundamental skills necessary for entry into the field. The removal of the cost barrier for the 20-hour program, which is offered through the accredited AIM Code School, is intended to create access to tech education for younger and more diverse participants, a critical component to addressing the shortage of tech workers throughout Nebraska. Community leaders involved with the Nebraska Tech Collaborative identified the need to add 10,000 tech workers in Nebraska by 2025.
“At AIM, we believe everyone can learn about coding and technology,” Emily Matis, director of AIM Code School, said. “In today’s job market, it would be beneficial for everyone to have some basic tech skills and knowledge, whether they decide they want to pursue a tech-focused career or learn new skills to help them in their current jobs.”
The entry-level course is designed to provide participants with basic knowledge and definitions of IT terms and concepts in five different areas of technology, Matis said. The classes will cover information about coding, data technology and security, infrastructure, tech support and design. The series of classes will help people new to tech discover where their interests lie and learn about possible career opportunities that involve these highly sought-after skills, from building a website to creating software, learning how to manage data and more.
“You don’t have to be tech-savvy or know a lot about technology to register — no prior experience is necessary to enroll. Our only expectation from students is that they come ready to learn and are excited to grow their tech skills,” Matis said.
Registration is required for the free, in-person course. To sign up, please visit: https://bit.ly/IntroTechCourse.
In addition to the free technology course, this fall, the EOC is offering free Accuplacer testing services — a series of tests that evaluate students’ abilities in reading, writing and math to help college administrators place them in courses that match their skills. Accuplacer testing is an alternative way for students who are interested in taking dual-credit classes to qualify for them if they do not meet requirements through an ACT or SAT score.
MacKenzie Broderick, director of outreach for the AIM Educational Outreach Center, will be visiting high schools throughout the region this fall to host information sessions to guide parents who have juniors and seniors on what to expect through the college admissions process and let them know about available support services at the EOC – all of which are provided for free.
“We help students with their student aid forms and college admission applications, scholarship search, essay assistance and a range of other support services to help students and young adults gain better access to postsecondary education and pursue rewarding careers in technology,” Broderick said.
Broderick is planning to lead information sessions at high schools in Scottsbluff, Gering, Mitchell, Minatare, Morrill, Bayard, Chadron, Gordon-Rushville, Sidney, Alliance and Hay Springs. A one-time application is required with parent or guardian signature, if students are under 18 years of age. To apply for services, please visit: https://aim-eoc.mylacai.com/apply.php.
For more information about the AIM Educational Opportunity Center or its programs, please contact MacKenzie Broderick at 308-633-0104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For assistance with enrolling in Code School or information about tech careers, contact Carlos Williams via email at email@example.com.