HomeAsian AmericansSF City College adds two Cantonese certificate programs
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SF City College adds two Cantonese certificate programs

The City College of San Francisco will add two new Cantonese certificate programs during the 2023/24 school year, Patch reports. The programs are the result of a community effort to preserve City College’s Cantonese program, after budget cuts nearly terminated it.

According to The San Francisco Standard, the City College previously offered only limited conversational Cantonese classes with one faculty member. The administration cut the budgets for the classes and focused resources on the Mandarin program.

Despite limited resources, the Cantonese classes are in high demand. The San Francisco Standard reports that every Cantonese class has had over a 100% fill rate since the fall semester of 2019.

Next year, students will be enroll in a 9-unit program for conversational Cantonese, or a 17-unit program for Chinese Cantonese, Patch reports. The credits will not be transferable to a four-year university but advocates hope it will ensure state funding for the program.

“I am ecstatic that City College of San Francisco will finally provide equity to the Cantonese-speaking community,” City College trustee Alan Wong, who authored of a resolution urging the school to develop the certificate courses, told The San Francisco Standard. “Our movement to save the Cantonese program at City College has succeeded.”

Educators feel that the classes help the San Francisco community by developing bi-lingual workers.

“A large number of our patients can only speak Cantonese. Without bilingual Cantonese staff, we could not function,” Dr. Jian Zhang, the CEO of Chinese Hospital who used to teach health-care classes in Cantonese at UC San Francisco told The San Francisco Standard.

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