The mission of Wichita Indochinese Center, Inc., is to teach skills and provide services (English as a Second Language, Workforce Development, and Youth Services) to immigrants and refugees so that these individuals will become self supporting and contributing members of the Wichita community.
WHO WE ARE
The Wichita Indochinese Center, Inc. (WIC), a non-profit 501©(3) Kansas corporation, was founded in 1985 to serve refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. These three countries are collectively called Indochina. WIC was formed to teach English to these refugees and to help them become productive citizens. Later, WIC helped refugees from Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq etc. Since 1995 WIC has opened its English and civics classes to any adult, not just refugees, whose first language is not English.
WHAT DO THE STUDENTS LEARN?/WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES?
- WIC’s primary objective is to teach the following skills to non-native speaking adults and help them become productive citizens:
- English reading, listening, writing, and overall communication skills.
- Job search skills, interviewing techniques, employability skills, job retention skills (Workforce preparation)
- Citizenship education
- Preparation and admission to post-secondary education or job training.
- Another objective is to help un-employed students obtain employment.
- The third objective is to provide citizenship and civics education and help students to understand their civic responsibilities so they will become involved members of the community.
HOW WILL THESE OBJECTIVES BE MEASURED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PROGRAM IS SUCCESSFUL? (EVALUATION PLAN)
This is a highly regulated, monitored, outcomes and research based program administered by the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR). All data are entered in a web-based program called PABLO and that data is periodically reviewed by the adult education staff of KBOR.
There is an elaborate procedure to determine the success of this program. Briefly it is as follows.
ALL students will take an appraisal test in reading and listening at the beginning of the enrollment process. Scores on those appraisal tests will indicate which level of reading and listening diagnostic tests (pre-tests) each student has to take, and students will take those tests. At the end of the session students will take post-tests. Their scores will determine whether or not a student has mastered the skills necessary to move on to the next level.
Similarly there are separate citizenship tests to determine their knowledge of US history and government.
If a student has an additional goal of obtaining employment and once the student enters employment that information will be entered into PABLO. The Kansas Department of Human Resources will verify the information.
If a student’s goal is to enter post secondary education, we will help the student in the enrollment process at a local post-secondary institution and track that student’s progress.
Every quarter the KBOR will verify all our data for accuracy and will assign points to our program at the end of the financial year. These points are one of the factors for determining funding for our program.
WHO ARE THE STUDENTS?
- Three types of students attend these classes
- Those who have newly arrived in this country and want to learn English and get jobs.
- Those who are already employed but want to learn English and be productive and retain their jobs
- Those who want to improve their English and enter post secondary education or training
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS PROGRAM TO STUDENTS?
1) The primary benefit is that non-English speaking adults learn English and get employment. Over the years hundreds of our students have entered employment and have become tax payers.
2) Those who are already employed will improve their communication skills and retain their jobs. Good communication skills in work place are vital to keep a job.
3) Students with high school diplomas from their country are enabled to continue their education at a higher level.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS PROGRAM TO THE COMMUNITY?
WIC has proven that it can produce dependable and productive workers, thus producing more taxpayers.
WIC students further their education which leads to more productive and contributing citizens.
WIC provides civics instruction which includes an appreciation for the rules that govern relations with fellow citizens and the government.
WHAT IS THE NEED FOR FUNDS FOR WIC?
Our funding for this program is a grant from the Kansas Board of Regents.
However, currently we have to come up with a mandatory match of 25% of KBOR funding. It’s funding alone is not enough to run a quality program with experienced teachers and a good percentage of students making educational gains. Each year we have to raise about $35,000 from private foundations and grants to cover our match/fill the gap between the expenses and the grant from the KBOR.
WIC has excellent credibility in Wichita. That is why Wichita Community Foundation, Kansas Health Foundation, Cargill and others have funded this program.
WIC is not a UnitedWay agency and does not receive their funding.
We bring bread, butter, health and happiness to language challenged adults and provide an excellent workforce. Over the years we have placed hundreds of highly motivated students in jobs. Many started at entry level in manufacturing and moved on to Spirit and Cessna.
Please consider joining WIC in its pursuit of helping refugees and immigrants improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the life of our community.
Wichita Indochinese Center Milestones
- Jan 15
Number of lab computers more than doubled, to accomodate large classes or multiple classes at once.Jan 15
Partnered with Butler County Community College
- Dec 10
Concentrating on its English as a Second Language program.Dec 10
1994 WIC was one of the 200 sites in the country to be designated as a Power Up site with a computer lab with 10 computers and AOL connection. Update: The lab has been upgraded and is being used to teach English.Dec 10
The City of Wichita gave a grant to WIC to help administer the Summer Youth Employment Program. Results: WIC established a collaboration of seven grass root community organizations to help hire 200 youth from low-income families each summer. Youth learned skills from working in the real world and received financial management training.Dec 10
Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority gave a one-time grant to assist WIC in offering life skills and job training to at risk youth.Dec 10
Community Development Block Grant helped WIC to move its operations to a larger facility and expand its services to more adequately serve families.Dec 10
Adult Basic Education grant from the State Board of Education started helping to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) class to anyone who wants to learn English to better their skills in society and workplace. The Kansas Board of Regents now administers this program.Dec 10
WIC expanded its activities and increased the scope of services.Dec 10
Wichita Indochinese Center, Inc. was founded as a non-profit corporation to assist refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos