Pueblo Community College is among one of 20 Hispanic-serving institutions embarking on a partnership with technology giant Google.
The Grow with Google HSI Career Readiness Program is an initiative that offers digital skills training for Latino students across the 20 institutions. With $2 million invested in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Google seeks to provide training for 200,000 students before 2025, according to Grow with Google.
On Jan. 24, Pueblo Community College announced it would be participating in the partnership.
“During the COVID period, what we found was that underrepresented student populations, including Hispanic students, included housing insecurities, food insecurities, child care, and technology insecurities,” said Maria de la Cruz, academic excellence administrator for PCC’s Division of Business & Advanced Technology.
Technology Insecurities may include internet access and access to technological devices, de la Cruz said. While PCC will provide digital training workshops through Grow with Google, the college also is planning to embed the Google curriculum into existing coursework.
“During the rest of this semester, we will be training instructors to integrate this into their course and it will be launched as part of course curriculum in the fall,” de la Cruz said. “In the meantime, we are looking for other ways that community members may access this.”
The Grow with Google curriculum includes five “pathways” including Build Your Digital Skills, Explore Career Paths, Land a Great Job, Succeed at Your New Job, and Entrepreneurship.
“The assignments may include learning how to use Google Documents, how to give an engaging presentation, how to write a cover letter, how to network,” de la Cruz said.
Additional components of the Grow with Google curriculum include workshops on tracking expenses, building a business, overcoming barriers and the self-doubt of experience and talent referred to as imposter syndrome.
PCC is looking to integrate Grow with Google into additional programs outside college courses including GED programs, concurrent enrollment courses, programs offered through industry partners, and other avenues.
“These are foundational skillsets for the workforce,” de la Cruz said. “Digital skills are increasingly in demand in the workforce. There are a lot of people that do not have key digital real-world skills. This is to enhance that development and it’s through projects.”