Culverhouse LIFT Goes Virtual to Support Learners, Business Owners

  • September 8th, 2020
A woman sits at the front of a classroom teaching.
Lisa McKinney teaching accounting to business students in Alston Hall before the pandemic.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Free tutoring, job skills and financial literacy training sessions will soon be available to West Alabama residents, including veterans and teens, through The University of Alabama’s business college.

Culverhouse LIFT, or Learning Initiative and Financial Training, will begin classes for its fall 2020 term in mid-September. Registration and specific course descriptions are available on the Culverhouse LIFT website. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, all classes will be conducted virtually using Zoom or other online platforms.

“It’s a one-on-one tutoring relationship between the student and the participant,” said Lisa McKinney, accounting lecturer, LIFT program coordinator and a certified public accountant. “While usually we would hold these classes in person, in a way, the move to a virtual format really makes it easier for people across the area to access what we do. It’s a win-win.”

Sponsored by the Culverhouse College of Business and the Culverhouse School of Accountancy, LIFT’s sessions include computer skills, bookkeeping and introduction to coding.

Created in 2014, LIFT uses student volunteers from within the business college to work with community participants in a classroom setting.

In the spring of 2020 when school systems across the country went remote, Culverhouse LIFT was able to rapidly respond to the dire need for tutors to assist students both in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham with their schoolwork. It did this by deploying students who developed videos and virtual learning plans that supplemented classroom instruction.


Lisa McKinney, director of Culverhouse LIFT Program, 205-535-0907,


Zach Thomas, Culverhouse director of marketing and communications, 205-348-8318,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.