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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.6 Garfield Matters

Garfield Matters
Innovation for Noncredit ESL

By Harriet Cohen
Garfield Steward

 

Back in November 2016, Debbie Robiglio presented the concept of creating a mentoring program for Noncredit ESL (NC/ESL) and invited all instructors to submit a proposal to become a Level Leader for our Noncredit ESL levels. The seed was planted, and it gradually led to the establishment of an incredibly successful mentoring program within the NC/ESL Division. The purpose was to mentor new instructors, as well as those seasoned instructors new to a particular level of NC/ESL. Furthermore, it was to provide a resource for substitutes who might, on short notice, benefit from additional materials related to a particular lesson. The concept was expanded to include the establishment of the NC/ESL SharePoint site. The faculty chosen were Harriet Cohen, Edwin Fallahi, Alexandra Christy, Arus Sargsyan, and Deborah Henneker (later), all of whom are adjunct. They met with a full-time facilitator, then Division Chair, Debbie Robiglio, and later with (then) Assistant Division Chair, Megan Ernst, and eventually with Margaret Richer, Noncredit ESL College Readiness Coordinator, to discuss the parameters of the materials to be collected and the means of organization. Margaret took on the technical aspects of organizing material on to SharePoint as well.

With a program serving more than 5,000 students annually, and a faculty of over 78, covering seven locations, we are grateful for the Level Leader program, and we all look forward to the ongoing development of this important resource.

Over the year that followed, the project continued to develop, expanding the types of resources that would be available to all instructors in NC/ESL. Around February 2018, all available materials were uploaded to SharePoint, according to ESL level. Categories include:

  • general division documents (ex. curriculum/materials/ procedures, testing, textbooks)
  • general ESL resources for all skill areas for all levels
  • level specific materials organized by curriculum grammar structures covered

It is the last point, level specific materials, which is perhaps the richest and most useful resource. Within each grammar file are sub files: grammar explanations, pair and group practice, grammar exercises, tests, PowerPoints, online website resources, songs, games, videos, conversation activities, photos, and so on. Recently, additional resources and instructor mentors were added to the site: Vocational ESL under Naomi Sato, and Conversation, under Karin Drummond. Several division presentations and/or workshops have been held to orient instructors to the NC/ESL SharePoint materials.

I think all of us in Noncredit ESL at Garfield owe tremendous thanks to our Division fulltime administrators and leaders on this particular project, Debbie Robiglio, Megan Ernst, and Margaret Richer, for their insight and commitment to serving our students even more effectively by providing instructors with tools that not only enhance their instruction but also provide valuable staff development. Further thanks go to the Level Leaders who have demonstrated great commitment to excellence in their researching of materials for the NC/ESL SharePoint site and who generously mentor their fellow colleagues. Our division has always been focused on collaboration, welcoming innovation, instructor feedback, and instructor-led projects. I am certain that it is this positive attitude which promotes the enthusiasm of our extremely active, productive adjunct faculty. Noncredit ESL has seen tremendous growth over the last year, adding a number of new instructors, who were, for the first time, able to benefit from superior orientation into the NC/ESL program because of having both dedicated mentors to guide them, as well as beneficial online resources. With a program serving more than 5,000 students annually, and a faculty of over 78, covering seven locations, we are grateful for the Level Leader program, and we all look forward to the ongoing development of this important resource.

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