My Story

  • KeylaTorres_WrightAida Rodriguez

    Palm Beach State College
    Country of origin: Mexico

    Aida Rodriguez, a native of Mexico, received her…

  • KeylaTorres_WrightKeyla Torres

    Wright College
    Country of origin: Honduras

    Keyla Torres, an immigrant from Honduras, started anew at Wright College in…
  • KeylaTorres_WrightVitor Granja

    Westchester Community College
    Country of origin: Brazil

    When Vitor Granja first moved to this country…

  • Jibril Yahaya LuwaaJibril Yahaya Luwaa

    Westchester Community College
    Country of origin: Ghana

    Growing up in Ghana, I dreamed of…

  • Satwinderjit KaurSatwinderjit Kaur

    Johnson County Community College
    Country of Origin: India

    "Watch your thoughts, they become words.…

  • Cecilia G. CorralCecilia G. Corral

    South Texas College
    Country of origin: Mexico

    At first glance, 18 year old Cecilia…

  • Fernando VillavicencioFernando Villavicencio

    Miami Dade College
    Country of Origin: Ecuador

    Fernando Villavicencio migrated three years ago from his native…

  • Anne Sarie Yva CossogueAnne Sarie Yva Cossogue

    Miami Dade College
    Country of Origin: Haiti

    Anne Sarie Yva Cossogue migrated…

  • Nadine KhairNadine Khair

    Westchester Community College
    Country of origin: Jordan

    Life is a ladder of success and the…

  • David MongesDavid Monges

    Westchester Community College
    Country of Origin: Paraguay

    The openness of the faculty and the…


Promising Practices

CCCIE's supplement to Dreaming Big: What Community Colleges Can Do to Help Undocumented Immigrant Youth Achieve Their Potential

CCCIE has developed this online supplement to its report Dreaming Big: What Community Colleges Can Do to Help Undocumented Immigrant Youth Achieve Their Potential. Several promising practices are included here, as well as contact information to learn more. This is a work in progress. We invite you to submit practices your college is taking to support undocumented students, including initiatives taken under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Click here to download.

ALLIES Expands Access to High Quality ESL Programs

More than one-third of the 2.5 million residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are immigrants. Yet, from 2000 to 2006 the ESL needs of two-thirds of limited English proficient residents in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties were not being met. Since then, ESL funding has been cut by 25% and additional cuts are likely. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is attempting to reverse this trend with the creation of the Alliance for Language Learners’ Integration, Education and Success or ALLIES, created to explore coordinated, multi-agency strategies that leverage all sectors of the community for collective impact. Their mission is to advance regional economic and social health by accelerating the career and educational success of immigrants.

Learn more about:

  • The challenges to partnering, how participation in the ALLIES network has improved ties between community colleges and adult schools, and how the state can encourage more integration at the local and regional levels. Read ALLIES Network Consultant Paul Downs’ testimony before the Little Hoover Commission.
  • The partnership between Sequoia Adult School and Canada College in this ALLIES case study.

CCCIE Database

CCCIE is developing a database of promising practices in immigrant education to provide community colleges an opportunity to learn from one another, share new ideas, and expand and improve their programs to serve immigrant students. The database organizes promising practices of community colleges across the country according to five major types of programs or initiatives:

Prince George's Community College
Largo, MD

International Education Center

The International Education Center within Academic Affairs has two main purposes. First, to help newcomer students learn US higher education systems to be successful, and second, to educate other students, faculty, and staff about the different perspectives of our students from 121 other countries in order to improve cultural diversity communication across the college. Read more.

Columbus State Community College
Columbus, OH

Language Institute

Columbus, Ohio is home to the second-largest Somali population in the U.S. (approximately 45,000) and a growing number of refugees and immigrants from all over the world. Learn how Columbus State Community College is developing resources and assisting this population through its Language Institute, which is part of the college’s Transitional Workforce Department. Read more.

Miami Dade College
Miami, FL

Honors Bridge Program

The Honors Bridge program is designed to prepare highly motivated and academically strong ESL students with an opportunity to apply to Miami Dade’s prestigious Honors College. Spending time with Honors College mentors and participating in service learning with their instructors make students feel connected to the college—a major factor in retention. All Honors Bridge students accepted into the Honors College have completed the rigorous program and continued on to four-year institutions. Read more.

Title V Project ACE (Accelerated Content-Based English) Program

This program offers a fast-track EAP (English for Academic Purposes) curriculum to immigrants with strong academic backgrounds, including those with degrees from their countries of origin. This accelerated option features content-based instruction in which students learn English at the same time they are studying academic subjects such as psychology or biology. Project ACE faculty and staff are building the program with sustainability and replication in mind. Read more.

Pima Community College
Tucson, AZ

Refugee Education Project (REP)

Since 1978, REP has been providing English Language Training to eligible refugees in Tucson, which receives one of the biggest numbers of resettled refugees in the state. The primary goal is employment as soon as possible. Classes held at various levels, from pre-literacy through advanced, focus on English as it relates to getting and holding jobs. Students learn oral and written communication skills to be able to function on the job, fill out employment forms, and do other employment-related tasks as needed. Read more.

Westchester Community College
Valhalla, NY

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate Program

The need for a TESOL certificate program arose mainly from three factors: demand for ESL services, providing the right combination of classroom experience and training, and an increasing number of people interested in second careers. The Institute, which provides ESL classes for over 4,000 students per year, is one of the largest ESL programs in the region and requires the hiring or rehiring of 65 to 80 adjunct instructors three times per year. Read more.

Miami Dade College
Miami, FL

Refugee/Entrant Vocational Educational Services Training (REVEST) Program

In existence since 1999, this comprehensive program of adult education credit and non-credit courses is designed to improve the employability of eligible clients. The REVEST program provides adult refugees of all nationalities with English language training, adult basic education, vocational courses, referrals to other service agencies, transportation and childcare subsidies, and help with evaluation of foreign-earned credentials. Read more.

Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale, VA

ESL for Employment

Increasingly in many communities across America – urban, suburban, and rural communities as well - the voice of the poor speaks limited English with a foreign accent.  Situated in one of the nation’s top new-immigrant gateways for the past decade, Northern Virginia Community College shares its experience in responding to this challenge through an innovative community-based initiative that prepares intermediate-level adult ESL participants for better-paying careers. Read more.

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Olympia, WA

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST)

I-BEST challenges the traditional notion that Basic Skills adults need years of remediation before being introduced to and enabled to master college level work. The I-BEST program is run throughout the publicly funded 34 community and technical colleges in Washington state, and is supported by and coordinated through the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The program integrates basic academic skills and specific occupational skills leading to high-need jobs in the labor market. Read more.

Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, KS

Community Links

Johnson County’s community partnership program—which serves a mix of documented and undocumented immigrant students, international students, and community members—helps individuals navigate a variety of processes that can often present obstacles to higher education: applying for a driver’s license, opening a bank account, locating medical care, accessing community support services, and finding housing. Read more.

Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale, VA

Training Futures-Steps to Success

Northern Virginia Community College and Northern Virginia Family Services Training Futures have pioneered and deepened a unique Steps to Success partnership. Through this community college-nonprofit workforce development partnership, over 600 low-income trainees at Training Futures have enrolled at NOVA and earned college credits to help them launch and advance new professional careers. Read more.


Westchester Community College

Valhalla, NY

Neighbors Link (Mt. Kisco, NY.)

Offered through WCC’s English Language Institute, this daily makeshift “Job English” class for day laborers is held at the job and social services center run by Neighbors Link, a local nonprofit group in Mt. Kisco. Students are juggling jobs and classes, and they come and go as they get hired, but the course is helping them communicate better with employers—and it’s forced Westchester ESL instructors to rethink teaching. Read more.

City College of San Franciso
San Francisco, CA

        Project SHINE

This program, a partnership between City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, is a service-learning initiative that incorporates citizenship/civics preparation and acquisition of ESL and literacy skills. As assistants to teachers and on a one-to-one basis outside of the classroom, student volunteer coaches help immigrants learn English, prepare for the INS citizenship test, and integrate into society. The service learning option is fully integrated into the volunteer coaches' course work and classroom experiences. To date, nearly 44,000 immigrants have received help in classes with SHINE coaches. Read more.


Miami Dade College
Miami, FL

Adult Education/EL Civics Program

These programs combine academics (ESOL, citizenship, and GED preparation classes) with student services (financial literacy, health literacy, children’s tutoring, and family-oriented cultural activities.) The communities served are home to the poorest immigrant populations in Miami-Dade County and include Hispanic, Haitian, and European (mainly Russian) immigrants and their families. Quality and dedication of instructors and staff and community partnerships are critical to success, as evidenced by outstanding retention, test scores, and participation in post-secondary or GED Preparation programs. Read more.

Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale, VA

Pathway to the Baccalaureate

This program focuses on strengthening English writing skills. While many of the students excel at speaking and listening English, they lack                 the grammar and sentence structure needed for college-level writing. If they pass this introductory English writing class, they avoid wasting time and tuition on a remedial English class that will not count toward a college degree.  Read more


Palm Beach State College
Lake Worth, FL

Dr. Kathryn W. Davis Global Education Center

This program seeks to boost immigrant students’ access to higher education as well as addressing the many social, political and economic needs specific to immigrant students of all statuses. By providing financial aid, peer mentorships, English language services and integration programs, the GEC aims to offset the many challenges faced by immigrant students and to uplift their community as a whole. Also, by partnering with local community organizations, they seek to dispel common myths about undocumented and immigrant students while supporting the passage of the DREAM Act.  Read more


Rio Hondo Community College
Whittier, CA

Rio Hondo's Achieving the Dream Initiative

Rio Hondo’s Achieving the Dream initiative (no relationship to the national Achieving the Dream consortium) supports undocumented students    through education, motivation, building coalitions, conducting outreach, and expanding scholarship opportunities. A highly successful Achieving the Dream conference, co-organized by the student group Students Without Borders and Rio Hondo’s Student Services staff, brought about 150 high school students on campus to learn about launching an educational plan and the various resources available. SWB works with several national and community organizations and actively promotes scholarship and financial support opportunities. Read more