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HCC Languages Department Receives National Award

Houston Community College’s School of Continuing Education Languages program has been awarded a 2013 Exemplary Program Award by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET) for its outstanding efforts in offering English as a Second Language (ESL) to college-bound students and delivering a high quality learning opportunity that engages employers in the learning process while preparing students for rewarding careers. The award will be presented during NCCET’s 2013 Annual Conference, October 7-9 in Baltimore, MD.

“This award validates what our CE Languages staff has been able to accomplish with the vision and directives set forth by our administrators. It takes hours of hard work, dedication and constant communication at all levels to be able to succeed,” said Maria Bazan-Myrick, HCC Languages Department Program Director. “This award is for all of us at HCC as well; without the collaboration from the credit side and continued support from our administrators this would not have been possible. We are making history and working mutually for the good of our English language learners.”

The purpose of NCCET’s Exemplary Program Award is to recognize outstanding programs that impact a college’s community and that are sustainable, innovative and replicable. Entries for the award are accepted in four categories: Continuing Professional Education, Community Services, Workforce & Economic Development and Learning Technologies.

The Language department designed this innovative program in response to changes the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board policy regarding funding of ESL programs that no longer considered ESL to be exempt from the 27-hour/student restrictions on reimbursing colleges for developmental education. This decision reversed a decade and a half of THCEB policy. The policy change forced HCC’s large semester-credit-hour program, which comprised a 48-credit Intensive English Program (4 levels of full-time ESL: Reading/Writing/Grammar/Conversation) as well as a 9-credit academic ESL program, to make some hard choices and contemplate a major change in direction.

“The restructuring of our Intensive English program, necessitated by both political as well as economic pressures, offered us an opportunity to examine how we could serve students better. The results are very promising – we’re providing programs that not only allow students to improve their literacy and numeracy skills within a workplace context, but we’re also providing them valuable job skills for faster and better employment. We could not have done this without our incredible program and faculty leaders,” said Dr. Charles Cook, HCC Vice Chancellor of Instruction.

 

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