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Higher Education
San Jacinto College
News Release
Monday, December 12, 2011

SJC Continuing and Professional Development pairs with Houston companies
to offer English language courses

PASADENA, Texas — More employees of Houston area companies will now have access to English as a Second Language (ESL) courses thanks to partnership opportunities with San Jacinto College's Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division.

Most recently, XtraLight Manufacturing held a ceremony to congratulate a group of nine students who completed their first level of English language courses through San Jacinto College (SJC). The company allowed the College to visit each week and teach English to employees, opening up opportunities beyond their workplace.

"This was a very good class," said Nora Jimenez. "I want to learn English for my job and to help other Spanish speakers with their translation."

San Jacinto College ESL professor, Joanie Greer, said the courses she teaches "eliminate the distance between students' dreams and reality." 

"It’s about taking the students farther than even they knew they could go," said Greer. "The path to these goals is  'edutainment' where education meets entertainment. The class is laced with games, songs, music, stories, partner activities, and team competitions. All the learning modalities, like visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic, are addressed with careful attention to the often overlooked tactile and kinesthetic."

The overall goal for company employees is to have them complete an adequate number of ESL courses to prepare them for their GED diploma, according to Madeleine Knight, SJC education program manager.

"We hope to have the employees complete at least six to eight levels of ESL courses and then have them prepare for their GED diploma," said Knight, adding that ESL courses are available for any company that wants to further their employees' professional development.

According to Ken Stelly, XtraLight plant manager, and Richard Shirley, XtraLight chief operating officer, ESL courses with the College provide a win-win situation that allows their employees to benefit from further educational opportunities.

"XtraLight management has always believed in investing back into the company," said Stelly. "This includes adding new equipment and implementing training programs for our employees. In fact, one of our six operating principles is commitment to employees."

“The ESL classes we sponsored are just another example of this company commitment,” added Shirley.

To find out more about ESL courses offered to companies through the College's CPD division, call 281-476-1838.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. Our graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College. For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook at

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