Teachers working with adult English language learners may have limited options for full-time work in the field. Some become program managers and take on new responsibilities including recruiting, supervising, and training other teachers; managing budgets; evaluating programs; and interfacing with funders and other community stakeholders. These new managers may or may not have previous experience or training in program administration; all want to manage programs that are helping adult English language learners acquire English proficiency and literacy skills.
This discussion will explore the issues of becoming a manager for programs serving adult English language learners. Three guests, all former teachers and all current or recent managers in programs for adult English language learners, will respond to questions about successes and challenges in managing adult ESL programs. The skills needed for working with teachers and others who serve adult English language learners will be discussed, resources will be listed, and guests will offer recommendations for those who aspire to program management.
MaryAnn Florez is the Director the Adult Education Professional Development Center of DC LEARNS in Washington, DC, where she works with adult educators and state staff to provide professional development opportunities for ABE, GED, and adult ESL practitioners. She has worked in program management positions with the Arlington (VA) Education and Employment Program and Fairfax County (VA) Adult ESOL, coordinated a volunteer adult ESL program in Northern Virginia, and provided technical assistance and resource dissemination services as assistant director for the National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE), at the Center for Applied Linguistics. Florez holds a M.Ed. in Adult Education from George Mason University.
Donna Kinerney has been involved in the field of adult ESL and refugee ESL programs for 18 years, first as teacher, then as a program director, and most recently at Montgomery College (Maryland) as the Instructional Dean for Adult ESL and Literacy Programs. At Montgomery College she oversees program design, development, implementation and evaluation for all grant-funded ABE/GED/ESL/refugee programs. These programs, providing over 10,000 seats per year at 17 different sites, offer instruction in life skills, workplace skills, civics/citizenship, vocational ESL, and GED preparation. Kinerney has master's degrees in German and in Instructional Systems Design/TESOL. She also has a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County where she is an adjunct instructor for a graduate project seminar in ESOL/ESL curriculum design.
Brigitte Marshall: Prior to assuming her current position as Director of Oakland (California) Adult Education in March 2005, Brigitte Marshall was Principal of Oakland's Neighborhood Centers Adult School. She joined Oakland Unified School District in 2002 after two and a half years as a Consultant with the Adult Education Office at the California Department of Education. From 1996-2000, Marshall worked as a consultant on adult education and training issues for the California Department of Social Services, Welfare to Work Division. Marshall worked for six years in Fresno as an ESL Instructor of Southeast Asian refugees at Fresno Adult School and Fresno City College after serving as a volunteer ESL teacher in refugee resettlement camps in Thailand.
She has a master's degree from the University of Oxford, England in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Adults) from the University of Cambridge; ; an Adult Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for California; and an Administrative Services Credential, Tier 1, from California State University, Hayward.