A company cannot truly achieve a diverse and inclusive workplace without establishing equity and equitable pathways that remove the barriers to entry, access, and advancement for its diverse employees. One tangible way to create these equitable pathways is through education and job opportunity.
JetBlue’s Global Scholars Program provides major cost coverage for employees to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree, ensures the opportunity for transfer credit acceptance, and offers licenses, certifications, job experience, and JetBlue training. JetBlue’s Global Scholars Program continues to push the boundaries of what an employer is and sets an expectation for what an employer should be. When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, JetBlue chose to partner with Language Testing International (LTI) for one major reason: accessibility.
LTI is the exclusive licensee of ACTFL, whose assessments are developed based on years of research conducted by language proficiency experts and are recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE). The ACTFL measures practical knowledge. These assessments are designed to determine what a person can do with his/her language skills. Test preparation is not needed as the tests measure language acquisition over years of learning and practice. Any test taker who is language proficient can take the test. In the case of JetBlue, testing with LTI allows crewmembers to take tests remotely, minimizing the complications and expenses of on-site testing and lengthy registration processes. The platform also allows crewmembers to take the tests from wherever they have an internet connection, on their own time, without interfering with work schedules or demands at home. The assessments are designed for test takers to showcase their talents. As such, the exams are segmented into categories: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Test takers have the flexibility to begin the exam in the section they feel most confident.
The ways in which exams are certified for college credit means that crewmembers, in all positions, are eligible to begin or complete a college degree. An average college course is valued at 3 credits. “Someone who is a native speaker, or who is at the expert-level in a language, can get 9 to 12 credits for a couple of the ACTFL assessments. That is a huge benefit to our crewmembers in the program,” says Nicole Lembo, the Manager of Talent Management/Academic Programs at JetBlue. Through language testing, native language speakers are given a significant and equitable boost in progressing both academically and professionally. “We definitely had internal crewmembers who, when they are looking to switch roles, take their LTI certifications and add them to their resumes as evidence of their bilingual capabilities,” says Lembo.
To take the next steps in providing equal opportunities to your employees, visit www.languagetesting.com to get started.
To hear more about JetBlue’s partnership with LTI, listen to our podcast with Nicole Lembo.