On Monday, Dec. 10, 11 students from at least five different countries came together at the Maywood Park Center with friends and families to celebrate an achievement – an achievement for them, the students, and for Mt. Hood Community College.
They graduated from MHCC’s newest career pathways program, Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) Child Development Association – Preschool (CDA), and had spent the last 12 months engaged in rigorous study of childhood care and education while
completing hundreds of hours of work and volunteering at local child care centers.
“These graduates completed 360 hours of classroom instruction and 480 hours of volunteer or work experience,” said MHCC Career Pathways Coordinator Kristen Kulongoski. “They’ve gained the necessary skills to work in entry-level positions, such as
an assistant teacher, in early childhood care and education programs, Head Start, or other early childhood settings.”
The new graduates simultaneously completed their CDA training along with vocational English language classes aimed at improving their English skills. MHCC’s VESL career pathways programs serve non-native English speakers, immigrants and refugees.
Ultimately, these new graduates will take the national credentialing exam to earn their CDA credential, allowing them to advance their careers and work confidently within the child care field.
The VESL CDA program is a collaboration between MHCC’s Adult Basic Skills program, the Child Care Resource and Referral program, WorkSource Portland Metro Gresham, and the Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education.
The next VESL CDA cohort starts Spring 2019. Interested in learning more? Visit mhcc.edu/CareerPathwaysSupport to get started.