All right - this might help...
First things first, the camera. She's going to have a vast range of options in terms of cheap SLR's - there are at least a dozen she can look at that are current range alone - but which one she wants is going to be up to her.
Does she genuinely want SLR type controls as well as SLR quality? Or does she want something that takes great photos but isn't the same size as an SLR?
I'm going to assume she wants an SLR. Which means it boils down to two primary choices in terms of brand - Canon, or Nikon. Sony isn't too bad, but I find their electronic viewfinders a bit of a pain - not to mention the camera has a lot of features that fall under the gimmick range rather than the practical. Admittedly, they do use a very good movie autofocus system, the fastest in the SLR's.
Canon has several models on offer at around the right price mark. 1100D and 600D are the main ones however. Between the two, the 600D is a fair bit more expensive, but its a better camera overall - better build, better quality, faster shooting, higher resolution.
However, I'm going to lean towards Nikon here rather than Canon, for three very important reasons. Firstly, the new D3200 is coming out, which means the already cheap D3100 is going to be even cheaper until it sells out, the Nikon's are user friendly and the D3100 from what I've seen appears to take a better photo than the D3200.
The new D3200 is very high resolution - 24 megapixels, and it does have good controls, excellent movie mode and good build quality. But its pictures are, at the finer level of inspection, not as bright as those on a D3100 or as vibrant. Have a look at these comparisons to see what I mean -
Both of these images were taken from here, btw - http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond3200/6
The D3200 tends to sharper, the D3100 tends to be a bit punchier in its colour.
Both of these cameras, however, are under $1000 (in the case of the D3100, under $800) for twin lens kits. The D3200 is not yet released, but isn't far away. People will be clearing away their D3100's soon, if they haven't started already.
There is also one tiny little feature which is immensely helpful on the Nikon cameras, however. The 'help' button. Any setting you wish to change on the camera can be explained with a press of a question mark button on the back of the camera, which will explain things very simply and even give helpful tips when you are shooting about what you can do to improve the quality of the shot.
The camera actually has another feature along these lines - its called 'guide' mode. You pick from a list of preset settings what it is you are shooting, and the camera changes its settings to get the best possible shot in those circumstances - more or less. It makes things -very- easy for a beginner.
That being said, its not a simpletons camera. Once you have the basics, you can turn all that stuff off and start doing the complex controls, no problem. The fact of the matter is that unless you have some training, a Canon tends to be baffling- they have no help system. But Nikon do, and the camera can lead you along for a bit before you are confident to do things on your own - kind of like training wheels.
As to doing a course, I'm not sure who to recommend (I never did one myself - learned on the job as it were, and through a lot of research and practice) but I believe a TAFE course is a good spot to start. Otherwise, let the camera teach her, by doing. First thing she should learn to use is Aperture priority, combined with controlled ISO, to determine depth of field (what is in focus, and how much of it) and to learn the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. But thats just me.
Anyway, hope that helps.