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For Immediate Release:
Metropolitan Campus

Gretchen Johnson

Office of Public Relations
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Mailstop H-DH3-15
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-7032

285 Madison Avenue
Mailstop M-MS0-01
Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 443-8661

A Gateway to the Future for Spanish-speaking Adults

"Puerta al Futuro" Program Begins in September

Teaneck, NJ (June 11, 2003) — Starting in September, Spanish-speaking adults will have the opportunity to earn an Associate in Arts degree with a concentration in business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Through an exciting new program —"Puerta al Futuro" — Spanish-speaking residents with limited English skills will be able to complete a degree program in three years.

"The University is responding to a growing number of employers interested in providing educational opportunity for their Latino employees," said Dean Kenneth T. Vehrkens. "The goal of the "Gateway to the Future" program is to enable Spanish-speaking adults to earn an Associate in Arts degree while improving their English-language skills."

In the first year, intensive English language training is combined with college-level coursework that is taught entirely in Spanish. In the second year,students continue the English language studies while taking courses in both English and Spanish — taught by bilingual faculty. In the final year, all courses are conducted in English.

Language instruction will be provided through the University’s partnership with ELS Educational Services, Inc., a division of Berlitz International, Inc.

Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings plus Saturdays. Students in the "Puerta al Futuro" program attend classes as a group and develop their English writing and speaking skills while earning the Associate in Arts degree.

Students start with a traditional 15-week fall semester followed by two 12-week winter and spring semesters. While there is a break in degree studies during July and August, students continue their English immersion courses year-round during the first five semesters.

The 60-credit program will be offered on the University’s Metropolitan Campus located in Teaneck and Hackensack, NJ. The program combines quality language training with the professional skills learned through college-level study: the ability to communicate effectively, think critically and work as a member of a team.

"Puerta al Futuro" has been developed in cooperation with the Bergen Hispanic Business Association, the Institute for Latino Studies Research and Development, and the Morris County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

After completing the program, students have the credentials needed to transfer into a traditional baccalaureate program at Fairleigh Dickinson or another accredited college.

"Puerta al Futuro," said Vehrkens, "continues the University’s tradition of working with adult learners, providing them with the practical and professional education they need to further their careers and enrich their lives."

For more information, contact the Director of the program, Deborah Gonzalez, at (201) 692-2449 or dgewc@fdu.edu.

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This release authored with FDU Pagetoaster.