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Model of the Future

LCNV’s Educational Model

It has been three years since LCNV began its new program model for the adult learner community in Northern Virginia. What started as a vision in 2014 is now a reality and positioned to scale to meet the growing and changing needs of the beginning-level English language and literacy learners we serve. In response to market needs, research in best-practices for our service population, and a need to move adults through an educational continuum at a faster pace, LCNV’s English Language Acquisition (ELA) programs focus on targeted skill development in a small group classroom environment. The programs also emphasize intensity of instruction and guidance to pathway programs to higher education or job training.

Classroom Instruction

LCNV offers beginning-level English language classes throughout the Northern Virginia region. The closed enrollment classes are structured with an emphasis on building foundational skills in speaking, reading and writing. Adults are assessed at entry using a nationally approved tool for placement in small group instruction, with a curriculum based on state-approved ELA content standards that integrate technology and interactive learning. These classes are a starting point toward pathways that lead to further education. Family Learning classes are included as an option for LCNV’s adult learners. Designed for parents or caregivers of children from the age of two through middle school, Family Learning classes teach English in the context of families, schools, and communities. The same high-quality standards of English Language education are applied in LCNV’s Family Learning program, including the best practices and guidelines established by the National Center for Family Literacy: Adult Education, Children’s Education, Parent and Child Together Time, and Parenting Classes. 

In all classes, LCNV maintains a low student to teacher ratio by including trained volunteer class aides who work alongside a credentialed ELA teacher, and trained volunteer supplemental tutors. Students can request a supplemental tutor to help them during, before or after class.

Pathways to Success

LCNV’s mission is to provide the education adults need to empower them to become more engaged in their communities. Our beginning-level English language classes offer three learning levels and adults are encouraged to continue through these levels. LCNV has added Skills Classes to our service delivery to help those adults who need further skill development beyond the foundational English classes. LCNV’s highest skill group, level three, can transition to an intensive skills course in writing or reading before taking the next step. LCNV currently offers two writing classes: level one and level two, with a beginning reading course in development. Since LCNV often provides the first step on the education continuum, we provide our adult learners with guidance towards their next opportunity. Student Advisors work with students one-to-one to facilitate those steps to success. Similar to high school or college counselors, a Student Advisor will meet with the learner twice per semester to identify learning gaps, talk about goals for the future, and provide information on possible pathways.

Partners

LCNV has established relationships with several non-profit and public partnerships for continuing education and job training. Working with pathway partners like Computer CORE or Training Futures for job training, LCNV can align our assessments with their entry requirements in order to provide a bridge to the next program. LCNV has long-established bridges to the ELA programs with Fairfax and Arlington Counties for high-level English classes, but extending that outreach to job-training, skill development, and technical training opens up many more roads toward success for our learners. If your organization is interested in participating in the continued education of our learners, contact Associate Director of Community Engagement Ruba Marshood Afzal at rafzal@lcnv.org.

Destination Workforce®  

Destination Workforce® is LCNV’s registered trademark workforce program for adults with limited English language skills who are unemployed and looking for a job, or who currently work in a low-skilled job and want to advance. The business-based program depends upon partnerships with companies that employ limited English language employees and are interested in providing English classes on-site to promote retention, advancement and improved customer service. LCNV provides customized English language classes in the context of the work environment with real time examples and support from their supervisors. Our campus-based Destination Workforce® classes are designed to help English language learners obtain entry-level positions in high-need industries, such as hospitality or food service, as they introduce industry-appropriate vocabulary and workplace soft skills. These classes engage the same small-group structure as LCNV’s other ELA programs with a credentialed ELA teacher, class aides, interactive learning and integrated technology. Currently LCNV has two Destination Workforce® business partners hosting classes, with two more partnerships in development. To help LCNV get this program off the ground, a consultant team from Accenture worked pro-bono over six months to create a business plan for Destination Workforce®. LCNV will use this plan to scale the program with targeted business and industry partners.

Funding

The planning and development of the new model was funded by a Bank of America Neighborhood Builder’s grant, a $200,000 investment over two years, awarded in 2015. LCNV used the funds to develop new curriculum, attend national conferences to gain new industry insights, test new instructional content through pilot programs and invest in new technologies to improve service delivery.  LCNV revised its volunteer instructor training to accommodate the new model, and added new volunteer positions. In the spring of 2016, the LCNV Board of Directors launched a Major Gift Campaign to extend the funding provided by the Neighborhood Builder’s award for an additional two years.  The $200,000 goal set in 2016 was generously exceeded by the spring of 2017; the Campaign raised $255,000 toward completing the change process. This investment has allowed LCNV to improve its internal operations through investing in a 21st century data management system, modernize instruction through technology, and revise the staff structure to include credentialed ELA instructors, an on-staff faculty manager and an instructional design manager. 

The new model is scalable, provides fee-based revenue, and most importantly, meets the educational needs and goals of today’s low-level literacy and language learners in Northern Virginia and beyond.

See answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Model of the Future 

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