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Core Skills Pathway


Below you will see a list of those technology sessions that are currently available to FM employees.

To request an invitation to any of these sessions, please register below.

Current offerings:

  • Microsoft Word

    • Explore the different parts of the Word document and document navigation
    • Learn how to format paragraphs, line spacing and fonts
    • Add and modify bullets, lists, tables, headers, footers, page numbers and page breaks
    • Insert graphical elements including drawing objects, pictures and charts
    • Utilize proofing features like spell check and grammar check
  • Microsoft Excel

    • Explore the different parts of the Excel worksheet and document navigation
    • Understand cells and their makeup and how to populate, format and merge cells
    • Create and manage formulas, tables, charts and multiple worksheet “workbooks”
    • Printing and PDF file creation including setting print areas
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

    • Explore the different parts of the PowerPoint presentation
    • Understand slides and their makeup
    • Create, insert and format slides
    • Insert and modify text, tables, charts, graphics, videos and images
  • Microsoft Outlook

    • Understand Outlook navigation and how the various aspects work together
    • View, create and respond to email messages; format emails and set signature(s)
    • Email etiquette: CC, BCC, threads, quoting and textual interpretation
    • Navigate and search email folders
    • Set email forwarding and filtering rules
    • Request and edit appointments and respond to meeting request
  • Introduction to Technology

    • Introduction to using Smartphones/iPhones for work
    • File management – working with files & folders
    • Getting help
    • Understanding internet basics
    • Staying safe while online

ESL (English as a Second Language)

The ESL pathway has been split into three different trails to help meet the various needs throughout FM. To provide this training, FM is working together with Liz Wittner, academic director and ITA program coordinator of the Volunteers with International Students, Staff, and Scholars (VISAS) program, which is part of the Center for American English Language and Culture at the University of Virginia; and Deb Tuler, ESOL specialist with PVCC, who previously led the GED sessions at FM.

1:1 Coaching Pathway

Occupational Training is committed to increasing communication throughout Facilities Management and one way the department is working to bring this vision to life is through the Core Skills ESL Pathway. In January 2018, a small group of FM employees helped to pilot the ESL Conversational Coaching program.

The soft launch of this program was described as a success by the coaches as well as the English language learners who participated in the sessions, and their supervisors and managers. Each session was filled with productive and animated talk, scribbling of new words and phrases in notebooks, and even laughter.

Based on this success, Occupational Training is expanding the invitation to other English language learners throughout FM. These one-on-one coaching sessions are open to any English Language Learners who are currently employed with Facilities Management. Coaching sessions are facilitated through the Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC) at the University of Virginia.

The program is based on the Volunteers with International Students, Staff, and Scholars (VISAS) Workplace program model which has been operating in Observatory Hill Dining Hall, Newcomb Hall Dining and the UVA Hospital for the past 10 years. Working with employees, managers and supervisors, the VISAS Program helps facilitate communication in the workplace as employees gain skills in English, literacy and intercultural communication.

VISAS provides training, materials and supervision to undergraduate volunteers who meet weekly with employees who are English language learners to practice their English and literacy skills one-on-one within a workshop setting. During this hour-long workshop, VISAS interns circulate as volunteer-employee pairs work on English listening comprehension, fluency, pronunciation and literacy skills at their particular level, while discussing different aspects of the culture that may be new or surprising. With the help of the volunteers, supervisors/managers recommend and select appropriate material suited to the needs, goals and level of each employee. Each employee is provided a notebook that contains their work, cumulative vocabulary and other pertinent material. They can bring this home to study outside of class. VISAS also provides appropriate reading and other ESL material for volunteers and employees to use in the workshop.

The VISAS Program considers this a partnership with the workplace, and endeavors to work with management to incorporate workplace goals and materials (memos, safety information, new protocols, etc.) into the lessons. (You can read more about the programs on the CAELC and VISAS websites.)

What a participant can expect:

  • In the first session, CAELC staff perform an intake and assessment to gauge the learner’s starting level while getting to know each learner.
  • Staff assessments take into account learner needs, personal goals and interests to help create the curriculum of their learning process. Information covered weekly may vary depending on any items or information the learner brings in or management provides to CAELC.
  • After assessment, learners are then paired with CAELC volunteers. Volunteers are highly supervised by staff and interns. All work collaboratively with learners regarding the individualized structure and content of lessons to meet learner goals.
  • Coaching sessions begin with a 5-10 minute group activity and discussion.
  • After the group activity, learners and their volunteer teachers pair off and work one-on-one together with input from staff and interns.

What a supervisor/manager can expect:

  • Communication
    • The supervisor/manager of each participant will be included in all email and calendar communication.
    • Occupational Training & CAELC will be soliciting for material suited to the needs, goals and level of each employee and your department.
    • English language learners will be encouraged to check in with you throughout the program to share what they are learning.

ESL Classroom Pathway

Occupational Training is working to re-launch the ESL classroom sessions in fall of 2018.

ESL Management Pathway

This session is designed to strategize communication techniques that increase understanding between management and English language learners who are a part of their staff. It will also introduce tools for creating ESL-friendly processes and paperwork and identify ways that existing paperwork or processes can be transformed to a more ESL-friendly format.

Additional information on the following sessions coming soon!

  • Reading Growth & Development
  • Writing Growth & Development
  • Math Growth & Development