Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Limited English Proficient Students

Santa Ana College Vocational ESL for Auto Technology Diesel program

Title: Vocational ESL (VESL) for Auto Technology/Diesel program

College: Santa Ana College

1530 West 17th Street,  Santa Ana, CA 92706

Contact: Mary Walker, Program Coordinator, 714-241-5749 orwalker_mary@sac.edu

Target population: Bilingual/bicultural students who want to gain employment in automotive/diesel mechanics occupations.

Goals: To enable students to understand and effectively communicate using English language terms specific to the automotive and diesel mechanics occupations, and to effectively communicate with customers at auto/diesel service sites.

Description: The Santa Ana College VESL program in Auto Technology/Diesel is a not-for- credit program for students wanting to improve academic success and employment opportunities in the automotive and diesel mechanics occupational areas. The program is completing a yearlong planning phase, and has an implementation date of Fall 2005.

Faculty will refer automotive technology/diesel students to the program, which will run concurrently with for-credit courses. Plans are also underway for establishing a VESL computer lab with self-directed modules in automotive/diesel technology and, in the future, other vocational occupational areas.

Staffing: Auto Technology/Diesel and ESL faculty

Facilities, equipment, materials: Facilities: Classroom, lab

Costs, funding source: VTEA and Continuing Education funding

Outreach and marketing: When the program begins in fall 2005, faculty will identify and refer Auto Technology/Diesel students who need assistance with vocational English language skills. Other marketing and outreach efforts are under development.

Evidence of effectiveness: Curricula focuses on improving academic success and retention rates of English as a Second Language learners in the college’s Auto Technology/Diesel program; and transitioning graduates into high wage and high skill occupations. Program planning has been a collaborative effort, involving representatives from Ryder Systems Inc.; ESL, Workforce/Career Development, and Student Services and Instruction Deans; and Auto Technology/Diesel faculty members.

Suggestions for replication: Start early! Planning and implementation takes a lot longer than you think. For example, selecting curricular modules took 3 months. Do a needs assessment as part of the planning process. For this program, faculty could accurately document the VESL reading, writing, comprehension needs of students enrolled in the Auto Technology/Diesel program; and employers could provide information on English language skill sets that graduates or non-students were lacking when they entered the workforce.