Information About Classes

Registration is now open for Fall 2017 classes.  Classes will start in early September. 

Go to this link to register:

Class descriptions:

Computer Combo (choose one): Computer for Beginners, Microsoft Excel Beginner or Intermediate, Word Beginner or Intermediate, or PowerPoint

Choose one of the six course subjects at any of the times below. You will be tutored on an individual basis (or paired with one other participant) by a trained and knowledgeable University undergraduate or graduate students on University computers.  Computer skills are learned best in a working laboratory where students actively use the software and receive guidance in completing exercises and problems. Certification in the subject is awarded by The University if the course is successfully completed. Computer for Beginners covers basic skills, such as Internet Explorer, web searches, email, Google Docs, navigating Windows, file maintenance, and an introduction to Microsoft Office applications.  Choose one:  Mondays 12:30pm or Wednesdays 5:30pm at The Edge downtown; Wednesdays 10:00am or Tuesdays 5:30pm at Gateway Community Center (75 minutes, 9 sessions, one per week)

QuickBooks Software & Bookkeeper Training

Learn bookkeeping and accounting software directly through individual tutoring on University laptops by trained University accounting students. The course incorporates an overview of the basics of accounting and financial statements to enhance the value of the software skills. It is appropriate for beginners. Certification is awarded by The University if the course is successfully completed. This course is designed to prepare participants for jobs that require bookkeeping skills and to assist individuals in running a small business. Choose one: Mondays 9:00am, Mondays 5:30pm, Tuesdays 5:30pm, or Wednesdays 12:30pm at The Edge downtown (75 minutes, 9 sessions, one per week)

Financial Fitness Challenge

New this semester:  University faculty & professionals will be guest speakers!  Accept the challenge to change your bad financial habits and make the most of your money! You will meet weekly with University students and graduate assistants and other members of the community to work on a path towards financial fitness. Each week will feature a new challenge regarding money management principles, including budgeting, managing and understanding debt, using credit wisely, financial goal-setting, savings and investing, asset protection, and risk management. You will be guided through a self-assessment of your financial habits and other interactive exercises designed to teach you how to successfully manage your finances, regardless of your income or age level. This class replaces our previous money management/financial literacy course. Mondays 5:30pm at McDonald Hughes (75 minutes, 9 sessions, one per week)

Professional Development
Enhance your career skills to improve your job marketability and professionalism.  Topics include:  
(1) resumes, (2) interviews, (3) online applications, (4) communication, (5) email etiquette, (6) business attire, and (7) career planning and goal-setting. The course will be led by a group of trained University students and guest speakers who will guide the you through exercises and activities. Thursdays 5:30pm at McDonald Hughes (75 minutes, 9 sessions, one per week)

Business Communication
Develop and improve communication skills useful in the workplace and in a professional business environment. Topics covered include:  (1) planning and executing presentations, (2) producing reports and proposals, (3) adapting your communication to your audience, (4) writing skills, and (5) strategies for communication in the workplace. The course will be led by a group of trained University students and staff who will guide you through exercises and activities. Tuesdays at 5:30pm at The Edge downtown (75 minutes, 9 sessions, one per week)

Math Skills for the Workplace
Refresh and apply basic math principles used in the workplace and business environment.  Topics covered include:  (1) fractions, (2) decimals, (3) percentages, (4) compound interest, (5) simple equations to solve problems, (6) payroll calculations, (7) loan amortization tables, and (8) buy vs. lease decisions. Tuesdays at 5:30pm at McDonald Hughes (75 minutes, 9 sessions, one per week)

Classes are also offered in Tuscaloosa through DCH Employee Assistance Program, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. Classes are ffered on Fridays in Greensboro, Fayette, Eutaw, and Centreville. Contact us at for more information.

Class format: 
For computer classes, you will be paired with one other community member of similar ability studying the same subject or you will work by yourself with your own tutor.  Your UA student-tutor will guide both of you (or just you individually) through exercises and problems based on a professional academic curriculum we have developed and tested.  The material will be learned in a hands-on environment and in an interactive mode.  We will proceed at your pace as best we can, slowing down or increasing speed as necessary to achieve maximum learning.  The UA student will be trained prior to the start of your classes.  Class leaders, graduate assistants, and faculty will supervise the student-tutors.

For financial, math, communication, and professional development classes, the material will be learned in small groups through activities and exercises.

The atmosphere is friendly and informal, but purposeful and productive.  Volunteers are encouraged to adapt to the participants' base of knowledge and develop a positive relationship that fosters growth and confidence.  Participants will receive individual attention and learn in an optimal environment.

Length and duration of class:
Each class is 75 minutes in length. The classes run for 9 weeks, meeting once a week.  Most classes start the week of September 11, 2017.

The Edge Small Business Development Center in downtown Tuscaloosa ia located at 800 22nd Avenue, at the intersection of 8th Street and 22nd Avenue in between Queen City Ave and Greensboro Ave, behind the federal courthouse and a short walk from the main hub of the bus station.  See the map on this website.  Please give yourself extra time to find it on the first day so you are not late for class.  Parking is easy and available in the Regions Bank parking lot diectly behind the building. 

McDonald Hughes Community Center is on the west side of Tuscaloosa on Martin Luther King Blvd, close to Stillman.  The Gateway Community Center in Alberta is at 2614 University Blvd East, about a mile from the University campus.

The classes are free; our laptops (for computer classes) and materials are provided to you for use during the class periods.   

Expectations of your participation in the class:
We are treating this as an academic course where timeliness and attendance is required.  We want this to be a professional and valuable program. You must attend each class in the series unless you have an illness or emergency.  If you miss more than 2 classes in the series, you will not be able to receive certification and we will have to reassign your volunteer.  We understand that one class may be missed, but please treat this as a weekly obligation and take it seriously.  You will not be able to come to a different class time to make up that session; that is not an option due to the 100% capacity of all of our classes.  If you cannot make this commitment, consider taking the class at another time when you can commit to the class once a week.