Howard Community College’s English Language Center Wins National Award for Exemplary Programming
The English Language Center at Howard Community College (HCC) was recently named the 2014 National Council for Continuing Education & Training (NCCET) National Exemplary Program Award winner in the area of community services and personal enrichment. An affiliate organization of the American Association of Community Colleges, NCCET selects the award winner based on a demonstration of need/impact, innovation, sustainability, and replicability. HCC is one of three other community colleges in the nation to receive the distinction from NCCET.
The English Language Center, with an annual enrollment of 2,000 students from over 80 countries, teaches English to non-native speakers who have diverse educational needs. Courses range from grant-funded courses that are free for the public, some of whom have little to no formal education and are seeking English to succeed, to tuition-based courses for students who are academically oriented and who may have advanced degrees from their home countries and wish to advance their skills in a specific area.
“HCC’s English Language Center is the go-to resource in Howard County for individuals to learn English or improve their English skills. We are thrilled to receive this national honor as it further demonstrates how hard-working and passionate the English Language Center team is to serve our community,” says Patricia Keeton, acting associate vice president of continuing education at Howard Community College.
HCC’s English Language Center offers more than 70 courses, totaling more than 100 sections through the college’s division of continuing education and workforce development. The division is among one of a few community colleges in Maryland to offer a full-time intensive English language program housed in the English Language Center, called the English Institute. The English Institute is open to both U.S. residents and international students who enroll in a minimum of four classes per semester in preparation for transfer to a U.S. university or to meet other goals.
A major strength of the English Language Center is its highly qualified faculty and administrative staff, who provide leadership at the national, state, and local levels. Recently, Rebecca Price, director of the English Language Center, was recognized as an individual in the community and received the FIRN 2014 Pat Hatch Award, named after FIRN’s founder. The award also recognized Price for making a significant difference in the lives of the foreign born in the community through volunteer and leadership efforts.
Other award categories include Continuing Professional Education, Workforce & Economic Development, and Learning Technologies & Administration. The award will be presented to HCC at the NCCET national conference in Denver, Colorado in late September, where the team will also present highlights of what the English Language Center has to offer the community.