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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.5 Garfield Matters

Garfield Matters

Meeting Student Needs at Garfield Campus


Introduction by Harriet Cohen, Garfield Steward

Articles by Sandra Limina and Dr. Cindy Pollack


Continuing Education at Garfield meets a variety of student and community needs. Serving both native born and immigrant populations, Garfield campus classes include English as A Second Language, Office Skills and Business Technology, Lifelong Learning, Parent Education, Civics, and Citizenship. Our population also has access to wonderful services through our Academic Counseling, Career & Counseling Center, Mental Health Counseling, Parent Support Center, Library, Disabled Students Program, and CalWORKs. Students find a community of support which enables them not only to reach their goals, but also to deal with everyday challenges related to language, acculturation, and job search issues. I am pleased to share the following information about three of our unique programs or classes which you may not be familiar with.

21st Century Employment

by Dr. Cindy Pollack

Help your students boost their chances tenfold in landing their desired job—
Direct them to Garfield’s class entitled: 21st Century Employment Strategies

As community college faculty, you have most probably had that one student confide in you about needing a job; or the one that said how they keep going on interviews, but none of them yield a job offer; or worse, they landed a job but could not keep it.  Here’s how you can help your students boost their chances tenfold in landing their desired job—either before or after graduation. Direct them to Garfield’s class entitled: 21st Century Employment Strategies held during fall, spring, and both intersessions, and watch their confidence in themselves blossom!

Although the class is primarily filled with noncredit students, credit students do attend the class with the understanding that this course does not count toward their credit units/GPA.  Many students who come to the class are individuals who are displaced workers or individuals who must reenter the job market after several years of not working. Some students are from other countries where they were engineers, doctors, and university professors, but are starting over in the United States. Others may be born and raised in the United States yet need clear direction on how to break into the job market after several years away or have found that their past roles and skills are obsolete in today’s market. Many of my students travel to see me from as far away as Santa Barbara or San Diego. They tell me that there is no other class out there that matches this one.

This course focuses on creating a resume and cover letters, acing the interview, networking for jobs, employment applications (including pre-employment testing), and job survival. Labor laws and office politics are also an interesting component of the class. Although the class is a six-week course, most students find jobs before the class is over. The course has a 97% success rate for those students who need a job right away, and most of them find a job within the first two or three weeks. That is truly the best part of teaching 21st Century Employment Strategies: helping students find the job of their dreams. You, too, can be the conduit who ensures your students land their dream job.

The class is free, and there are no books to purchase!

EL Civics and Citizenship

by Sandra Limina, NC/ESL
EL Civics Co-Coordinator

The EL Civics program at the Garfield campus is part of the larger Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant awarded to Glendale Community College through the California Department of Education (CDE).  Pat Zayas started it 16 years ago in 2002 and has been administering it ever since, currently co-shared with Sandy Limina.

"The purpose of EL (English Literacy) Civics is
to provide and increase access for students
to English literacy programs linked to civics education..."

The purpose of EL (English Literacy) Civics is to provide and increase access for students to English literacy programs linked to civics education, based on the idea that people with limited English proficiency must not only master English, but be able to understand and navigate governmental, educational, workplace systems, and key institutions.  It promotes the development of integrated programs incorporating ESL English language and literacy instruction and civics education.  There are two parts to the program: civic participation and citizenship preparation.

Civic participation integrates civics education content with ESL instruction and connects literacy to the lives of learners as community members, parents, and participants in the workforce.  There are dozens of objectives designated by the CDE to assist institutions in teaching literacy through civic participation. 

Each year the Garfield EL Civics and Citizenship office surveys all the non-credit ESL students about the civics objectives they want to learn and develops and provides instructional packets for individual students in civics participation.  After classroom instruction on the civics packets, approximately 2000 students, levels 1-4, are then assessed on state-developed rubrics.  Results are tabulated and reported to the CDE, and funds are awarded for each student who has taken a pre and post CASAS test and passed the EL Civics assessment.  This year’s objectives are healthcare, education, emergencies and employment.  Different sites may have different objectives, depending on the needs of the students.  Last year’s assessments averaged passing scores of over 80%.

The Citizenship program services approximately 100-200 students per semester through two classes and a citizenship office.  It helps students study for the USCIS citizenship interview and test and prepare the N-400 application to become a United States citizen. Recognition evenings are organized by the EL Civics office honoring new citizens in conjunction with local service and governmental organizations and offices.

The EL Civics office also services seven offsite ESL classes which meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Jefferson Elementary School.  You may have seen Pat and Sandy running back and forth lugging student books, testing materials, schedules, and technology for classes and meetings.

Every January the EL Civics office reviews, evaluates and analyzes the progress and obstacles from the prior year to submit an online plan to the CDE for the next year’s funding based on student and staff needs assessments and recommendations of the planning team.

Last year Glendale Community College received a perfect score from the CDE, which we plan to continue for another sixteen years or longer, always dependent on funding.


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