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New class for Plus 50 at PHCC

Plus 50 at PHCC
Led by Instructor Pat Prillaman, here’s a look at the first Beginning Computers with Keyboarding class for Plus 50 Encore Completion programming at Patrick Henry Community College. Those pictured include (left side from left) Ben Stephens, James Wilson, Henderson Seay, (right side) Pam Holland, Pat Handy, Lois Kirby and Beulah Hubbard. Also attending were Donna Tidwell and Aleen Wilson. 

Student Donna Tidwell took the first Beginning Computers with Keyboarding class offered in September for people ages 50 and over. She said she loved the course.

“It lets all of your fears and inhibitions go away,” Tidwell said. “Everyone is pretty much at the same level. Although it’s like a foreign language, it’s great to be learning all of this because computers are everywhere.” 

Fellow student Beulah Hubbard agreed. She said, “I have never used a computer. This class is helping me to be in touch with the modern world. Mrs. (Pat) Prillaman is a great teacher. She uses terms I can understand and follow. This class is a great benefit to me.”

Yvonne Price, Plus 50 Encore Completion coordinator, said it can be difficult for some people ages 50 and over to overcome their fear of using a computer, but that this class will help.

“Some students come for personal enrichment, to continue their education or improve their skills for employment,” she said, “but they realize they need to be able to use a computer to be successful in the classroom and on the job.”

Lois Kirby was encouraged to take this course by her employer. She said she likes being in a group with people similar in age and skillset.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn now,” she said. “Our instructor makes all the difference. Her patience and understanding is very helpful.”

Many people in the 50 and over age group have put their own dreams aside, according to Price.

“Between work, raising children, grandchildren and taking care of aging parents, (taking classes) just doesn’t seem feasible,” she said. “But the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is bringing individuals back to college and bringing them on campus for the first time to retrain in something they can feel passionate about. While it is geared toward the fields of education, human/social services and health/medical fields, it can also address gaps with computer training, English and mathematics.”

Price said to those who want to try, it’s time to make the change now.

“Whether it’s to face your fear of computers or finally take the career path you wish you had chosen years ago, we’re here to help you get there,” she said.

Part two of the Beginning Computers with Keyboarding course will start Thursday, Oct. 30 from 1-3 p.m. with an additional time for students who need extra assistance. The cost is $25 and pre-registration is required. Please call (276) 656-0260 to register or for more information.