News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: April 15, 2003 (03-38)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College President's Remarks
at the
Press Conference on Adult ESL Service Delivery

At today's Montgomery County Council press conference unveiling a recently completed study on Adult ESL training needs, Dr. Charlene Nunley, Montgomery College President, delivered the following remarks:

"I want to thank and applaud the County Council for launching this important initiative, to help tackle the challenges that are facing our county in the delivery of adult ESL services.

I want to thank them, in particular, for the important role they’ve asked Montgomery College to play in this process.

I think in the materials that were handed out today there is a reference to the fact that Montgomery County’s immigrants come from at least 161 countries around the world and speak at least 122 languages other than English.

Well, I can tell you that as large as those numbers seem, they’re actually probably a bit understated, based on the students we serve at Montgomery College. Our analysis, just of the students in our credit programs, shows that this year they come from 175 different countries!

That certainly gives you some perspective on just how badly adult ESL programs are needed.

The need for greater availability and coordination of these programs is clear… and the demand is great.

As the community’s college, we are prepared to take the delivery of adult English language training to a new level. But in order to do that, we need additional resources.

We all know this is not an easy time to launch new initiatives, but clearly, this is a challenge that will not go away. We can start with small steps today. But in the years to come, we will need significant resources to close the gap between the demand and available services.

I look forward to working with the task force to develop a tactical plan that will do just that.

We need to move forward, so that all adults in our community can have the skills they need to help their children learn… to achieve their own educational and career goals… and to ensure that we have a fully productive and skilled workforce."

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