Saturday, December 20, 2014

KCKCC Celebrates ESOL Graduation

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- It was a special day Tuesday when 20 students from Kansas City Kansas Community College’s ESOL program were recognized for completing all ESOL classes needed for their academic or professional goals.

“I am very proud and happy for them,” said Liz Holloway, instructor and coordinator of KCKCC’s ESOL program. “Some of these students have been with us together as a class for four semesters. Most of them are continuing studies in academic classes or TEC programs here at KCKCC, and many of them have overcome many obstacles to continue their education.”

The goal of the ESOL program is to help those who need to improve their English skills. Students can choose academic ESOL or adult basic education ESL classes, depending on their current fluency and personal goals. After being admitted to KCKCC, students are tested using the COMPASS ESL placement test.

Test scores are then used to help students with selecting classes. Any student whose first language is not English or has not developed adequate academic English skills should meet with the ESOL department for assistance.

In addition to the 20 students who received full certificates, another 14 students were recognized as finishing one or more of the Level 4 ESOL Classes.

This also marks the first group of students to graduate from the newly restructured ESOL program. The new program has four levels, allowing students to complete ESOL in two years.

The program is broken into several parts – reading, listening and speaking, writing and grammar and vocabulary. During the first two semesters, students are solely in ESOL classes.

Then, beginning in the third semester, schedules can become more individualized, depending on the student’s fluency. Grammar is separated from writing during the last two semesters, and students have the option of taking classes outside the ESOL program.

“In the U.S., English skills are important to success in life. Our classes provide the bridge that is needed to get a student from the English he or she already knows to the English they will need for academic study or professional employment,” Holloway said. “Beyond that, our classes give the students confidence that they can succeed in this country. Many of our students came to the U.S. as refugees, so everything is new and daunting to them. Many never dreamed of going to college. It may not have been a realistic option for them before coming here. Our ESOL teachers support the students in achieving their goals.”

For more information on the ESOL program, to enroll or to make an appointment, call 913-288-7625 or 913-288-7380. Students can also stop by the ESOL Office, Room 3415, during normal office hours.

Information is also available by emailing Liz Holloway at