Curriculum resources and successful models for skilled immigrant programs


I'm working with a program serving highly skilled immigrants and have a few questions:
1.  Can you point me in the direction of where to look for supplemental English materials for professionals with a background in management, physics, or chemistry?  (They currently use Burlington English, but it does not cover enough professions nor does it have the content depth their students need.  In addition, they have talked with Upwardly Global but because they are not an affiliate they cannot access their online resources.)

2.  What other programs are successfully serving highly skilled immigrants nationally? It would be great to know if any of these are doing something other than a targeted sector approach as the program I'm working with has moved away from only serving professionals seeking to continue in STEM fields and is serving skilled professionals from other sectors as well.

Many thanks for any guidance.



Hi Martha, You are raising an issue that many programs are facing. Serving skilled immigrants, especially when they represent a wide range of careers, is challenging. The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians in Philadelphia have found that trying to support a diverse group of skilled immigrants is difficult-- at least in part-- due to the requirement to provide individualized case management and wrap around support services. With regard to curriculum, the issues are similarly complex. In many cases, the numbers of learners who desire English support for careers in management -- or physics -- or chemistry -- or education, etc., are small -- making it difficult to offer classes specific to these career tracks.

With that being said, I'm sure there are programs-- English for Specific Purposes-- that have designed curricular resources around specific career tracks, and it would be great if those materials and best practices could be shared. How about it, members?

Thank you for raising this critically important issue, Martha. (By the way, The Welcoming Center ended up creating a program specifically for internationally trained nurses, and it has been highly successful in supporting individuals through the licensing process.)

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Adult English Language Learners, Assessment and College and Career Standards Communities of Practice

Hi Martha, 

Here are some suggestions around English language programs which may be worth looking into.

  • The New York Basic Education and Skills Training (NY-BEST) programs, modeled after Washington’s I-BEST and part of the NYC Welcome Back Center, help internationally-trained healthcare professionals enter the NY State workforce in their original career or an alternative healthcare career. The programs are designed to address the needs of non-traditional, adult students who may have low literacy skills, have family responsibilities, and face economic and educational disadvantages that can impede a rigorous course of professional study. Training and curriculum are designed and taught collaboratively by both an experienced Allied Health technical instructor and a basic skills educator.
  • English Health Train (EHT) is a highly specialized, innovative, and comprehensive health-focused ESL curriculum developed by the California Welcome Back Initiative, designed to accelerate the employment readiness of non-native English speakers. EHT is focused on the language, communication, and career development skills needed to enter and succeed in healthcare careers in the U.S

In regards to other programs, nationally, serving skilled immigrants, IMPRINT has recently developed an interactive program map. Here is a link to its webpage.  

Hope it's helpful -  


I wanted to share with you a link to another online LINCS discussion, facilitated by Heide Wrigley, which is addressing programs to support foreign educated immigrants. Here is the link for you to join in 

"Contextualizing Instruction and Supporting English Learners onto Career Pathways"  here is the link: