What is the program’s mission statement, and what are its primary goals? How would you describe it to someone unfamiliar with it?
The purpose of MCCSC Adult Education’s Indiana Online Only Distance Education for English Language Learning program is to provide instruction for adult English language learners locally and throughout the State. We partner on this project with Vincennes University, who has an IOODE program for adults studying for the high school equivalency tests. We envisioned that a similar opportunity for English Language acquisition would complement this effort and afford English language learners an equitable opportunity to develop the skills they need to achieve the following goals:
To describe it to someone unfamiliar with it, the program consists of English classes offered through videoconferencing and online software for adults at various skill levels both locally and throughout the State to help them learn English as a new language.
How many students participate in the program annually?
The 2020-2021 school year is our first for this program, and we currently have 104 students participating since July 1, 2020.
What are a few of the program’s major accomplishments in the past few years? What are your goals for the next few years?
We have 104 students currently enrolled from Bloomington to Fort Wayne. Fifty-one percent of them so far have made a measurable skill gain in their English literacy skills as shown on standardized pre- and post-tests of reading or listening. Three students have earned certifications in early childhood education. We have two local companies who are participating with English classes for their employees: Boston Scientific and Juan Sells Realty.
For the next few years, we are hoping to enroll more students from various communities throughout the State in partnership with more local adult education programs, and to serve at least 4 companies in providing English language training for their employees.
When did the program start and what inspired its creation? In what ways, if any, has it changed since inception?
The program started on July 1, 2020. The design of the program was in response to barriers that some adults have in attending face-to-face classes: lack of reliable transportation, childcare and family obligations, work responsibilities, and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Vincennes University launched Indiana Online Only for high school equivalency students a few years ago, so that inspired us to partner with VU to offer the same format for English language learning. It seemed we need classes that meet together through videoconference to build community and offer direct teacher support and also have opportunities for skills practice outside of class. It hasn’t really changed since inception.
Share anything else you are proud of about the program or anything you’d like us to know about the program.
I’m particularly proud of our teachers and support staff for using their professional skills—and learning new ones as we go along—to serve English Language learners both locally and statewide in new ways through the Indiana Online Only program.
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