GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale Chapter (ANCA-Glendale) commended the Glendale Community College this week for adding fluency in Armenian and/or Spanish to the list of desirable qualifications to the GCC Garfield Campus employment guidelines.
The ANCA-Glendale was notified of the change during its March 4 meeting with Dr. David Viar, Ann H. Ransford, and Dr. Armine Hacopian.
“ANCA-Glendale extends its appreciation to the GCC Superintendent and Board of Trustees for their cooperation and will continue monitoring the situation in tandem with GCC colleagues to ensure fairness and equitability,” stated ANCA – Glendale Chapter Co-Chair Ronnie Gharibian.
During the meeting, the parties agreed to continue collaboration to ensure that equal employment opportunities are granted to all applicants, including candidates with Armenian language fluency.
“The discipline of teaching ESL in the classroom doesn’t require the instructor to speak in languages other than English, but from the perspective of bilingual students who come from other cultures, having bilingual faculty members who understand that culture and speaks that language is a benefit to the program and the college,” Dr. Viar noted.
“Interviewing committees go to diversity training, so the only challenge that we have is hiring linguistic minorities, but the board has been focusing on this for a long period of time,” Dr. Hacopian said. “This type of change takes time.”
The ANCA – Glendale Chapter was notified in October 2018 of potential equal employment opportunity violations against applicants of Armenian descent for full-time instructor positions at the Glendale Community College (GCC) Garfield Campus, which specializes in ESL (English as a Second Language) class instruction.
ANCA-Glendale immediately began investigating the matter and found potential violations. As a result, ANCA-Glendale requested a meeting with GCC Superintendent/President Viar as well as the Board of Trustees. A meeting was arranged in early December with Dr. Viar, the President of Board of Trustees Ransford, and D. Hacopian, during which ANCA-Glendale representatives raised concerns and questions regarding college’s hiring policies and procedures.
As a result of the meeting, GCC began its own internal investigation of the matter as well as agreed to consider ANCA-Glendale’s request to add Armenian language fluency to the list of “desirable qualifications” in addition to the hiring standards set by the State of California.
In the interim, GCC notified ANCA-Glendale that they had hired three Armenian-Americans to interim management positions and one to a full-time position.
Close to half of 7,617 Garfield Campus students identify as Armenian, with the number expected to grow further in the coming years. Many of them are enrolled in ESL classes. Currently, less than a third of 313 employees at the GCC Garfield Campus are Armenian. Despite the changes made to the list of desirable qualifications, the hiring committee has not yet employed any Armenian-speaking full-time instructors this year.
The ANCA Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of Glendale’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.