Center for Community Technology Services at the University of Baltimore
CCTS is a nonprofit technology assistance provider sponsored by the University of Baltimore. Our mission is to help local nonprofits use technology to improve services, increase productivity, and manage resources more effectively. We enable clients to build their information technology knowledge, skills, managerial capacity, and organizational self-sufficiency.
We help nonprofits to:
Link technology planning and projects to strategic objectives and mission-based work
Determine and prioritize technology needs
Advance program outcomes using technology
Use existing technology resources more effectively
Make informed IT purchasing decisions
Encourage an internal culture of responsible technology use
Avoid costly and disruptive technology crises
Nonprofit Tools Development
Our AmeriCorp*Vista helps nonprofits learn to manage technology. They will also help them improve their ability to reach their constituents using web-based communication tools. Jack has been focused on developing back-end tools that we implement on our client’s websites that allow them to post web content.
Summary of Goals
1. Provide technology consulting services to nonprofit organizations such as planning and making decisions on software and communication tools. This will allow organizations to make technology decisions that are sustainable and meet their operational needs.
2. Develop web-based data management systems that will improve data management amongst local nonprofits.
Jack has sucessfully tracked and coordinated project activities. He has developed (programmed) functional components of the tools such as publishing editions, relating articles to additions, formatting content and processing visitor comments.
Jack faced challenges in learning the development framework used at CCTS. This was a new language for him. Furthermore, Jack had to adapt from the software engineering environment he in which he previously worked to a website development environment.
“Jack has a perspective that is valuable in the development world. He is logical, detailed and structured in his thinking. We are a small staff and have greatly benefitted from Jack’s analylitical abilities when planning and organizing our development activities. […] It points to the importance of Jack’s role as a member of our team.”
- Gayle Carney, supervisor
CTC Volunteer Coordinator
The CTC/VISTA member’s duties centered around four main concerns of MCL’s CTLC: Coordination of volunteers and students, developing resources and documenting progress, and assisting with public relations and awareness.
Her coordination duties included: recruiting and screening of potential tech tutors and students for the CTC at MCL; matching tutors with students seeking 1:1 help and scheduling small group computer instruction; and overseeing instruction – checking with tutors and students to ensure all was progressing well and giving support where needed.
Development of resources included: creating and implementing a quality training process for tech tutors, implementing assessment tools to measure student’s progress; collecting and organizing curriculum and activity ideas for use in the CTC; and researching instruction options for special needs populations such as the disabled, limited English proficient, and low-literate adults.
The documentation of progress included developing and implementing systems to collect student and volunteer data, and collecting and reporting data to the CTLC Project Manager. The VISTA member was also asked to assist with the planning and execution of public relation activities, research best practices at similar CTLCs, research funding opportunities, and serve as a member of MCL’s Technology Committee.
The VISTA member developed a system for registering & assessing potential students, and implemented an already existing system for screening and orienting volunteer tech tutors. She successfully scheduled, oversaw, and supported small group computer instruction throughout her year of service (65 students enrolled in various small groups), and also weekly managed drop-in labs for all students. She successfully recruited qualified & dedicated volunteer tech tutors. She screened, oriented and supported those tutors and organized regular roundtable and recognition events for them. She began collecting and organizing curriculum and activity ideas for use in the CTC and developed a syllabus and curriculum for limited English proficient, immigrant students. She completed a draft of MCL’s CTC Operation Manual. She collected and reported volunteer and student data. As part of our public relations efforts, she developed contacts in the community with the local radio station, local cable company, Senior Center, and Employment Security Office (Work Source).
Working with our Americorps member, the VISTA member produced a useful novice level curriculum for ESL students. This will enable our limited English proficient immigrant students to begin learning computer skills as they are learning English.