Fall 2018 registration for Culverhouse School of Accountancy's LIFT program is now open. The program will kick-off on September 10.
The LIFT program is designed to reach out to the Tuscaloosa, West Alabama, and Holt communities and use University resources, both financial and human capital, to improve the job skills of the adult and teen populations. Specifically, the goal is to provide free classes for low-income and disadvantaged individuals who would otherwise not have access to such courses and education. A secondary goal is to support the small business community through the provision of courses that will help their businesses grow and succeed.
Part of The University’s mission statement is “to advance the intellectual and social condition of the people… of the world through the creation, translation, and dissemination of knowledge with an emphasis on…service.” This initiative directly fulfills this mission.
Over 350 student volunteers were utilized in Spring 2018 to teach over 600 community participants, ranging from 9th graders at a Title 1 high school to unemployed adults in the West End and Holt communities. In addition, veterans and their family members were taught computer and financial skills at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, in Birmingham, and in Tuskegee. The program was started in August 2014.
The training focuses on improving the job marketability and career prospects of the community participants by training them in software such as Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and QuickBooks. Other courses focus on financial literacy, professional development, and business communication.
The magic of the program lies in the relationship-building aspect of the education; the non-traditional adult students attending the classes thrive in a relaxed tutoring and mentoring environment where they receive individual attention and learn at their own pace. This relationship model is also a cornerstone of the youth programming.