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Explore Education in Chicago

Educational site visits offer you the opportunity to visit schools and centers that serve large numbers of English language learners. Each site is as unique and varied as its students. Learn how different programs meet the needs of linguistically diverse learners.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Depart from the convention center at 8 am and return at noon. Price: US$75 unless otherwise noted. Register using the convention registration form.

Site Visit 1. Community College

Harry S Truman College

Harry S Truman College is one of the largest and is the most ethnically diverse of Chicago’s seven colleges, with an enrollment of 23,000 students representing 160 countries and 90 languages. Many recently immigrated and Generation 1.5 high school graduates of the Chicago Public Schools, as well as adults from the college’s adult education ESL program, matriculate into Truman’s three-level, integrated-skill academic ESL program. Being housed in the communications department has enabled the ESL faculty to develop student learning outcomes and craft curricula that prepare students for English 101 and that parallel the exit that course’s assessment practices. A highlight of this program is the Transitional Bilingual Learning Community, a first-year cohort experience for native-Spanish-speaking students.

TESOL visitors will briefly observe some classes, get an overview of the course curricula and assessment instruments, and chat with faculty.

Site Visit 2. K-12 Program

Greater Chicagoland International Academy

Greater Chicagoland International Academy (GCIA) is a comprehensive student placement agency that partners with local private high schools to educate, support, and empower students from all over China. GCIA uses a Total Care model that provides supportive, dormitory-style housing on site and an ELL instructor in each of their partner high schools.

The ELL program is rigorous and immersive, helping students rapidly improve their language skills—particularly reading and writing—to improve their overall school performance and prepare for university. Students take ELL class every day and are assigned into one of five levels. GCIA serves about 40 students in the 2017–18 academic year, with about half of them attending Guerin College Preparatory High School, the site you will be visiting.

Site Visit 3. Immigrant-Serving Nonprofit Community Organization

Albany Park Community Center

Albany Park Community Center (APCC) was founded in 1975 as a childcare provider and has since grown to become the largest and most diverse social service agency in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, which is also one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country. APCC offers a holistic approach to individual, family, and community development. Many of the central tenets of our approach to adult education are exemplified in of our free classes in ESL, adult basic education, and adult secondary education, which prepare students to get their GED diploma. Students range in age from 16 to 72 years old, with an average age of 36 years old. On average, our students have six years of education from their native countries and often struggle to obtain the educational credentials necessary for many jobs in the United States. The APCC/Adult Education Program helps clients to meet these challenges head-on by providing the education and training they need to compete in the current job market.

Site Visit 4. University Intensive Program

Roosevelt University

The English language program at Roosevelt University is designed to enable nonnative speakers of English to improve their English skills for the university’s academic degree programs. By beginning their academic work in the English language program, undergraduate and graduate students become Roosevelt University students while achieving the English proficiency necessary for their desired degree programs. Established in 1955, the program has helped students from more than 40 countries to meet their academic and professional goals through a sequence of carefully planned language classes, integrated with orientation to U.S. culture and academic life at an American university in the Chicago Loop.

Site Visit 5. Historic Education and Social Reform Site*

Hull House

The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum serves as a dynamic memorial to social reformer Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and her colleagues whose work changed the lives of their immigrant neighbors as well as national and international public policy. The museum preserves and develops the original Hull-House site for the interpretation and continuation of the historic settlement house’s vision, linking research, education, and social engagement.

Founded in 1889 as a social settlement, Hull-House played a vital role in redefining American democracy in the modern age. Addams and the residents of Hull-House helped pass critical legislation and influenced public policy on public health and education, free speech, fair labor practices, immigrants’ rights, recreation and public space, arts, and philanthropy. Hull-House has long been a center of Chicago’s political and cultural life, establishing Chicago’s first public playground and public art gallery, helping to desegregate the Chicago Public Schools, and influencing philanthropy and culture.

*tickets for this visit are $82.50.