Career Pathways Initiative

Building Bridges Program Offers Blend of of ESL and Food Handler's Curriculum

Posted by Andrala Walker - On January 27, 2012 (EST)

Kingsborough Community College (KCC), one of the City University of New York’s (CUNY) six community colleges, is home to a unique curriculum for English language learners (ELLs) interested in careers in the Culinary Arts. The program, Building Bridges to Success, is an outgrowth of a New York State (NYS) Department of Labor grant designed to create a food handler’s curriculum for ESL students.

The Building Bridges to Success program offers a holistic instructional model to 50 intermediate-level ELL students per year (two cohorts of 25 students per year).  The program is based on the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model  that has achieved success with low skilled workers in Washington State and combines a contextualized ESL, workforce training, and higher education approach that has proven effective in helping low-level students achieve entrance and advancement to higher skilled, higher paying career pathways.  The program currently receives report from the NYS Department of Education to carry out Workforce Investment Act (WIA) ELL services.  Pending satisfactory performance, availability of funding, and the continuation of the current federal WIA legislation, subsequent awards for twelve-month program periods will continue through June 30, 2013.

The most recent student cohort, which completed the program in April 2011, reported very strong end-of-program results, similar to those of previous cohorts.  Pass rates of students taking the industry certified exams were: 96 percent on the NYS Department of Health Food Protection exam, 100 percent on the nationally recognized ServSafe exam, and 100 percent on the nationally recognized Food Production ManageFirst examination.  To date, over 50 percent of past program completers have transitioned to continued education at institutions within the CUNY system. 

To review the KCC"s Food Handler's Curriculum, sample lesson plans, worksheets, and teachers' guides, go to  To learn more about the program, contact Frank Milano, KCC's Director of ESL Programs, at


Article excerpted from ACP News.  Adult Career Pathways News is a publication of the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways Initiative, which can be found at

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Modified On : January 27, 2012
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