Parent University

Providing Educational Services to Parents throughout the San Joaquin Valley

Since 2013, Fresno State Parent University has provided classes in Digital Literacy, Parenting Skills, and English Language Comprehension. 






The Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) at Fresno State via its initiative, San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center, engages parents and community members from the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno State's Parent University program. Parent University facilitates economic growth through various comprehensive courses and technical assistance workshops that are taught on campus and/or at several community sites throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Parent University offers course curriculum in English, Spanish and Hmong, and includes the following classes: Digital Literacy I, Digital Literacy II, English I, English II, and Parenting Skills. These courses are intended to build capacity in communities by training and hiring local instructors and empowering participants to develop new socioeconomic opportunities for themselves and their communities.

Parent University class

Civics and Citizenship

Civics and Citizenship Preparation

Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy I

The Fresno State Parent University Digital Literacy I course is intended to teach program participants the solid foundation in basic computer skills, typing, tablet use, Gmail, Google Apps, internet navigation, E-safety, and troubleshooting. Participants learn the fundamentals of basic computer/tablet skills, best practices in navigating the internet, school district parent portals, and utilizing anti-virus and parent control software. The digital literacy program helps participants learn, acquire and familiarize themselves with the skills necessary to navigate a computer so that they can assist their children to succeed in school.

Digital Literacy II

The Fresno State Parent University Digital Literacy II course is intended to teach program participants the solid foundation in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Gmail, Google Apps, basic research, social networking sites and advanced computer security measures. By learning and becoming familiar with the skills necessary to navigate the computer programs that are used at school, parent participants are better equipped to help their children succeed academically.

Computer Repair

The Fresno State Parent University Computer Repair course is a hands-on training-based approach to the restoration of damaged computer devices. In a small classroom setting, participants are supported in their learning with individual attention from a Parent University instructor, and their peers. Participants are given access to sophisticated online tools used in basic computer repair, diagnostic and troubleshooting. Hands-on technical learning of software applications is supplemented with discussions and activities designed to increase participants knowledge of basic computer skills, internet, and repair. The program is designed to empower participants to be skilled, confident, positive basic computer skills users. 

English Language Comprehension

English I

The Fresno State Parent University English I course is designed to introduce program participants with a solid foundation on basic English Language. Lessons integrate activities that help program participants learn and enhance their critical, communication, collaboration and creativity skills. The English I course helps program participants acquire tools and learn strategies to advance their English pronunciation skills that are necessary to effectively communicate and connect with the English speaking community.

English II

The Fresno State Parent University English II course is offered to program participants who need to improve their basic English grammar and conversational skills such as writing, reading and speaking to communicate at work, school and other everyday tasks. The course includes elements of sentence structure, contextual grammar lessons, face-to-face communication activities, group interactions and class discussions. Program participants gain the oral and writing skills in order to speak in and write complete sentences and paragraphs.

Parenting Skills

The Fresno State Parent University Parental Support course empowers participants with an introduction to the soft skills that are necessary to support and encourage children to succeed academically, and the knowledge to navigate the resources made available to them through the public school system. This course focuses on parenting styles, parenting strategies, parental involvement, and child development. The program provides parents and caregivers with information about their responsibility in shaping children's lives and encouraging support. Through a series of lectures, open dialogue, and homework assignments, participants acquire the skills to support and encourage children to succeed academically.

Parent University Partnered with California Emerging Technology Fund 1/22/20


Fresno State Parent University filmed a video for the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) on January 22, 2020, where parents and instructors discussed in-depth the class that took place in Madera First Five as part of the Parent University program. Emily Lazaro, the program coordinator for Fresno State Parent University, explains the goal of Parent University in the community while Sandra Villegas is one of the testimonials in the video. Villegas explains how the classes will improve her communication skills to help her everyday life activities and communicate better with her children’s teachers. The main goal of this video is to reach out to the public, especially parents in rural communities, school districts, and organizations to inform them of the resources that Parent University has for the community. 

Parent University Helps Parents 'Dream Big' 2/25/17

MCOE Dream Big Conference

Staff attended Merced County Office of Education's Annual Dream Big Conference on February 25, 2017. Parent University was one of more than 100 exhibitors at the event that was geared towards helping parents to become engaged in their children's education. To learn more about the event, click here.

"Disconnected in Silicon Valley's shadow" 8/14/16

The Daily Dot

By Rebecca Huval

August 14, 2016

Just two hours outside of futuristic Silicon Valley, the county of Fresno, California, looks like a time capsule from the 1970s. Beyond the prom dress shops with their cartoonish window paintings, the vacant lots, and the brutalist AT&T building that seems to lack windows, you'll find the Parc Grove Commons housing projects. Inside the community room, 45 adult students are learning about the internet. On this sunny summertime Thursday, every single student has shown up to class.

Go to full story at The Daily Dot.

Parent University Honors Students 6/25/16

 Spring 2016 Parent University Student Recognition Event

Parent University hosted a Student Recognition event on June 25. Over 150 individuals from around the San Joaquin Valley attended the event that recognizes graduates from the Fresno State Parent University program. During the Spring 2016 semester, the cohort consisted of 171 parents from the following schools and community centers: Hoover High School, Fresno High School, McLane High School, Edison High School, Sunnyside High School, Roosevelt High School, Terry Elementary School and Fipps Primary School.

Click here to view more pictures from the event.

Parc Grove Commons Tech Party 5/2/16

Parc Grove Commons Tech Party

Parent University attended the May 2 Parc Grove Commons Tech Party. The event's purpose was to give residents of the new housing complex an opportunity to access organizations and companies that work in technology. Parent University spoke to residents on the upcoming free Digital Literacy courses available to them.

Spring 2016 Parent University Graduation 4/23/16

 Spring 2016 Fresno State Parent University Student Recognition

Parent University hosted their Student Recognition event on April 23. Over 200 from around the San Joaquin Valley attended the event that recognizes graduates from the Fresno State Parent University program. During the semester, the cohort consisted of 171 parents from the following schools and community centers: Fresno State, Huron Middle School, Delhi High School, Reedley High School, Firebaugh Computer Learning Center, Cutler Family Education Center, and Golden Valley Elementary School. 142 out of 171 parents graduated from the Parent University program; 122 Digital Literacy I graduates and 20 English Language I graduates. 

Parent University has provided classes in Digital Literacy, Parenting Skills, and English Language Comprehension since 2013.

Click here to view more pictures from the ceremony.

Fresno State Offers Parenting University Program 1/14/16

abc30, January 14, 2016

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State is trying to help bridge the gap by getting parents in tuned.

In this day and age, our children are learning so much more especially when it comes to technology. Using computers and technology is common but for parents, it may be another world.

Go to abc30 for full story.

Parent University Invites New Students 8/25/15

Parent University Staff at Huron Middle School

Program manager, Eduardo Gonzalez (left) and project assistant and Parent University instructor, John Gonzalez (right) promoted Parent University to prospective parents of Huron Middle School. The program offers parents Digital Literacy, Parenting Skills and English Language Comprehension classes. At the end of the evening, staff procured close to 100 sign-ups.

Fresh Start for the School Year 8/18/15

Parent University training

Parent University hosted training sessions for new Parent University instructors for the upcoming academic year. Instructors will serve school districts and sites throughout the eight-county Valley region and teach parents Digital Literacy, Parenting Skills, and English Language Comprehension. Project manager, Eduardo Gonzalez (left) and OCED executive director, Mike Dozier (right) introduced the Parent University Program and OCED's mission to connect, collaborate and advocate.

Parent University Graduation 6/3/15

Huron Parent University Graduation

A graduation ceremony and celebration was held on June 3 for parents and their families who completed the Parent University Program in Huron. Since its establishment in 2014, Parent University has served over 3,500 parents and 7 school districts in rural communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Subjects taught in the program include: Digital Literacy, Computer Repair, Parenting Classes, English I Beginners, and English II Conversational.

Parent University Travels Valley-Wide 4/15/15

Eduardo Gonzalez, Parent University

Above Eduardo Gonzalez, program manager, teaches participants from Cutler and Orosi digital literacy as part of Parent University.

Felipe Perez, David Vazquez, Parent University

Above Project assistants, Felipe Perez and David Vazquez (far back) assist in the Parent University digital literacy class. 

Sandra Prado, Project Coordinator-Parent University North


Emily Lazaro-Salgado, Project Coordinator- Parent University South