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Free course for adult learners begins locally

WORTHINGTON -- A new class for adult learners will begin next week at two locations in Worthington. The Knowledge Worker Course is a state-wide initiative developed by Lake Superior College, Central Lakes College and Alexandria Technical and Community College targeting employees in the workforce or people who are in the transition stage.

In Nobles County, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and the Nobles County Integration Collaborative will partner with Alexandria College to offer the course to interested students.

"We are targeting displaced workers or anyone who wants to know about Internet and social media skills needed in the work place," explained Minnesota West Community Development and Customized Training Director Roxanne Hayenga.

The four-week, weekly course begins with a face-to-face introduction module followed by three online sessions. Online sessions will be delivered to students through Desire2Learn (D2L), a web-based classroom program through which students will be able to complete assignments, participate in group discussions and communicate with the instructor.

Each module is scheduled to last four hours, but students will be able to complete their online sessions at their own pace each week.

Course instructor Joan Gilbertson said about 25 percent of the first class will be lecture-based. The remainder of class time will be spent on hands-on activities.

Career Pathways, the second module marks the beginning of online learning for students.

"Students will learn to polish their résumés and interviewing skills," Gilbertson explained. "We'll also be looking at electronic tools like eFolio (web-based portfolio) and LinkedIn for them to showcase their skills to employers."

The third session, Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace, is primarily focused on students generating creative ideas and spurring those ideas into practice.

"Creativity is generating fresh ideas but innovation is when you actually implement it," said Gilbertson who is an instructor at Alexandria College. "It will help students learn planning skills to utilize the creativity they have."

Students will gain insights on social media marketing strategies and review internet marketing communication skills during the fourth and final session.

As a grant-funded program by the Blandin Foundation, Knowledge Worker is free to all students.

The introductory class will be offered twice.

The first class will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Room 126 at the West Learning Center in Worthington, with a Spanish interpreter present.

A second session is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Minnesota West, but is pending due to lack of registrations.

The registration deadline is at noon today.

For registration or further information, call Sharon Balster, 372-3473, or Roxanne Hayenga, 372-3468.