Laurel Ridge Adult Education offering specially-tailored language classes

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2018

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Loryanne Rodriguez

Laurel Ridge’s Adult Education Program’s first pair of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes geared to specific career fields have recently wrapped up.

Thanks to grant funding, the Adult Education Program is able to offer ESOL classes designed to help students enter the college’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) program or medical training.

The specialized ESOL classes are being paid for with some of the more than $2 million worth of grants the program was awarded last year. The grant money is coming in over the course of three years.

“We’re really focusing on working with our students in the context of a specific industry so that what they’re learning with us can be applied to their next level of studies,” says Adult Education Director Amy Judd.

The first English classes for those looking to enroll in the CDL class started in March. The second started in July, and the third will begin in October.

Through a partnership with C.D.S. Tractor Trailer Training, Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions has been offering CDL training for several years. There is a great demand for and shortage of truck drivers in the region.

ESOL Instructor David Knighting attended several of the CDL classes so he would be able to gauge the reading level needed to understand the textbooks and take the required tests. He even completed some ride-alongs to get a better understanding of the curriculum, Judd says.

“The goal is to have them better prepared with English classes so they are ready to successfully complete the CDL course,” she says. “They’re up against a lot in a fairly rigorous course that is meant to move quickly.”

Adult Education also offers ESOL classes geared toward those wishing to work in the medical field. They focus on medical terminology, such as body parts, bodily systems, and medical office vocabulary.

“The hope is that when they finish they will be eligible to enter either for-credit classes, or the next step in English language learning classes, or enter Workforce Solutions medical classes,” Judd says.

One such student is Loryanne Mercado Rodriguez, a working mother. Having just finished her medical English class, she is going to earn a patient service representative certificate through Workforce Solutions and hopes to get work as a receptionist in a medical office, and to eventually become a radiology technician.

Meanwhile, she is working in a manufacturing plant and volunteering in two locations:  Shenandoah Memorial Hospital and the Shenandoah Community Health Clinic (also referred to as the Shenandoah Free Clinic).

“I heard about the medical English class while taking ESOL classes at Triplett Tech in Mount Jackson,” Rodriguez says. “I decided to take the class because I have previous medical office experience and education, and working in the medical field has always been my passion. I learned a lot in the specialized ESOL class. It has given me a good base.”

The grant funding also includes a civics class on the responsibilities that come along with U.S. citizenship “all in the context of learning English,” according to Judd.

All classes offered by Laurel Ridge’s Adult Education Program are free to students. They include GED classes, ESOL classes, and reading and math classes for individuals who might already have a diploma.

In the past year, 909 students were served by the program across 15 locations, according to Judd.

information on the Adult Education Program, call (540) 869-0748, or visit


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.