About ESL Vocational Office Training Program (VOTP)

This noncredit certificate prepares ESL students for a variety of entry-level office positions in an automated environment or further advanced studies, including business studies. Students learn basic business skills (keyboarding and office correspondence), basic business communication skills (telephone skills and job search), and basic computer applications (word processing, database management, and spreadsheets).

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate general office work culture in the U.S.
  • Communicate effectively and respond appropriately in an office environment.
  • Use basic technology to complete office procedures.
  • Apply job search skills to find office work.

The VOTP program uses project-based learning in 5 classes over 2 semesters. Students commit to one full year working together as a cohort. Working closely with classmates in teams, students solve problems and develop their language skills. By the end of the program, students will have a professional resume and targeted cover letter, as well as confidence presenting to groups and responding to interview questions. Students develop a professional social media presence on LinkedIn and other sites and learn how to network to find the job they want. 

Upon completion of the courses with a passing grade, as well as 80% minimum attendance and achievement of 45 WPM typing speed, students qualify for an official Certificate of Achievement which is recorded on their City College of San Francisco transcript. Though geared towards clerical positions, the skills learned in this program will help you find and get a job in a range of fields. It also fulfills the “substitution” requirements of clerical training listed in certain positions. Our prior students have found work across industries in the Bay Area and beyond. 

Further Information:

Explore Potential Careers 

The VOTP program helps students take their skills, experience, and education and apply them to find a job in the US workforce. Students gain technical skills and cultural knowledge to be successful in networking and interviewing in the US. VOTP will also prepare students to communicate successfully once they’ve gotten the job. Our students have been hired into good jobs at many large and small companies and organizations including:

  • American Airlines, Japan Airlines
    • Flight attendant
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
    • Manager & customer service
  • Wells Fargo
    • Teller
  • UCSF Health
    • Medical Assistant
  • Airbnb
    • Accountant
  • Indeed
    • Quality Control Engineer
  • Salesforce
    • Programmer
  • Apple
    • Language Analyst for Siri
  • Small business
    • Travel Agents
  • Women’s building
    • Program Director
  • UC Berkeley
    • Office Assistant
  • Target 
    • Salesperson

Program courses

Spring Semester 08:00 am - 01:05 pm

  • ESLB 3821 - Introduction to Computers for ESL- Intermediate (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3829 - Computer VESL - High Intermediate (85 hrs)
  • ESLB 4822 - ESL Keyboarding (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3801 - Workplace Communication (175 hrs)

Fall Semester 08:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • ESLB 3822 - Keyboarding for ESL Students (175 hrs)
  • ESLV 3804 - VESL for Clerical Workers (175 hrs)

Registration date, requirements, and commitment 

Orientation: An Orientation is held each Spring and Fall for interested students. Please contact us for more information (see contact information below).

Admission Information: Intermediate English Level or above (ESL Level 6, 7, 8)

In order to maintain the high quality and intensive nature of this program, we encourage students to assess their level of motivation and commitment. If you answer "yes" to each of the following questions, this program may be a good fit for you and we encourage you to apply.

  1. Are you currently in ESL Level 6 or above?
  2. Can you commit to the program for one full year?
  3. Are you able to attend classes every day, Monday-Friday?
  4. Can you dedicate at least 30 hours to the program every week?
  5. Have you demonstrated your hard work in a previous class or job? 

If you answer yes to all the questions, please contact us at the email addresses below, and we will send you further information and a link to the application form. After we receive your application form, we will verify your qualifications and send you an email to join the Orientation meeting if available. Afterward, we will arrange a short interview to confirm your English and communication skills, and to get to know you better. 

Requirements for Completion and Certificate: 

  • In addition to the course requirements, students must also fulfill the following requirements: 80% minimum attendance and typing (45 wpm; 10% error rate). 
  • Students must receive a grade of C or P (Pass) for each course in the certificate.
  • The minimum time for completion of this certificate is 2 semesters (5 courses).

    ** Completion time will vary based on student preparation and the number of classes completed per semester. **

Program contact: For further information about applying to the program, send an email to the contact below.