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Hartnell College's Bilingual Occupational Program Wins Statewide Award

April 24th, 2003

The Bilingual Occupational Program at Hartnell College has won the 2003 Outstanding Program Award from the California Community College Association for Occupational Education (CCCAOE).

Hartnell's bilingual program-taught in Spanish and English-is under the direction of Josť Luis FernŠndez, dean of instruction for occupational education.

"We thank the CCCAOE for recognizing our bilingual occupational program as one of the most qualitative and innovative in the state," said FernŠndez. "The philosophy behind our program is to create classes that serve as a bridge to assist limited-English and non-English speaking students in transitioning into mainstream English-only classes."

Over the last five years, the occupational bilingual program has create access to more than 1,200 students-and most of those students have gone on to enroll into English-only and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, according to FernŠndez.

He attributes the success of the program to more than 40 faculty members-both full-time and part-time-who "have played a vital role in the classroom or supported the program in other ways."

Hartnell offers more than 60 bilingual classes in many fields, including early childhood education, computer information systems, automotive technology, welding, auto collision, mechanical technology, business, real estate, diesel mechanics, math, drafting CAD, electronic technology, construction technology, mill and cabinet technology, and counseling.

The award was presented to Hartnell at the CCCAOE's recent conference in San Josť. According to Susan Clifford, CCCAOE president, Hartnell won the award because of "its innovative approach to occupational education and its leadership in promoting collaborative efforts among disciplines as well as public and private sectors."