ELM and Mount Hood Community College: Increasing Equity and Opportunity For Immigrant Teachers (and Multnomah County Kids, too).

We were thrilled to hear Lulose Claude and her classmates recently featured on Public Radio
International’s The World (listen to the full story here).

Claude, who was a social worker in her native Haiti, immigrated to the U.S. in 2017. She now works as a substitute preschool teacher and is enrolled in a Mount Hood Community College program tailored to immigrants, refugees, and ESL learners who are seeking careers in early childhood education.

Mount Hood Community College’s Vocational English as a Second Language Child Development Associate credential offers students like Claude the English skills and early childhood education credentials they need to build their careers. Launched in 2018 and funded in part by ELM, tuition is free to participants. Why do we invest here? Because doing so supports equity and opportunity for young children in Multnomah County.

The program addresses a shortage of qualified early childhood educators that effects children nationwide. The classes at Mt. Hood aim to fill some of the gap in Oregon by tailoring the CDA credentialing course to the needs of immigrants, who comprise nearly one in five early childhood educators in the US. As PRI reports, educators like Claude are in high demand because there’s a need for workers who have the cultural and language skills to serve our increasingly diverse population of young children.

“I know inside of me I have the capacity to do whatever I want,” Claude told PRI. ELM is proud to support Claude and her MHCC cohort by offering the skills and credentials they need to get where they want to go.