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Skilled Immigrant Program

woman greeting a man in a business setting

The Skilled Immigrant Program will help you use your international education and professional experience to restart your career here in the United States. Experienced instructors, counselors and employers will work with you to help set and achieve your career goals.

Program participants have been hired for professional jobs by employers such as Carroll Fuel, Dell Technologies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the International Rescue Committee, and M&T Bank.

  • Who should enroll?
    This program is for foreign-educated professionals with international work experience who are unemployed or underemployed and are seeking meaningful, professional employment.
  • How does the program work?

    The program consists of two different classes and gives you access to many resources, including career counselors and professionals working in a variety of industries and professions. All classes and meetings are held virtually (online) with an instructor or coach.

    Class One
    Advanced American Job Search is a four-week, 16-hour course designed to introduce you to the U.S. workplace culture and job search process. Topics include career exploration, U.S.-style resumes and cover letters, and an introduction to job interviews.

    Class Two
    Career Connections for International Professionals* is an intensive six-week, 30-hour course designed to help you attain employment at the highest level possible. Features include guest speakers sharing their experiences and advice, pronunciation tutoring, mentoring opportunities and intensive interview preparation.

    *Students must complete Advanced American Job Search prior to taking Career Connections for International Professionals.

  • What should I expect?
    We will help you develop the skills to conduct your own successful job search with the following support:
    • Lively discussions about U.S. workplace culture
    • Inspiring guest speakers who share their immigrant success stories
    • One-on-one career counseling and job search assistance
    • Pronunciation training
    • Resume and cover letter assistance
    • Job interview practice and preparation
    • Mentoring by a professional in your targeted career
    • Introduction to professional networks
  • Am I eligible?
    You are eligible for the program if you are:
    • Currently seeking new career opportunities.
    • Ready to start a new job now or in the very near future.
    • High intermediate or advanced English language learner (ELC Level4+).
    • A university graduate and were educated outside the U.S.
    • A skilled professional with work experience outside the U.S.
    • Work-authorized at the time of application. Students must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or work-authorized (EAD).
    If you do not meet these criteria, you may be permitted to enroll in the Advanced American Job Search class through the regular ELC registration process.
  • What is the schedule?

    The Skilled Immigrant Program consists of two classes - Advanced American Job Search and Career Connections for International Professionals that meet as scheduled below:

    Tuesday and Thursday nights
    7— 8:30 p.m.
    Offered Online in Zoom

    July 12 - Aug. 4, 2022 Advanced American Job Search
    Sept. 13 - Oct. 6, 2022 Advanced American Job Search
    Oct. 11 - Nov. 18, 2022 Career Connections for International Professionals*
    Feb. 14 - March 9, 2023 Advanced American Job Search
    March 14 - April 28, 2023 Career Connections for International Professionals*

    *Students must complete Advanced American Job Search prior to taking Career Connections for International Professionals.
     

  • How do I apply and how much does it cost?
    • Apply for admission to the Skilled Immigrant Program.
    • After your application is reviewed, a required interview will be scheduled.
    • The Skilled Immigrant Program costs $70. The Advanced American Job Search class ($20) and the Career Connections for International Professionals class ($50) are both required.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Will the Skilled Immigrant Program find me a job?
      • The Skilled Immigrant Program is not a job placement program. We do not guarantee you will get a job. We are here to prepare you to conduct your own successful job search with our support. After you complete the program, you will have new tools: a professional resume and cover letter, connections to professionals in your field, and improved interview and networking skills. Your success in finding a job will depend on your motivation and determination.
    • I have applied and am waiting for my work permit or green card. Am I eligible for the Skilled Immigrant Program?
      • Participants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or have a work permit (EAD) to participate in the Skilled Immigrant Program. You will not be accepted into the program until your documents are in hand. However, you are permitted to enroll in the Advanced American Job Search class before you are work-authorized through the regular ELC registration process.
    • I’m an au pair. Can I enroll in either of the courses?
      • Au pairs are not permitted to enroll in the Skilled Immigrant Program. Holders of non-immigrant visas such as J-1 visas are not eligible. However, au pairs may enroll in the Advanced American Job Search class through the regular ELC registration process.
    • Can I enroll if I went to university in the U.S.?
      • The Skilled Immigrant Program is designed to benefit students who were educated outside the U.S. However, exceptions are made in some cases. If you have questions about this, please email englishforcareers@howardcc.edu.
    • What level of English do I need to join this program?
      • To enroll in the Skilled Immigrant Program students must have high-intermediate or advanced English skills. This is the minimum English level needed to be successful in most professional jobs. If your English is lower, you will need to improve your English first. The ELC offers many great classes from pre-beginner to advanced levels.
    • My targeted career requires additional training, certification, or licensing in the U.S. Is the Skilled Immigrant Program right for me?
      • The Skilled Immigrant Program is for those who are ready to begin work immediately. You should complete your training and get your U.S. credentials before applying to the program. Please email elctransitions@howardcc.edu if you need to learn how to get more training or U.S. credentials.
    • How do I get my college credits evaluated?
      • There are many transcript evaluation agencies to choose from. You should consider the requirements of the institution that will be receiving your evaluation when selecting a transcript evaluation agency. Howard Community College accepts transcript evaluations completed by the agencies on this list to determine if overseas credits will transfer to HCC.
  • Contact Us
    For questions or assistance, please contact us:

    Join our email list: fill out a request form, and we will email you future registration information.

    Campus address: 5075 Campus Drive, Hickory Ridge Building (Room 200), Columbia, MD 21044

This program is made possible by M&T Bank, Sandy Spring Bank, Truist, Fulton Bank, Howard Bank, PNC Bank, Sue & Buddy Emerson, and High’s. 

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