As is the trend around the country, Minnesota's demographics are becoming increasingly diverse -- nearly 350,000 current state residents are foreign-born, a figure that increased 117 percent between the years 2000 and 2006. In response to this trend, the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing Education (CCE) is debuting several new ESL (English as a Second Language) programs, with the goal of assisting new Minnesotans in perfecting their English-speaking skills so they can advance in their work and personal lives.
This fall, CCE is introducing a new certificate program, Professional English Communication for Non-Native Speakers. Geared toward working professionals who have come to Minnesota from other countries and who already speak English, the program offers short courses in speaking and presentation skills, grammar and business writing. The courses will help participants communicate more clearly, directly and confidently in the workplace.

"The Professional English Communication for Non-Native Speakers program is designed to empower non-native professionals, who are already making big contributions to the Minnesota economy," said Tom Norman, director of CCE's Continuing Professional Education unit. "We want to help them make the best contribution possible and advance professionally in their workplaces."

In conjunction with these short courses, the College of Continuing Education will also offer a semester-long course in Business English.  The course will help participants who want more in-depth English instruction.

For more information about these programs, visit the following Web sites:

Professional English Communication for Non-Native Speakers (short courses for working professionals):

Minnesota English Language Program (semester-long course with more in-depth work):

Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy's Strategic Leadership Insights presentation:

For more information on the program, contact Rachel Wright at 612-624-7770 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Ryan Maus at 612-624-1690 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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