Washington, DC– On Thursday, October 11th, 2018, the Academic ESL Program at Reading Area Community College received national recognition as one of the four finalists in the Associate category at the Celebracion de Excelencia for evidence-based practices supporting the success of Latino and other students in its program. Celebración de Excelencia is an annual recognition event that gives national prominence to the year’s Examples of Excelencia and finalists by bringing together practitioner leaders with private, public, and philanthropic sector leadership. This annual recognition is held in the nation’s capital and is organized in cooperation with members of Congress, other elected officials, and educational leaders. In 2018 there were 139 total nominations from 27 states, DC, and Puerto Rico from which 21 finalists were chosen for their evidence of effectiveness in the ways their institutions and communities serve Latinos. In 2018, the 21 finalists represented 7 states including California, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
While ESL enrollees make up only 5% of the college’s population, their program offers support for all multilingual students enrolled in credit courses through the Multilingual Learning Center. Through intentionally structured curricula, engagement in relevant and contextualized activities, and leverage of students’ use of their native languages to aid English acquisition, their program develops non-native English speakers’ proficiency in academic English to become college-ready.
Prior to 2012, an average of 24.6% of Latinos in ESL attained college-readiness in one year; now, the average is 40.6%. While overall ESL rates show a 9.2% increase in those who successfully complete freshman composition since 2012, Latino students have demonstrated the most growth, with an average increase of 13.1%.
For more information about the academic ESL Program visit racc.edu/academics/esl-program, or call 610.607.6224.