When high level officials from the US Department of Education (USDE) wanted to see career-oriented adult education for English language learners in action, where did they turn?
Assistant Secretary Scott Stump and other officials from the Federal and State Offices of Career and Technical Adult Education (OCTAE), visited LCNV’s Destination Workforce® course in customer service held at the Korean Community Service Center (KCSC) on April 26. Dr. Carole Bausell, LCNV’s Director of Academic and Student Affairs, led the meeting that was followed by a classroom observation and a concluding question and answer session, during which Carole was able to give voice to some of the unique challenges and opportunities of serving the lowest-level English learner that is LCNV’s focus.
A couple of years ago, LCNV began offering the Guest Service Gold® certificate course from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute due to the widespread availability of hospitality industry jobs in our region. An understanding of customer service principles has broad applicability to many other employment sectors as well. About half of LCNV learners are unemployed. If the job-seekers among them succeed in the course and pass the exam, they can earn an industry-recognized certificate that may help them land an interview, if not a job. Due to their English proficiency level, some may obtain an entry level job before moving up a career pathway to a more sustainable and satisfying career. During the last fiscal year, LCNV offered ten such courses that integrate English education and credential training, with over 70% of the participants passing the exam. LCNV is the recipient of Federal funds administered through the State Department of Education in line with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which encourages such programming.
LCNV’s guests at the site visit also included Director Cheryl Keenan from the USDE Division of Adult Education and Literacy, OCTAE; Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, Adult Education Coordinator at the State-OCTAE office of Virginia’s Department of Education; Linda Seyer, Regional Program Manager, Northern Virginia Adult Education also of the State Department of Education; and Pyowook Han, Director of Programs for KCSC. Other LCNV participants included Ruba Afzal, Xavier Munoz, and Soo Park.