ELI StudentsSince the English Language Institute (ELI)’s inception in Fall 2009, its intent has been to establish access, pathways, and student success for a diverse group of non-native English speakers.  As a starting point for thousands of ESOL students from different cultures and ethnicities who enter the college, the ELI is truly one of the doors through which diversity comes into Skyline College.

The ELI staff, including Mylene Foo, Kenny Gonzalez, and Kent Gomez provide hours of intensive support and guidance to a population with a wide range of residential, linguistic, cultural, social, and financial challenges.  In concert with the ESOL department, the ELI team has developed solid partnerships with community organizations and local school districts to establish and facilitate pathways to education and careers. Within Skyline College, the ELI also cultivates partnerships by working with the International Students program and the Silicon Valley Intensive English Program (SVIEP) to provide access & support to their students as they enter the ESOL program.  Students, however, are the ELI’s most valuable assets in its work.  ELI Student Ambassadors gain leadership skills relating stories of their hard won successes that resonate strongly with prospective students; meanwhile, Student Resource Liaisons in each ESOL class help keep their peers informed, connected, and on track to their goals.

Here are a few more ways that the ELI helps students to Get in. Get through. and Get out…on time!

  • In Fall 2015 alone, 346 ESOL students utilized services at the ELI which include assistance with the steps of SSSP.
  • On a daily basis, the ELI provides dedicated ESOL counseling, financial aid guidance, computer access, referrals to on and off campus resources and workshops to develop student’s navigational skills.
  • Twice a year, the ELI hosts ESL Registration Day, which creates access to Skyline College for English language learners.  Last semester, 50 applicants signed up for the event.

As a diverse group of non-native English speakers join Skyline College each year, the ELI  intends to  explore new and better ways to serve the ESL community so they can Get in. Get through. and Get out… on time, and achieve their personal academic and educational dreams with confidence.

Article by Mylene Foo and Leigh Anne Shaw I Photos by Mylene Foo