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Staff Spotlight: “I love seeing my students learn and grow,” Meet LCNV's new Instructional Design Manager, Soo Park

Soo Park (center) with her students 

LCNV is excited to welcome our new Instructional Design Manager, Soo Park. Thanks to generous matching grant support from the Virginia Literacy Foundation, LCNV was able to create this position that reports to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Carole Bausell. Soo began serving in her new role on September 1, 2016.

"We created the Instructional Design Manager position to manage LCNV's Destination Workforce® program and develop new course content," says Carole. “Soo will custom-design curricula for classes in partnership with local business partners. These business-based classes will enable employees with limited English to acquire industry-specific language skills to improve their performance on the job and advance in their careers. She will also design course content for students seeking jobs and for LCNV’s new Skills-based Class Program; these classes will help learners fill in the gaps in their competencies.”

"The Skills-based classes focus on a specific skill set, such as writing, reading, pronunciation, or grammar. Destination Workforce®, on the other hand, is a more customized approach in that we contextualize English language instruction to a specific work environment. We go to our adult learners' place of employment and teach them the language, literacy, and cultural skills needed to succeed in their jobs at their workplace. We demonstrate that learning English is not only beneficial to them, but also to their employers and the community as a whole," says Soo.  

The Writing course is the first Skills-based class that Soo designed for LCNV, initially in concert with a design team. Piloted as a series of workshops last summer, the class officially launched this fall semester. The class was met with a lot of student interest and has been well received by our learners. Soo also joined the Destination Workforce® design team this fall and will take the lead role in preparing course content.

No stranger to LCNV, Soo brings a background perfectly suited to her new role. With a TESOL Certificate and several years of experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), Soo served as a highly valued member of the AmeriCorps teaching team last year. This time, Soo hopes to leverage her Master of Education degree in Instructional Design – and her decade of professional experience as an instructional designer and business consultant – to design and implement a successful program to help students reach their career potential.

"My journey with LCNV has been really amazing and rewarding,” says Soo, adding, "I’ve learned a lot as an English language teacher. I can’t tell you how much I respect my students for how hard they work to improve their lives. They put in a full day of work, and yet they still find the energy to come to class to learn English! They put in so much effort and I’d like to help them stay motivated. And I hope to do that by designing courses that improve their job skills so they can become functional and successful members of society. As a child of immigrant parents, I’ve always wanted to give back to society what it’s given to me. Now I feel like I’m doing my bit.”