FINAL REPORT TO THE GROVE FOUNDATION

COMMUNITY-BASED ENGLISH TUTORING (CBET) PROGRAM

CAÑADA COLLEGE/RCSD/SUHSD

PREPARED BY LINDA M. HALEY, CBET/VESL/ECE & ESL PATHWAY COORDINATOR

January 18, 2012

 

BACKGROUND

This report summarizes the progress made by the Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) Program towards the development of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) Learning Community at John Gill School in the year 2011.

 

In furtherance of the program goals to provide English language instruction, academic guidance and free childcare to parents and community members who pledge to tutor a school-age child in the Redwood City School District, the CBET program builds a career pathway for parents/adults by offering learning communities, or pairs of courses in ECE and ESL, which will serve future childcare workers and parents alike.

 

In summary, the program accomplished everything that was initially proposed in the request for funding, as described below.

 

ATTACHMENTS

a)         Fiscal Report which details expenditures related to the grant

b)         Proposed Course Outline for new ESL course

c)          Course Flyers

 

REVIEW OF PROGRESS TOWARDS PROPOSED WORKPLAN/TIMELINE

1. Spring 2011: set up course offerings for Fall 2011 and assign faculty, create course plans for integrating the ECE and ESL courses, recruit for classes, share plans with collaborators. Assess student retention and success rates.

 

During the spring 2011 semester, the following courses were arranged for fall 2011:

 

ECE 212 Child Family and Community, Professor Mauricio Palma

(Taught in Spanish)

 

ESL 901 Language Skills for the Workplace 1, Professor Patricia Gallagher

 

Flyers were created and sent throughout the community to preschools, school districts and other venues where they were sure to catch the attention of interested students.  Meanwhile, discussions about creating permanent ESL courses began and the departments discussed various models that Linda Haley had researched and presented.   Although some community colleges are offering ECE courses in Spanish, only a few were offering simultaneous ESL support courses specifically designed for each ECE course.  See charts below for success and retention rates for spring 2011.

 

 2. Summer 2011:  Faculty meet to coordinate and integrate instruction plans.  Create curriculum portfolio for future instructors to use.

 

Meeting time continues to be the greatest challenge for the two part-time faculty members who both have other full-time jobs.  However, curriculum building did occur in late summer when both professors were able to connect via email.  The ECE professor has also continued a dialogue journal with the ESL professor via email, which documents the rich discussion of how students respond to the course material and assignments.  The ESL professor uses this information to plan her lessons; the content that is taught in Spanish in the ECE course is reinforced in English in her ESL course.  Students learn early childhood concepts in both courses, but in two different languages-- an educational “luxury” not normally provided to bilingual community college students.

 

3. Fall 2011:  Offer one learning community at John Gill.  Bring both ECE and ESL departments together to align curriculum pathways.  Create clear connections between department offerings along with long-term plan for course offerings.  Upload course teaching materials to vocational ESL Web site for colleagues to share teaching tools/ideas for the learning communities.

 

In the fall semester, several meetings took place to address the need for solidifying a permanent pathway for ECE and ESL students.  The meetings included ESL and ECE faculty and staff, curriculum committee members, deans and even a focus group with some of the ECE/ESL learning community students.  The main questions to answer were:

a)         What kind of ESL courses do we need for each Spanish section of ECE?

Will they be general in nature so that they can be used in learning communities with other departments as well, such as math?

Should they be specific in content and nature to match each ECE course, almost like the adjunct support courses offered at universities?

b)         How many classes do we need to create? If the ECE department continues to offer not only core courses but also electives, will we have enough ESL courses to support?

 

Linda Haley created a total of 4 courses to be presented for initial review but the curriculum committee and the Vice President of Instruction were concerned that they did not have a full understanding of the ECE/ESL pathway goals, so the courses were not moved forward and a meeting was called to learn more about why the college needed so many new ESL classes, especially during lean economic times.

Once the Vice President was presented with all the options and a full explanation of the past ECE Spanish course offerings, she was able to approve a plan that resolved many of the questions:

 

a)         The ESL courses should be specific in nature and should aim to support the specific content taught in each ECE course.

b)         Courses should be independent 2 unit courses that are not in sequence so they do not block ECE students with any prerequisites as they do now.

c)          Only the ECE core courses will be offered in Spanish, so only 5 ESL courses are needed.

 

With this information, Linda Haley was able to move forward with at least one of the classes she created: ESL for ECE 212, which is for the learning community funded by Grove.  This course outline of record is attached.  The rest of the courses should be finished before the end of Spring 2012 semester.

 

DATA

The following data summarizes the success we have had with this learning community.  The success and retention rates are all above the State averages for basic skills courses, which range approximately from 50-70%

 

ECE/ESL Learning Community/John Gill School

Professor Mauricio Palma, Early Childhood Education

Professor Patricia Gallagher, English as a Second Language

Final Student Data

Spring 2011

Total Enrollment in Each Class: 20 students (20 female, 0 male)

Final Grades-English as a Second Language (ESL)

Grade

Percentage

Number of Students

A

40%

8

B

25%

5

C

15%

3

D

0%

0

F

0%

0

Withdraws

20%

4

Success Rate:

80%

 

Retention Rate:

80%

 

Final Grades- Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Grade

Percentage

Number of Students

A

50%

10

B

30%

6

C

0%

0

D

0%

0

W

20%

4

Success Rate:

80%

 

Retention Rate:

80%

 

 

Fall 2011

Total Enrollment in Each Class: 15 students (15 female, 0 male)

Final Grades-English as a Second Language (ESL)

Grade

Percentage

Number of Students

A

28%

4

B

33%

5

C

0%

0

D

6%

1

F

0%

0

Withdraws

33%

5

Success Rate:

60%

 

Retention Rate:

67%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Grades- Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Grade

Percentage

Number of Students

A

47%

7

B

27%

4

C

0%

0

D

6%

1

Withdraws

20%

3

Success Rate:

73%

 

Retention Rate:

80%

 

 

Comments:

Spring data was more positive: more enrollments, higher success rates and retention rates.  In the fall, when pre-requisite blocking was turned on at the college and causing great difficulty for students to register without special “pre-requisite block override forms” which took weeks to be processed, students had a harder time accessing the course and I believe as a result, did not enroll in greater numbers.

This realization has also reinforced the need to create permanent courses that do not have perquisite blocks in place that act as barriers to access.

 

Ironically, despite the lower success and retention numbers in the fall courses, the student satisfaction survey responses came back 100% positive.  One student wrote how in Professor Palma’s class, she was able to “rescue some of her Latino traditions and costumes” while at the same time advancing in the language of this country in Professor Gallagher’s class.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

The major conclusions are the following:

 

Despite lower numbers and lower retention rates in the fall, we have evidence to believe that students not only need the learning communities, but also are accomplishing the objectives and advancing their coursework towards degrees in ECE.  Also, while lower, the retention rates still remain above average for State basic skills courses.

 

Both partnering school districts continue to be very pleased to have a credit-bearing career pathway such as ECE would be made easily available to their parent community at John Gill School.

 

The unique nature of this project is catching the attention of others across the state.  Mt San Antonio College has offered Linda Haley a $500 stipend to create a short Power Point and video showcasing the great progress we have made towards bilingual learning communities between ECE and ESL.  The video will be posted on the State Consumer Board Web site for Early Childhood Educators!

 

The creation of five new ESL courses that are customized to the ECE content requires many hours of research and collaborative work.  For this reason, we are asking again for one unit of coordination time for the CBET coordinator to continue write new courses for each of the core courses in ECE:

 

ECE 201 Child Development – ESL 830 ESL for Child Development

ECE 210 Principles in Early Childhood – ESL 840 ESL for Principles in ECE

ECE 211 Curriculum in Child Development – ESL for Curriculum in ECE

ECE 212 Child, Family and Community * - ESL for Child, Family and Community

ECE 313 Health and Safety for Young Children – ESL for Health and Safety for Young Children

 

*This course outline has been finished and is currently being presented to curriculum committee. See the attached course outline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Cañada College Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) Program Request for Funding

January 14, 2012

Prepared by Linda M. Haley, CBET Coordinator

 

I.                   BACKGROUND

Cañada College is in contract with Redwood City School District (RCSD) and Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) to run the Community-Based English Tutoring (CBET) Program and to offer adult English language instruction, academic guidance, and free childcare in the community for parents/adults who pledge to tutor a child once their English is proficient.  The program has offered classes at up to fourteen different sites in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods in Redwood City, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Enrollment has varied depending on course offerings and have been as low as 300 and as high as 600.  Among these participants, hundreds have transitioned to the college campus to continue their studies in English as a Second Language (ESL) and other areas.

 

II.                PROBLEM STATEMENT

Funding is in jeopardy for all three funding collaborators: Canada College, RCSD and SUHSD due to the current state of the California budget.  As a result, one third of the CBET offerings were cancelled last year due to Canada’s inability to pay for course sections.  Family Literacy courses were the first to be cut since they are not currently linked to any career track or certificate at the college.

 

 Immigrant families in Redwood City need support in their efforts to a) support their children’s schools b) engage more in their children’s development and c) to improve their own economic situations by increasing career opportunities.

 

RCSD is also looking at more profound cuts in next year’s budget but has remained steadfast in their commitment to the CBET program even though CBET funding has been reduced from $100,000 to $50,000.

 

However, SUHSD has recently announced that they can no longer pay for CBET out of their general funds, so they will be withdrawing their contract starting July 1, 2012.

 

In June of 2012, we will know more from RCSD about how much coordination they will be able to fund, but because we have the full support of the board and there are so many contributing collaborators (Cañada, RCSD, SUHSD and Silicon Valley Community Foundation) we survived last year’s cuts and are optimistic that the CBET program will continue to thrive and meet the demands of the hundreds of participants who use it each semester.

 

Once again, we are asking Grove for financial support to supplement course offerings and additionally, for coordination time which will allow the CBET program to keep its commitment to supporting the FAMILIES of Redwood City by offering bilingual Child Development courses and career pathways in the community.

 

 

III.             PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 

This funding would allow the CBET program to not only continue its family literacy offerings, but to pair them in a learning community format to offer ESL, family literacy and vocational training in the area of early childhood education, which would serve future childcare workers and parents alike.  The learning community concept includes the concurrent enrollment of a cohort of students in two courses at one time, one in a content-based course and one in a supporting English class in which students build language skills related to the content area.  Recent research at both San Francisco City College and Cañada College has shown that when students are concurrently enrolled in English and a subject area, they are more likely to persist.  For that reason, we are moving towards that model so we can optimize student retention and persistence.  In this particular project, the idea would be to combine one of the following Early Childhood Education (ECE) courses with a CBET Family Literacy course:

 

Early Childhood Education (ECE)                         

ECE 201 Child Development                      

ECE 210 Early Childhood Principles         

ECE 211 Early Childhood Curriculum

ECE 212 Child, Family and Community

ECE 313 Health and Safety for Young Children

 

What is unique about this project is that it proposes to not just offer what most family literacy programs offer (instruction in ESL, a foundation for supporting their children and tutor training) but it would provide college credit towards a degree in early childhood education with the potential for economic empowerment in this exciting career full of entrepreneurial options.   In San Mateo County, there is a shortage of childcare workers with permits, so this project will be addressing a county need as well.  The Early Childhood Education courses could be taught in Spanish or English, as both offerings exist at the college. This allows students with limited English ability access to the high level content-based material to begin their career pathway while they build English skills in their ESL class.

 

The funding for this project would pay for the cost of:

 

a)         Two courses or learning communities per semester over two semesters, which could impact up to 100 students who would enroll in these four courses, opening up opportunities for 100 adults/parents to benefit from family literacy and early childhood training.  This funding will enhance the current program offerings and allow us to better serve our community partners at Families Forward, RCSD and SUHSD by strengthening the family literacy training; and

 

b)         One unit of coordination (2.5 hours/week for 17 weeks) for the CBET Coordinator for spring 2012 to finish the curriculum needed for the pathway that connects all the courses in a logical progression towards a vocational certificate.  As of now, the curriculum for both ECE and ESL courses are linked only by what the faculty teacher those courses have created.  These learning communities need to be aligned in a logical pathway that allows students to build skills in both subject areas.  Now that the College has reached a consensus about what types of ESL courses to create, the curriculum design and review process must continue.  This work needs to be done in collaboration with two departments; it should be spearheaded by someone who can bring both departments together and solidify a plan to make what Grove has made possible through this grant a lasting investment and a PERMANENT program in our community.

 

If the enrollments continue to be healthy, we would like to continue offering this learning community at John Gill Families/Forward site or Hoover Community School.  In the future, this model could be replicated at Taft, Fair Oaks and Hawes Schools in Redwood City or at the Boys and Girl Club of East Palo Alto.

 

Assessment is a key piece in every project.  Because all courses are credit bearing at the College, students will be assessed according to course objectives and student learning outcomes and will be issued letter grades.  We will also study retention and persistence rates of the students who move through the learning community.  If successful, this model could be duplicated at all the CBET sites so that immigrant parents across the Fair Oaks community and in East Palo Alto could benefit from this creative new combination of family literacy, ESL and Early Childhood Education.

 

The CBET program also studies the relationship between parent participation in the CBET program and the success of their second language learner children in school.  In the last ten years since CBET has been operating, the test scores of English language learners has improved.  We are currently working with Redwood City 2020 and the Director of School - Community Partnerships to have the John Gardner Center at Stanford assess all the data we have collected on our students to verify that parent participation in our program does indeed lead to increased success of their children.  We will continue to survey our parent population as we have for the past nine years to assure that we are meeting the needs of the immigrant parent population we serve and that we indeed are making an impact on their lives as well as the lives of their school-age children.

 

IV.              WORKPLAN/TIMELINE

Spring 2012: create four course outlines for ESL support courses; support the current course offerings; plan and recruit for fall; create course plans for integrating the ECE and ESL courses; recruit for classes; and assess student retention and success rates.

 

Summer 2012:  Encourage and support faculty reflection and collaboration; prepare materials for new ESL courses.

 

Fall 2012:  Offer 1 learning community at John Gill with new ESL course. Study the effects of the new ESL course.  Upload course teaching materials to vocational ESL Web site for colleagues to share teaching tools/ideas for the learning communities.

 

V.                 PROPOSED BUDGET

 

Funds Requested from Grove Family Foundation:

Activity

Amount

  1. Funding for Course Faculty/Offerings

$6,000/class (Two 3 unit courses per semester, part-time faculty)

$24,000

          2.    One unit (2.5 hours/week) of   coordination for creation of   ECE/ESL Pathway Program

$3,500

 

 

TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED:

$27,500

 

Note: we have reduced the budget by $2,000 because we have found another source of income for faculty stipends.