Colorado State University to Pilot International Computer Driving License Program

In the last decade, businesses across the country have had an increasing, essential need for workers who possess basic information technology skills. Answering that fundamental need, Colorado State University will be the first site in the nation to offer a popular international, standardized computer skills certification – the International Computer Driving License (ICDL).

The ICDL is a comprehensive information technology certificate program that is available in 50 countries and is presently held by more than one million people throughout the world.

The ICDL certification was officially announced as available in the United States through Colorado State’s Division of Educational Outreach at a recent National Educational Computer Conference. Students and workers in Colorado will have the opportunity to participate in the certificate program, which offers standardized computer skills education in a format that is recognized by companies worldwide.

The ICDL program came out of the European Computer Driving License Foundation, created in 1997 in Dublin, Ireland to help establish a standard set of fundamental computer skills for the United Kingdom and European communities. With Australia and Canada joining the program, it is the world’s largest and most successful computer literacy program.

Used throughout industry, government and educational institutions, the certificate requires demonstration of fundamental computer operating skills and an understanding of information technology concepts.

"Fundamental IT skills are essential for America’s workforce," said Gene Lewis, ICDL coordinator and assistant professor of computer information systems at Colorado State. "As a leader in technology, Colorado State is an ideal location to begin the ICDL-United States certification. Our commitment is to provide the best possible IT preparation for our students and the workers of Colorado."

The Division of Educational Outreach Lifelong Learning Programs at Colorado State will partner with LaserTalk Communications of Loveland, Colo. to offer an on-line ICDL preparation course this fall. The course will use on-screen interactive multimedia learning software to guide students through the course work.

The ICDL certificate program will cover the following topics: basic concepts of information technology; using the computer/managing files; word processing; spreadsheets; databases; presentations; and Internet/e-mail. An individual must pass all seven on-screen modules to obtain the full ICDL certification, but a starter certification can be received by passing any four of the module assessments.

The CEO of ICDL-United States, Gene Gage, and vice president, Grant Castle, will speak at 2 p.m. July 24 in Room 12 at the Center for Lifelong Learning at 1400 Remington Street in Fort Collins concerning the ICDL and how it can help everyone to "Connect, Communicate, and Compete."

"We have the ideal computer literacy program for today’s movement toward accountability and documented results," said Gage. "We don’t believe that it is in the student’s best interest to only participate in IT training; we go the final step and certify knowledge and application. This makes the effort far more valuable to both the ICDL holder and potential employers. We have a proven program ready to implement that we believe makes the ICDL highly attractive."

Joining Gage and Castle will be Alan Maguire, the international marketing director for Electric Paper. Electric Paper is a Dublin, Ireland based company that will be providing the on-screen assessment software to be used by the ICDL-United States. The group will present the international scope of this essential information technology skills certification, and discuss how it has attempted to address the "digital divide" throughout different countries.

For further information about the ICDL certification contact Debi Colbert at 970-491-2645 or Gene Lewis at 970-635-0041.