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Program Manual

Welcome to TeenTech!

Please read through the intro, overview, mission, vision and goals to familiarize yourself with this great opportunity for students to invest in their future. Then, select the blue button that pertains to your role in the program.

Program Overview

This Manual is an introduction to the Computer Mentors Program roles, commitments, responsibilities and policies for all participants in the program. Program participants include the Computer Mentors staff, the not-for-profit partners, the mentors, the students, and their parents. As new policies and operating procedures are implemented, they will be updated on this site. If you have any questions about the information presented in this manual, please contact us for more information. Nothing contained in this manual is intended to create, nor shall it be construed to constitute any expressed or implied covenant or contract of employment. All Computer Mentors employees are employees-at-will, and both the staff and volunteers remain free to terminate their relationship with Computer Mentors at any time and for any reason. Nothing contained in this manual shall be construed to modify this employment-at-will relationship. Computer Mentors reserves the right to make changes, from time to time, with or without notice, in this manual. Moreover, because it is impossible to anticipate every situation that may arise, Computer Mentors reserves the right to address a situation in a manner different from that described herein if, at its discretion, the circumstances so warrant.

CMG’s TeenTech program offers High School students technology skills and certifications with a focus in Microsoft Office, Software Development (C# and Web Technologies), and IT Infrastructure. The program is designed to give students the skills they need to be successful in any career path, specifically instilling in them the confidence and desire to pursue information technology.

 

TeenTech’s primary goals are:
• To provide a hands-on approach to learning essential IT skills
• Assess understanding of entry-level technology skills through industry recognized certification
• Students get exposure to technology firms through presentations and field trips
• Students build relationships with like-minded peers and mentors
• Learn life skills in preparation for the workforce and/or college education

 

 

The TeenTech program for High School students has five elements:
Microsoft Office Specialist Certification: Building a foundation for entry-level technology skills using industry recognized certification.
Microsoft Technology Associate Developer Certifications: Develop an understanding of object-oriented programming, the application life cycle, and software development.
Microsoft Technology Associate IT Infrastructure Certifications: Students learn Network Infrastructure and Security, Server Roles and Server Installation, Understanding Data Storage, Manipulating Data, and Cloud Computing.
Mentoring: Students gain essential interpersonal skills as they meet with a volunteer mentor from the IT industry, who helps the student with exercises, college prep, and work force readiness.
Placement in Post-Secondary Education and/or Employment

 

Students entering the program begin working towards Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification using GMetrix, a project-based training tool. MOS certification provides a solid foundation in digital literacy for students to build upon.

 

After achieving the MOS certification, students select a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certificate they would like to pursue, starting with either Software Development in C# or HTML5 Web Applications. Students prepare for the exams using practice tests through MeasureUP and our MTA certified mentors work with youth one-on-one to ensure students are gaining important skills in Information Technology. Students who certify in Software Development (C#) or HTML5 Web Applications will leave this phase with a portfolio containing samples of their work and may occasionally be invited to participate in development projects.

 

Once the student has completed a Developer MTA certificate, students may choose to continue exploring and earning more MTA certifications in Networking, Security, Windows Server, Cloud, Database, or Software Testing. Students are lead through the curriculum with exercises provided by MTA certified mentors and practice tests from MeasureUP. Students achieving any number of MTA certifications are awarded a total of three (3) college credits. Students also earn points through completing MTA certifications and development projects. The points system rewards students with new technology, such as gaming consoles, phones, tablets, laptops, televisions, and anything else the average consumer could purchase from Best Buy.

 

 

In addition to our mentors on staff, volunteers from the IT industry mentor students one-on-one providing assistance with exercises, certification preparation, education advice, resume building, and interview skills.

 

The final element to the TeenTech program is placement. High School Seniors are placed in summer internships and/or are enrolled in post-secondary education following graduation.

The Kids-Code program teaches programming, web design, and robotics to grades 4th through 8th.  Each of the three sections runs up to 20 weeks in length.

Kids-Code

Kids learn to code and play their own games, design websites, and create robots!

 

 

Level 1

Students work closely with a mentor to complete four challenges that guide students through creating their own games: Intro Challenge: introduces programming principles and concepts. Arts Challenge: takes students through the stages of game design and learn common tools. Stories Challenge: Students tell their games story through pseudo-code!  Also learn how to use data, conditionals, and loops. Games Challenge: The Finale! Students use all they have learned to create their game. Surveys are issued at the beginning and end of the course to determine learning outcomes.

Level 2

Students determine a social issue they care about and design a website!  The coursework teaches HTML and CSS programming languages, some JavaScript, and best web design practices. Students learn how to research their topic and develop a clear mission statement and message. The completed website consists of multiple pages with images, text, and a survey.  The website also links to research studies and relevant sites for more information.

Level 3

Students combine programming skills and techniques to control a robot. Students will be implementing different scripts to manipulate a robot to follow given instructions, playing music, talking, moving, etc. Students are given rubrics to grade their progress.  Surveys are issued to measure expectations and outcomes.

Mission

To create creators, by providing project-based experience and guidance to youth that encourages them to pursue Information Technology careers.

Vision

To create a pipeline of Information Technology professionals that lift their communities into brighter futures.

To provide high quality technology training and 21st Century literacies. To provide technology tools and skills to low-income families. To help promote Information Technology and business-related employment opportunities for youth. To provide positive role models that will enhance the spiritual, cultural, and economic well-being of the youth in our community.

Program Role Information

Roles
  • Be open to the exposure and insight into the professional work world provided by the mentor.
  • Learn from the mentor and respect their time and commitment.
  • Consider career choices and higher education.
  • Be a kid and have fun using electronic devices.
  • Have respect for peers and mentors.
  • Be receptive of different styles and tools for learning.
  • Have Fun!
Commitments
  • Attend weekly for a minimum of an hour and a half.
  • Attendance is mandatory to be successful in this program. If you can not make it to a class, that’s OK, but you must notify the Program Manager and your mentor. Two (2) missed sessions in a row without being excused from the program director will result in immediate withdrawal from the program for 90 days.
  • Notify your mentor anytime you are unable to attend class.
  • As a student mentor continue to research and work independently, in other words, take initiative when someone needs help.
  • Be respectful to mentor and agency employees.
  • Be mindful of others around you.
  • Have Fun!
Responsibilities
  • Follow through with commitments, and contact the mentor and Computer Mentors staff regarding any changes in plans.
  • Communicate achievements to your parents and invite them to any Computer Mentors events.
  • Communicate questions, concerns, changes immediately to mentor and/or Program Manager.
  • Use your Design Journal or Folders to take notes.
  • Treat all equipment with care and respect, as if it were your own.
  • Ask questions whenever you are unsure.
  • Follow directions when asked.
  • Have Fun!
Roles
  • Encourage your child to invest in themselves and work hard to get the most out of the CMG Teen Tech program.
  • Support your child with transportation to CMG on time for every scheduled session.
Commitments
  • Support transportation for the student to attend the program.
  • Notify organization and mentor anytime your child is unable to attend class.
Responsibilities
  • Communicate questions, concerns, changes immediately to your child’s mentor and/or program director.
  • Provide monthly verbal and/or email updates and/or questions to Program Manager.

Considering that volunteers accepted into the Teen Tech High School Program are Information Technology (IT) or Marketing practitioners who have gained the technical skills necessary to transfer knowledge to their students in the Teen Tech Program, the following roles and responsibilities are set forth prescribing interaction by these mentors with students, parents, client companies, 501(C)3 entities, and other non-profits whose projects are taken on by students and CMG management. The following applies to both paid and unpaid mentors.

Roles
  • Provide a student with exposure and insight into the professional workforce.
  • Serve as a role model by demonstrating commitment and dependability.
  • Provide one-on-one direct training assistance for student to achieve certification.
  • Monitor student progress.
  • Guide and encourage the student in career choices and higher education.
Commitments
  • Research areas beyond personal expertise if required to assist the student in completing the project.
  • Be available to student by phone or email for follow-up and scheduling.
Responsibilities
  • Assist student in setting and achieving goals relevant to industry and career exploration.
  • Take initiative in phoning student or exchanging e-mails.
  • Follow through with commitments, and contact the student and CMG staff regarding any changes in plans.
  • Communicate immediately to your student, parent, and program director any changes (address, phone #, etc.) or the need to withdraw from the program.
  • Communicate questions, concerns, changes immediately to program director.
  • Provide weekly verbal and/or email update to the program director.
  • Serve as Project Manager for the relevant project liaising between student, client, and program director.
Roles
  • Identify a need in the community that their non-profit can solve in a sustainable way.
  • Provide a community-enriching project idea to meet that need.
Commitments
  • Provide the CMG, mentor and student with all the information to work towards the solution.
  • Provide any additional resources and intelligence unique to the agency that CMG, mentor or student may need to build the solution.
  • Utilize project solution and products in the best interest of the community.
Responsibilities
  • Meet with CMG, mentor and student at prescribed times to measure project progress.
  • Provide any additional resources and intelligence unique to the agency that CMG, mentor or student may need to build the solution.
  • Sustain the project solution and products to continue to add to their community.
Project Process

project-flow

  1. Not-for-profit agency submits a project. Projects would have been vetted and approved by the program director.  An assessment includes determining the skill set that will be needed to complete the project.  A mentor will be selected from the pool of existing mentors with the required skill set.

  2. Student selects a project.

  3. Mentor assigned to assist the student in the execution of the project.

  4. Once a mentor is assigned, the student can commence work on the project. As a first step, the mentor and the student will discuss a projected timeframe to have the project complete. Together, they will determine a project plan, including the scope, communication plan, and required resources.

  5. Funding the project will become the task of the Executive Director or his designee.

  6. Student will work on their projects at their regularly scheduled class periods until completion.

  7. Once project is complete, Computer Mentors will host a recognition ceremony. The ceremony will include a presentation by the student of the project and recognition of their mentor. Ceremonies with other projects may be combined and it is anticipated that ceremonies may occur at certain fixed dates during the year.

  8. After completion of the project and recognition, the student is free to select a new project and repeat this process until such time as there are no longer eligible to be in the program.

Program Policies

Program evaluation is conducted as a measurement of progress through the phases by each student. In addition, a pre and post survey indicates if there is an increase in student self-esteem from starting the program to completing their first project. Finally, increase in project performance evaluation scores indicates improved professional competencies. Student progress will be monitored on a weekly basis via one-on-one dialogue between mentor and student. Project progress is measured through comparing completion with the deliverables identified on the project plan and feedback from the project client. Program progress will be measured by the start dates of each phase. Each student has as much time as they need to complete a phase as long as they are productive each week, but phases that take over 90 days will place a student under probation. During probation, an individual education plan will be developed to ensure the student’s success in the program.

Supervision is a key component in a successful mentoring program. The first line of supervision is the mentors. Mentors are the closest to the students, and after building relationships of trust and mutual respect, they are best suited to identify issues and design resolutions to ensure a healthy, safe learning environment. The primary responsibility for supervising the program shall rest with the STEM Corps Program Director. The program director monitors the environment and performance of the mentors, as well as maintaining relationships with the students to measure their success in the program. In the event there is a need for help and support designing a resolution of a dispute or other issue, the mentor and/or student should report and discuss the matter with the program director.  In the event resolution of the matter is unsuccessful after being discussed with the program director, it can be submitted to the executive director for final resolution. The decision of the executive director is final.

Work on student projects will be performed at Computer Mentors’s program sites. In the event there is a need for work to be performed at a different location, the following procedure must be followed:

  • The proposed off-site work location, dates and times must be submitted in writing to the program director a week in advance of the projected start date, including a written explanation for the necessity for the work to be performed at an off-site location.
  • The program director or, in his absence the executive director, must give his or her consent to the proposed off-site work location and schedule.
  • Written approval from the parents or guardian in the form of a the Field Trip Form must be obtained prior to commencement of the off-site trip.
  • All off-site work shall be kept to a minimum.

Participants and mentors deserve and need positive feedback regarding their achievements and contributions. Following completion of a project, a date will be selected for a program showcase where parents, sponsors, and members of the community are invited. Further recognition of the project will be be in the form of social media and email marketing, including pictures, quotes and accomplishments of both mentor and student.

You should read and understand all guidelines relating to responding in emergency situations. After familiarizing yourself with this information, any questions should be discussed promptly with the Program Director or Executive Director.

 

Accidents/Medical Emergencies

If you observe a person who appears to be injured or ill:

Notify the Department Supervisor. If an ambulance is needed, your Supervisor will call to have one dispatched.

Avoid unnecessary conversation with, or about, the ill or injured person.

Limit your communication with the injured person to quiet assurances and let them know that help is on the way.

DO NOT attempt to move a person who has fallen and appears to be in pain.

Do not discuss the possible cause of an accident or other conditions that might have contributed to the cause.

You should take whatever action they can to prevent further aggravation of the injury before the arrival of the Emergency Medical Services.

In the case of minor accidents or illnesses, the person’s wishes should be followed. First Aid kits are located in all Computer Mentors locations.

 

Evacuation

The actual notification to evacuate may be either via Computer Mentors emergency fire alarm or the Administration staff. NOTE: when evacuating the building do not use the elevator and always leave through the closest exit. Stay calm and leave quickly and safely.

When the evacuation alarm sounds or you are told to evacuate – Remain calm, Leave quickly and safely, Supervisors are to check nearby restrooms, etc.

Supervisors are to accompany and help handicapped personnel, visitors and co-workers who may need calm direction or assistance.

Take your car keys, purses, briefcases, etc. (not large or heavy objects).

Shut all doors behind you as you go.

Closed doors can slow the spread of fire, smoke and water.

Once out of the building, move away from the structure.

Supervisors should take a count of their employees.

Report any problems to Computer Mentors Director (or designee).

Return to the work area only after it has been declared safe by the fire officials.

 

Fire(s)

If the fire is small, attempt to put it out with an extinguisher.

Notify the Department Supervisor and the Director immediately.

Never allow the fire to come between you and the exit.

DO NOT JEOPARDIZE YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY.

Take keys and purses (if they are available).

Do not attempt to save possessions at the risk of personal safety.

Return to the work area only after it has been declared safe by fire officials.

IF THE FIRE ALARM SOUNDS: Close all doors to contain the fire.

Do not use the elevators. Know at least two ways out of the building from your workspace.

All employees and patrons should leave the building in a safe and deliberate manner.

Move a safe distance from the building. This will keep the area free for the fire fighters to work.

Supervisors should take a count of their employees and communicate any problems to the fire officials.

 

Safety Prevention and safe work habits are important.

A safe environment lowers the chances of having an accident. The following is a partial list of potential safety hazards and tips on how to minimize the dangers:

Wet floors: do not walk on wet floors. They can be slippery.

Blocked doors: do not block doors. This can cause an exit to be unavailable during an emergency.

Missing fire extinguisher: please report any missing fire extinguishers to the supervisor in the area.

Strange odors: be alert for strange odors. Notify the department supervisor and the maintenance department immediately.

Safe work area: clean your work area after each project. Report any safety concerns to the department supervisor and maintenance.

Power failure: emergency lights are installed throughout the computer mentors facilities to provide some lighting in the event of a power failure. Unless the power failure is caused by severe weather, staff members should move all visitors from public areas to the computer mentors main entrance. As long as the power is out, the computer mentors facility is closed to the public. For prolonged outages, the director may determine that the computer mentors facility will close for the remainder of the affected day.

Telephone threat: it is possible that staff members may receive a threatening telephone call pertaining to a bomb or personal harm. Responses to a telephone threat-stay calm and write down the time, listen carefully, be polite and show interest. Write down everything the caller says, listen for background noises and write it down, and ask the person to repeat everything and write it down. Do not hang up after the caller hangs up. Write down the time. Notify the director. The director (or designee) will make the decision to evacuate the facility. The director (or designee) will notify the police. The director (or designee) will organize and direct all searches at the request of the authorities. Do not talk to the press or outsiders. Answer all questions from the director (or designee) and police/fire/emergency officials. Do not transfer the threatening call. Only one person should talk to the caller.

 

Severe Weather

When the weather appears threatening the Director (or designee) will keep abreast of all severe weather warnings and keep Supervisors informed. The Director (or designee) will determine if the facility will remain open or close. If seeking shelter becomes imminent, your Department Supervisor will be responsible for evacuating their area, securing all offices and leading staff members and clients to a safe area. Supervisors should check each department and lend any help that is needed.

Computer Mentors follows Hillsborough County School calendar and follows their lead for closing during sever weather. An easy “rule of thumb” is that if schools are closed or close, Computer Mentors is also closed.