From Student to Instructor at UC


Senthilkumar Muthiyapillai Kalaimani

RIBEST Microsoft Office Specialist Program

"The experience of learning new technology has changed my career," said Senthilkumar Muthiyapillai Kalaimani, known as Sen by his friends and students.

Though Kalaimani had a career in India as a Mechanical Engineer, he struggled to find work after immigrating to the US. The RIBEST program, offered through a partnership with the University College's Center for Workforce and Professional Development and the Providence Public Library, gave him the skills he needed to meet his career goals. Kalaimani completed the program in the fall of 2019 and now works as an instructor at UC, teaching Digital Literacy and Microsoft Office Specialist courses. 

The RIBEST program serves multilingual learners, offering dual instruction in the English language and Microsoft Office Specialist certification. A technology instructor from UC works alongside an English Teacher from the Providence Public Library, helping students learn the skills they need to bring their careers to the next level. 

"The RWU computer teacher and Providence Public Library English teacher who co-taught the class were very knowledgeable. The class gave us ample practice time, and the computer lab facilities helped me to utilize and practice more and to clarify my doubts on the subjects," said Kalaimani. 

Kalaimani is now a Specialist in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and works for UC, teaching the same skills that helped him advance his career. 

"I joined RWU as a Continuing Education Instructor and teach in their Digital Literacy Program, gaining some great experience in teaching and interacting with adults young and old, helping them to improve their digital skills," said Kalaimani. "In a few months, I also received an opportunity to teach the Microsoft Office Specialist class for Pathways and RIBEST students, a great chance to share what I know with students looking to do the same thing I did."

Kalaimani found personal and professional support from his teachers and colleages at UC. The Media-Tech team helped him set up online courses to teach his students remotely, and thanks to encouragement from his colleagues, he intends to complete more certifications.

"I am grateful for the opportunity the RIBEST program has given me to learn new computer skills and successfully teach others," he said.