Weekly Feature

2014-09-10 / Lifestyles

ECC partners with Journey’s End, church to offer refugees education

Erie Community College is now offering an English as a second language pre-collegiate studies program to give new educational opportunities to Buffalo’s growing refugee population.

The program is in partnership with Journey’s End Refugee Services and Pilgrim-St. Luke’s/El Nuevo Camino United Church of Christ.

Courses in life skills, math and ESL — as well as general college and GED prep courses — will be offered to provide local refugees, immigrants and other ESL students with college preparatory experience.

“We are excited to host this new ESL pre-collegiate program,” said the Rev. Justo González II, co-pastor of Pilgrim-St. Luke’s & El Nuevo Camino. “This collaboration offers refugees, Latinos and other immigrants the opportunity to grow personally and professionally by investing in their own potential while having a team of dedicated teachers to support and mentor them along the way. This new program is consistent with our mission and outreach efforts to the new and emerging faces of the West Side of Buffalo.”

Instruction will run through both fall and spring semesters at the aforementioned partnership locations.

Those academically ready after the fall session could be admitted to ECC as early as spring, which is a possibility ECC president Jack Quinn said he would welcome.

The goal of this partnership is to provide an underserved population of students with an entry point to higher education, community based support to help them excel and the skills to graduate from ECC.

So far, 25 students are enrolled in the program, but more could be admitted after the start of what Journey’s End education director Donna Pepero 7

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