LCNV's Academic Program Assistant, Nada Raja, prepping a new learner enrolled in the Intensive class.
LCNV's Intensive English and Workforce Readiness courses are for beginning-level adult English language learners (ELLs) preparing to enter or advance in the American workforce. As part of our Destination Workforce® portfolio, these courses aim to provide the language and workplace soft skills needed to obtain entry-level employment and to participate more fully and confidently at work and in the community. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing highlighted new opportunities for this program to better support ELLs in their path towards achieving their goals. Now with virtual and in-person offerings, reduced tuition, and a laptop loaner program, we hope to improve the overall quality and accessibility of the class.
Launched in the spring of 2017 at the request of the City of Alexandria’s Workforce Development Center, LCNV’s Intensive English and Workforce Readiness program serves the most beginning, literacy level learner through the intermediate level. At the higher level, participants also received training towards a nationally recognized customer service credential, Guest Service Gold®. Initially designed to comply specifically with the requirements of the federal benefits program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), LCNV has since worked to make this program available to any interested ELLs. New funding from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) allows us to make the course even more affordable than before.
While the program has been grounded in contextualized workforce training, with instruction around soft skills and computer literacy, the onset of social distancing requirements and LCNV’s pivot of this course to an online medium exposed the demand for student access to technology. Participation in the virtual classes was limited by students’ variable technology – most relying on their small cell phone screens were not conducive to virtual computer literacy instruction. With our learners in mind, we developed a plan to enhance the quality of our learner experiences in both virtual and in-person sessions of this intensive program. Thanks to further VDSS support, LCNV has acquired 30 laptops that we can lend to our learners, ensuring they each have the technology they need to participate fully and equitably in the program. With the confidence that every learner will have the same quality technology, we are also strengthening the digital literacy components of the course curriculum.
These enhancements are launching with our first pilot of the laptop loaner program this summer. Now, learners will gain experience with typing, managing an email account, word processing, and using search engines effectively. Students graduating from the higher level will produce a resume to aid their job search. Through the implementation of basic computer skills and digital literacy skills to the curriculum, we hope to improve learners’ ability to find, organize, and share information using digital tools for work, school, or personal purposes. For example, being able to recognize phishing emails and how to determine when it’s safe and appropriate to share personal or private information.
It is our mission to provide easy access to language services, making sure no one is left behind, especially those who are already struggling and making efforts to improve their lives under stressful conditions. That is why we are excited for these enhancements that enrich the program’s computer literacy training alongside more equitable access to the course for all eligible individuals. The students enrolled for the upcoming virtual session have already begun to receive their laptops and orientation on how to use them. The laptops will continue to be made available for future in-person sessions as well, ensuring that every enrolled student is able to fully participate in the complete workforce readiness curriculum.
To find out more or to register for a future session of this course, please call 703-237-0866!
Download the Class Flyer (Fall 2021)
August 2 - September 9, 2021
Monday - Thursday (9:30 am-1:30 pm)
Registration Dates: Closed (July 12 - 16)
October 18 - December 2, 2021
Monday - Thursday (9:30 am-1:30 pm)
Registration Dates: September 27 - October 1