CMC finds niche with tailored Spanish classes for employers
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Mountain College may have found a niche by offering language classes to employers.Last fall, the city of Glenwood Springs paid for customized Spanish classes for its employees. Target recently provided English classes for employees and Spanish classes to supervisors. Other employers including some hotels in Aspen also have paid for the classes.”The city was interested in it immediately,” Suzanne Hyman said. “They knew if people took advantage of it they would be better employees.”Hyman works in CMC’s Community and Corporate Learning department. For each campus and surrounding area, CMC has about 10 or so part-time employees available to teach the classes.”It’s very motivating to employees when their supervisor is trying to learn their language,” Suzanne Hyman said.According to Hyman, on-site classes are more convenient for employers. Classes can be scheduled any time during the day and content is customized toward specific employers’ needs. At Target, the course taught language related to the “world of inventory” that employees would be dealing with.CMC really began promoting on-site classes over the past few years, Hyman said.”What we simply have done is just figure out where there was the most demand,” she said.Hyman visits interested employers’ job sites and does a needs analysis. She discusses what the employer wants exactly and then coordinates instructors and materials.One example of how customizing language content works is a pocket-sized book called basic Spanish for transit employees. CMC created it in partnership with the Roaring Fork Transit Authority and the Colorado Department of Transportation, Hyman said. The book contains scenarios and related phrases like telling someone how to buy a punch pass for a bus.Somehow word of the book has traveled and it’s being requested in places around the country, she said, and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit just purchased 1,500 of the $5 books.Classes go for eight weeks, with one two-hour class per week. The cost varies depending on the class size. CMC also provides free English classes on campus through grant money.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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