About ESL Vocational Office Training Program (VOTP)


The ESL Vocational Office Training Program, also known as VOTP, is a two-semester certificate program that prepares non-native English speakers to pursue their chosen professional careers and additional vocational programs. Students gain valuable skills that help them effectively search and interview for jobs, communicate in the workplace, create professional correspondence and documents, collaborate on projects and presentations, and use digital tools. Students also gain confidence speaking English in front of others beyond the classroom. The VOTP certificate provides students, prospective employers, and others with documented evidence of persistence and accomplishment in vocational ESL.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Create professional workplace correspondence and documents, using intermediate-level English and a variety of technology tools
  • Collaborate on professional workplace projects and presentations, using intermediate-level English and a variety of technology tools
  • Apply appropriate intermediate-level English and cultural strategies in the U.S. workplace
  • Employ intermediate-level English and communication skills to identify potential employers, market one’s skills and experience, and interview appropriately for a specific job
  • Create a professional resume and cover letter for a specific job, using appropriate intermediate-level English

Additional Program Details

The VOTP program uses project-based learning in 8 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 in English. 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 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. It also fulfills the “substitution” requirements of clerical training listed in certain positions. Graduates of our program have found work across industries in the Bay Area and beyond. 

Learn more about VOTP

Former students of this program have prepared the following resources with more information about our program:

Explore Potential Careers 

The VOTP program helps students learn how to write or talk about their skills, experience, and education in English and apply these skills to help them find a job in the US workforce. Students gain language and 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 attendants
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): Manager & customer service
  • Wells Fargo: Personal banker, Teller
  • UCSF Health: Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Medical Assistant
  • Airbnb: Accountant
  • Indeed: Quality Control Engineer
  • Apple: Language Analyst for Siri
  • Real estate agent
  • Women’s building: Community Programs Director, Fingerprint assistant, Community Programs Support
  • UC Berkeley: Office Assistant
  • City & County of SF: Clerk, Accountant
  • SF Public Library: Librarian
  • Target: Salesperson

Program courses

Spring Semester – Online

  • ESLB 3821 - ESL for Computers - Intermediate (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3829 - Computer VESL - Intermediate (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3801 - Intermediate ESL Workplace Communication (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3819 – Social Communication (85 hrs)

Fall Semester – Online with Zoom meetings M, W, F, 08:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • ESLB 4822 - ESL Keyboarding - Intermediate (85 hrs)
  • ESLB 3845 – ESL Computer Projects with Collaborative Apps (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3823 – ESL Job Search A (85 hrs)
  • ESLV 3923 – ESL Job Search B (85 hrs)

Application process


Current VOTP students visit other ESL classes at CCSF and give a presentation about the VOTP program. During their visits, they share the link to the VOTP Application. If you miss that presentation, you can contact us to receive the application once it becomes available in November or April. (see contact information below).


An Orientation is held each Spring and Fall (mid-November or mid-April) for interested students. Please contact us for more information (see contact information below).


During the orientation, students have the opportunity to meet in Zoom Breakout Rooms with current VOTP students to get to know each other and ask any questions. During this “interview,” you may be asked to explain why you are interested in the VOTP program and to talk a little bit about your future goals and your work or educational experience.

After the Orientation:

It is still possible to join VOTP if you miss the Orientation, but please contact us as soon as possible because we usually fill the courses very soon after the orientation.

Program size:

There is a limit to how many students can register in the VOTP courses each semester. This is because of a limit of available software licenses (which are purchased by CCSF and provided to students for free). Also, one of the greatest contributors to the success of the VOTP program is the close cohort of students who begin the program together and stay together in a supportive community for entire year, both semesters of the program. For this reason, we pre-register students the semester before they start (see the information above for more information about this process).

Program requirements 

Admission requirements:

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

Requirements for Completion & Certificate: 
  • In addition to the course requirements, students must also fulfill the following requirements: typing (45 wpm; 10% error rate). 
  • Students must receive a grade of C (or higher) or P (Pass) for each course in the certificate.
  • The minimum time for completion of this certificate is 2 semesters (8 courses).

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

Certificate details:

For more information about the ESL Vocational Training Program certificate, see the CCSF Catalog description.

Program contact:

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