New NIC Intensive English Language Program builds foundation for schooling and employment

When Erika Andrade first came to the United States from Colombia, the only English she knew was what she was able to pick up here and there.

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Erika Andrade came to the United States from Colombia to pursue the American Dream.

“I came here for my American Dream,” she said, speaking with confidence.

That was 12 years ago. Andrade has made a home for herself and her three children in Idaho. Because the ability to speak English is so important in this area, Andrade says she has constantly looked for resources to help her improve her English. Recently, she learned about the Intensive English Language program (IELP) at North Idaho College.

IELP is a new program that provides English language training to help students prepare for college and professional development. Students will hone a range of skills, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The program is open to both international and non-international students.

“I’m so happy that NIC is doing this,” she said. “Our community is growing. There are more Latino people here who want to learn English.”

The program is available year round and runs in eight-week terms. Students advance level by level until they complete the program. The next eight-week term will run from August through October. Students can take classes full time or part time—five, three, or two days a week—to accommodate their schedules.

Andrade said after high school in Colombia, she has been employed in various positions cleaning. Now her English has improved so much that she was able to start taking college classes at NIC and she’s optimistic for the future.

“I love cleaning and I’m grateful, but I want to have something more—a career for me and my family. I have a goal,” Andrade said.

Andrade says she recommends the program to anyone who wants to improve their English skills, whether for work or for school. The ability to communicate in English can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

To apply for the Intensive English Language Program, visit www.nic.edu/ielp/ or call
(208) 769-3214. Class registration information is available at www.workforcetraining.nic.edu or by calling the NIC Workforce Training Center at (208) 769-3214.