Education Programs

FOCUS/Essex County College (ECC) Extension Center

This transition program offers bilingual students with a High School Diploma or General Equivalent Diploma (GED) the opportunity to complete college credit preparatory courses prior to entering the main campus. The extension center makes it convenient for students, professionals and people from the community to take advantage of all types of learning opportunities. By offering accessible and relevant courses, ECC Extension Center provides knowledge and connections for people to achieve their personal and professional goals. Assistance with financial aid applications is provided.

English as a Second language

This program offers entry-level instruction courses which are offered for non-English speakers to learn English as a Second Language (ESL). There are three levels of instructions: Beginners / Intermediate and Advanced. Courses are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays to adults residing in Essex County and the West Hudson area.

From Luis Gonzalez

At the beginning of my life on The United States I faced great difficulties. I came to live here in 1988 and my difficulties were to adapt to a different culture and a completely language. As an immigrant, I started working on a factory where I worked for more than 20 years. However, due to the recession people in the factory were saying that the factory was going to be closed soon. That’s the reason why I decided to prepare myself before the factory was going to close. In order to me to find a good job I needed to speak good English, so in 2009 I enrolled in FOCUS.

I contacted Ana Chavarria and she helped me to register, tested and enrolled into the ESL evening classes. I was placed in level 2 based on the test score; however, I continued with more course at FOCUS. Once I finished the classes at FOCUS I asked Ana if she could advise me about ECC classes, and she helped me with Admissions and Financial Aid. A few weeks later I took the Placement Exam and when I went back to ECC for the test results I was surprised that I was placed into ESL 105/106. I was so happy to be part of FOCUS, because I knew that everything I’ve learned at FOCUS helped me a lot for life. After two years later I finished my Criminal Justice Degree and I applied to enroll at Rutger University. This year 2013, I graduated form Essex County College and I was in the Dean list. I’m going to continue my education at Rutgers University in order to get my Bachelor Degree. I knew I had a debt with myself because my goal was to graduate from college. But it’s never too late to enroll into a non-profit agency, college or university. I’m so proud of my self and my family that they were there with me and supported me al the way to success. And Thank you to FOCUS staff.

Integrated English Civics Education

The Integrated English Civics Education Program allows immigrants and other limited English proficient speakers the opportunity to improve their English literacy skills while learning about the U.S. The program emphasizes instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization procedures, civic participation, and U.S. history and government.