Core Curriculum > Unlimited Potential


Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP) Curriculum

Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP) is a global program focused on improving lifelong learning for young people and adults by providing technology skills through Community-Based Technology Learning Centers (CTLCs).  The University for Academic and Workforce Development (UCAWD), will through its partnership with Microsoft, provide technical training to create social and economic opportunities that can help change peoples’ lives, by creating IT career laddering opportunities.

Each course in the UP curriculum is designed for underserved and under-prepared young adult and adult learners in economically challenged communities.  Many of the courses in the UP curriculum are designed to meet the needs of community residents learning to use Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows XP operating.

All ATTAIN-Microsoft UP courses teach technology skills in a hands-on manner that emphasizes real-world applications of the technology, from basic computer and information literacy to digital photography, web page design, or desktop productivity software.

By participating in ATTAIN-Microsoft UP courses, students focus on technical skills they need to use various software applications.  ATTAIN-Microsoft UP curriculum is constructed on the belief that successful classroom learning experiences thrive on the following ingredients:

  • Prepared instructors
  • Engaged students
  • A well-designed curriculum

Microsoft UP courses are intended either for use within community and technology learning centers, in the context of classroom instruction or for self-paced learning.  For courses dealing with introductory information and communications technologies; computer and information literacy, Internet, digital media, and desktop productivity applications—no prior experience with the technology or software is assumed.

Each course uses tasks and projects to develop basic Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) competencies for the desktop productivity applications.  In addition, this curriculum supports certification exam preparation for the European Computer Driving License and the International Computer Driving License by covering basic concepts of information technology.  The curriculum also supports Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) certification exam preparation through coverage of computing fundamentals; key software applications; and networking, Internet and email.

This curriculum will provide students with an overview of the curriculum and course materials.

Who Is This Curriculum For?

Each course in the Microsoft UP curriculum acknowledges the fact that community learners typically come to learning experiences with a wide range of prior experiences, expectations, and skill sets:
  • Community learners want to spend their time and money wiselyThis curriculum is designed to anticipate, understand, and focus on the need these learners have for efficient, effective instruction.

  • Well-designed instruction takes into consideration the community learner’s prior skill sets and provides new knowledge.  This curriculum accommodates a wide variety of backgrounds and pre-existing skills.  Each course was built with an awareness of common job tasks and knowledge levels.

  • Community learners come to learn, and expect to be treated as independent, unique, capable people.  This curriculum can be used in a classroom setting or as a tool for self-directed, self-paced learning.

  • Action-oriented, community learners expect learning to be directly applicable to their professional responsibilities as well as their personal pursuits.  This curriculum contains many examples of practical, real-world examples and applications designed to appeal to a wide range of learners.

Above all, each UP course is designed to teach technology skills, but always with an eye toward the use of technology to enhance individual opportunities, productivity, job readiness, and quality of life.

Course Offerings and Objectives

The UP curriculum supports Microsoft and international skill standards.  As such, the curriculum provides the following introductory computer, software, and digital technology courses:

  • Computer Fundamentals  
    This course provides a solid foundation in basic computer concepts and the essentials of hardware, software, operating systems, the Internet, and more.
  • Digital Media Fundamentals  
    This course teaches how to get started with digital media, including digital photography, audio, and digital video.
  • Internet and World Wide Web Fundamentals
    This course teaches how to explore the web, use search engines, work with e-mail, and create web pages.
  • Web Design Fundamentals
    This course teaches the complete process of web page design, from the basics of HTML to strategies for designing and building a complete web site.
  • Word Processing Fundamentals
    This course focuses on how to use a word processor to write and revise a variety of personal and business documents, from simple letters and memos to complex documents containing graphics and tables.
  • Presentation Fundamentals
    This course teaches everything you need to know about putting together persuasive electronic presentations, from creating basic slide shows, to adding graphics, video, and audio for rich multimedia presentations.
  • Database Fundamentals
    This course introduces the basics of using a relational database to create tables, forms, and reports.
  • Spreadsheet Fundamentals
    This course teaches the basics of spreadsheet concepts including creating worksheets, editing data, building charts and graphs, and publishing a spreadsheet to the web.

Each course uses tasks and projects to develop competencies for basic information technology expertise and desktop productivity applications by covering the following topics:

  • Basic concepts of information technology
  • Using the computer and managing files
  • Word processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Database
  • Presentations
  • Internet and e-mail literacy
  • Digital media

Key topic areas include the following:

  • Computing fundamentals (hardware, software, operating system);
  • Major software applications (office productivity applications); and
  • Internet, e-mail, and digital media.

The UP curriculum gives community learners and instructors materials that are flexible, reliable, cost-effective, and geared toward results.  In accordance with the copyright agreement, all materials and files may be duplicated and customized by instructors to enhance the learning process.

ATTAIN is supported by a grant from Microsoft Corporation