On Saturday, June 2, Midwestern Career College (MCC) hosted the National Geographic Summer Symposium, a special event for VESL instructors in the Chicagoland area. It featured VESL and education experts speaking on trends on how to bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life.
In cooperation with TED Talks and Cengage, National Geographic invited nationally known speakers who shared their expertise with VESL instructors of Chicago. Cengage is an education and technology company that serves the publishing needs of higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide.
“Effective instruction is about quality teaching,” says Jeremy Oberfeld, CEO of Midwestern Career College. “This event presented VESL instructors from area universities, colleges and community colleges with stimulating ideas that they can immediately integrate into their classrooms.”
“Our international student population is growing because of the quality of the instruction offered by MCC,” says Olga Gusak, vice president of academics. “Organizations such as National Geographic and TED Talks are partnering with MCC because they recognize the effort we are putting into providing quality Vocational English Language training.”
VESL instructors in attendance were affiliated with DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Dokkyo University (Japan), Purdue Northwest, Northeastern Illinois University, St. Augustine College, Morton College, Harper College, Pui Tak, Way Point English, and Morraine Valley Community College, among others.
The opening keynote address was given by Andrés Ruzo, a scientist, author, science communicator and educator, who in 2011 became the first geoscientist granted permission to study the sacred Boiling River of the Amazon. Andrés is a TED Speaker, TED Book Author, National Geographic Explorer, and contributor to National Geographic Learning educational materials. He is currently completing a PhD in geophysics.
Jessica Williams spoke on the “Power of TED in the 21st Century Classroom.” She is a retired professor of linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she taught in the MA TESOL program. Her area of research is second language learning. She is the author of several English language training (ELT) student books as well as professional reference books for ELT professionals.
Rob Jenkins presented on “Connecting Language Skills and 21st Century Skills to Achieve Employability.” He is a professor of VESL at Santa Ana College, School of Continuing Education, in Southern California. Rob was recently awarded the prestigious Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest honor bestowed by colleagues upon a Santa Ana College faculty member and was nominated for Orange County Teacher of the Year.
During the event, VESL instructors also had a chance to network and make professional connections.
About Midwestern Career College
Founded in 2004, Midwestern Career College provides premier career-focused education to empower students with academic training, technical expertise, and professional support to launch or advance their successful careers. MCC offers programs in MRI technology, non-invasive cardiovascular technology, diagnostic medical sonography, dialysis technology, medical assisting, surgical technology, electroneurodiagnostic technology, and business administration. The college’s Vocational English language training boasts a growing international student population. To learn more, visit .