When the state of Arizona ordered the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses last spring, the Heart of Isaac Community Center, a family resource center that provides social support and community connection, had no choice but to pause many of their critical activities and resources. The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and Maricopa Corporate College (MCOR) stepped in to help.
The 12-week ESL program was offered virtually from June to September 2020 with 90-minute sessions held twice per week. Although it was challenging in the beginning to get the participants connected and familiarized with navigating an online platform, they persevered each week and mastered the virtual learning format by the end of the program.
The sessions covered both beginner and more advanced conversational English language skills, increasing participants’ confidence, allowing them to communicate more effectively in their personal and professional lives, and giving them the opportunity to have more positive everyday interactions in English.
“It’s been a great experience getting to know the students and seeing their progress over the past 12 weeks,” said ESL Instructor Lauren McGuire. “One of the major areas of improvement overall is a higher level of confidence, particularly among the beginner-level students.”
McGuire feels that the participants showed true dedication and gained both knowledge and confidence as a result of the program. Most of the participants expressed a desire to continue their English studies as well.
This program would not have been possible without the support of the grantor and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and serves as a testament to the impact we can have when business, education, and community collaborate.