On July 30, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) celebrated 117 English Learner (EL) students graduating from Summer College Academy classes.
As immigrants and first-generation Americans, EL students often must overcome tremendous adversity to pursue higher education and find jobs. A partnership between MCTC and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), the Summer College Academy provides academic guidance and direction at a critical juncture in EL students’ academic journeys.
High school students and recent EL graduates participating in the program receive the opportunity to experience college-level language instruction, earn an English credit, and prepare for higher education. In addition, the program’s classes help teach students to utilize their unique backgrounds and multilingualism as strengths critical to their success.
The goal of the Summer College Academy is to accelerate the graduation rate for EL students while reducing or eliminating the need for remedial classes when an EL student starts college.
Under the direction of MPS Deputy Education Officer Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman and with the support of MCTC instructors, the 117 EL students received three levels of reading and writing classes on the MCTC campus over the course of eight weeks this summer.
Ms. Dimayuga-Bruggeman expressed excitement about the collaborative nature of the program. “By working together, we can move beyond individual efforts and unleash the power of collaboration that will help ensure Minneapolis English Learners can go to college and be prepared for successful futures,” she said. “The partnership between MPS and MCTC to provide our English Learners college-level courses through the Summer College Academy will advance our students on their journey toward high school graduation and place them in a pathway to college and career readiness.”
The program culminated in a Family Celebration and Career Fair, where families and students were provided with information on how to access college as well as different careers that lead to family-sustaining jobs. Participating schools included Wellstone International High School, Edison High School, Henry High School, South High School, Southwest High School, Washburn High School, Roosevelt High School, and Heritage Academy of Science and Technology.