Southern Maine Community College: Lisa Gorman Language Learning Center opens at SMCC

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September 20, 2021

The new Lisa Gorman Language Learning Center has opened its doors to English learners at Southern Maine Community College. The Center will offer specialized one-on-one and small-group tutoring sessions and access to support to improve writing and math skills that are critical to their overall academic success.

The Lisa Gorman Language Learning Center was established with a collective donation to the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges in honor of Lisa Gorman’s 70th birthday by her family and friend, Elaine Rosen. The donation supports SMCC’s English for Speakers of Other Languages ​​(ESOL) program.

Lisa Gorman is passionate about teaching ESOL, and this gift honors the significant commitment she has made to the program over the past few years. Since 2016, over 1,500 students have participated in SMCC’s ESOL program.

“I am extremely honored to have my name associated with this center,” said Lisa Gorman, founding member and vice-president of the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges. “I am just delighted that my family has honored me in this way to support English language learners on their way to a better future.”

“Acquiring English is the biggest barrier for immigrants as they seek to enter the workforce and participate in the American Dream,” said Joe Cassidy, president of SMCC. He noted that the college has recently instituted a new approach to teaching English language skills beyond the traditional classroom setting and includes one-on-one support and regular contact with English language learners. The Lisa Gorman Language Learning Center is a key part of this new approach to teaching English, which builds on foundational work in a traditional classroom setting by providing continuous and guided contact for the ultimate student achievement.

The Lisa Gorman Language Learning Center is located in the Learning Commons at the South Portland Campus Center and integrates ESOL programming with all other support services provided to SMCC students.

“Lisa was one of the great New Mainers champions. She believes they are an integral part of Maine’s new economy and that they embody the American dream, ”said John Fitzsimmons, president of the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges.


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