U.S. Department of Education Awards Excelsior College $200,000 to Fund Excelsior ESL Project
Funds complete a three-year grant totaling over $580,000 for Excelsior College’s English as a Second Language program
ALBANY, N.Y. (September 28, 2011) — Excelsior College today announced receipt of $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). These funds will finance "year three" in the development of the Institution’s English as a Second Language Writing Online Workshop (ESL-WOW).
ESL-WOW will play an essential role in ESL instruction and workforce development training across the country. The project is intended to meet growing demand for English language instruction at a time when traditional ESL services are shrinking. As many as 12 million people in the U.S. are categorized as "linguistically isolated" according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund. Mesa College in San Diego, CA, is a partner in the third-year pilot project.
According to Excelsior College’s Dr. David Seelow, ESL-WOW principal investigator, "Even as the number of ESL programs dwindles nationally, those that remain are classroom-based, which presents an enormous challenge to working adults. A comprehensive, multimedia ESL program, as ESL-WOW will be, will tackle issues of accessibility, scalability, and affordability. This program will also offer the 24/7, round-the-clock support services that ESL students need to succeed within their educational paths."
ESL- WOW is a significant advancement over existing writing workshops which, to date, provide links to grammar and basic writing resources, but do not offer an integrated suite of services targeted to academic and workforce writing skills. ESL-WOW will be the first writing workshop to take prevailing best practices in second language writing into account as well as the need for tailoring instruction that reflects students’ varying cultures and educational backgrounds.
Excelsior’s ESL Workshop, which will include interactive learning modules, audio files, and narrated presentations, will also build upon promising new strategies in adult second language writing by:
Once completed, which is expected to be in December 2012, Excelsior’s multimedia program will be available for free to individuals, higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and workforce investment boards throughout the country.