Alex was working on improving his English language skills at a school in Silver Spring when one of his classmates took ESL classes at Howard Community College and strongly recommended them to Alex. HCC’s English Institute (EI) program has helped thousands of international students and U.S. residents with ESL classes since 2001. Alex was able to “strengthen writing skills, speaking, and listening skills,” which eventually helped him to gain full-time employment in HCC’s information technology (IT) department, where he is pursuing his passion for computers and IT.
The best part of the EI program for Alex were the people. “The instructors were great. I still have many friends that I made through the program. The classes I took that helped me with reading, writing, listening, pronunciation, and vocabulary were important and critical in my career.”
After the first year studying English as part of the EI program, Alex was selected for HCC’s first Maryland Innovative Education and Skills Training (MI-BEST)/A+ Preparation program, which helped him learn computer hardware repair and maintenance and gain hands-on skills and knowledge needed to prepare for the A+ certification exams. Once he completed the MI-BEST courses, Alex began taking credit courses at HCC while he volunteered for HCC’s IT department. Six months later, Alex became a part-time member of the IT department as he completed his associate’s degree in Information Technology, Cisco Networking.
Today, Alex helps faculty and staff as a full-time member of HCC’s IT department and he is continuing his education in a bachelor’s degree program at UMUC before he goes on to pursue a graduate degree in computer networks and cyber security at UMUC. “HCC was a great place to get where I am right now. It’s a good start for international students.”
For more information about the EI program and ESL classes, visit this page.