Windheuser Named New English Languange Learner (ELL) Coordinator at DMACC

Posted 12/2/2021
John Windhauser talks to student

DMACC's new English Language Learner (ELL) Coordinator John Windheuser (left) works with ELL student Elsadig Salih of Des Moines and formerly of Sudan at the DMACC Urban Campus. ​

  • Windheuser has experience at DMACC as an Adjunct Instructor in the non-credit ELL Program and in the Urban Campus Academic Achievement Center.

  • He has managed educational initiatives aimed at serving refugee and immigrant adult learners, including programs related to ESL, Citizenship, Career Pathways and Financial Literacy.

  • ​Windheuser will coordinate all non-credit ELL classes district-wide for DMACC.

DMACC has hired John Windheuser to coordinate all non-credit English Language Learner (ELL) classes district-wide. An ELL student is someone whose primary language is something other than English and who would require additional English language support to develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

“We are very excited to have John in this new position," said Dr. Anne Howsare Boyens, DMACC Urban Campus Provost. “For many years, non-credit ELL was supported by many part-time employees. With John at the helm in a full-time leadership position, we will have a more coordinated and robust program to serve our non-native English speaking students."

Windheuser has worked at DMACC in a part-time capacity for the past five years. During that time, he served as an adjunct instructor in the non-credit ELL program and as an adjunct in the Urban Campus Academic Achievement Center, where he provided individualized assistance to students in college reading, writing and ESL (English as a Second Language).

“My work experience has centered around serving adult learners, particularly refugees and immigrants," Windheuser said. ​

For the past two and a half years, Windheuser has worked as an ELL consultant managing the day-to-day operations of the non-credit ELL program at Urban and several off-site locations.

“At the same time, I worked part-time as Lutheran Services in Iowa, where I managed several large-scale educational initiatives aimed at serving refugee and immigrant adult learners, including programs relating to ESL, citizenship, career pathways and financial literacy," he said.

Windheuser has taught ESL/ELL in Iowa, Washington state and in Spain, where he spent two years working in the Spanish public school system as an English Language Assistant in bilingual schools.

He said one of his goals is to get ELL students to transition from non-credit classes to taking DMACC credit classes.

“Students in our program all have a reason for being here, whether it is to prepare to go to college, to become a U.S. citizen, to get a better job, etc.," Windheuser said. “As a result, my goal is to build better bridges out of non-credit ELL for our students. For our students who want to go to college, that means building stronger, more clear pathways into credit programming at DMACC."

He said given the diverse goals the DMACC student population has, building bridges into other types of programs and opportunities, whether internal such as HiSET or the Workforce Training Academy, or external such as programs out in the community, is also hugely important.

Windheuser will be based out of the DMACC Urban Campus, which provides the majority of DMACC's ELL classes. However, he said ELL classes are also offered at the following locations: 

  • Urban Campus (1100 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314)

  • Evelyn K. Davis Center (1171 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314)

  • Southridge Center (1111 E. Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA 50315)

  • Ames Hunziker Center (1420 S. Bell Avenue, Ames, IA 50010)

  • Perry VanKirk Center (1011 2nd Street, Perry, IA 50220)

  • Hope+Elim Church (2500 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311)

  • Oakridge Neighborhood (1401 Center Street, Des Moines, IA 50309)

He said DMACC offers classes in an online forward as well (via Zoom).

“These classes have been very popular with students who have childcare or transportation barriers," Windheuser said. “We also offered classes in the mornings and at night to be able to serve students with different work/personal schedules."

Windheuser earned a Bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Students from the University of Iowa and then went on to earn a Master of Education in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Seattle University in Seattle.

Windheuser lives in Johnston with his wife and one-and-a-half year-old daughter.​

For more information, contact: John Windheuser, (515) 697-7764​​​

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