Cambridge Community Learning Center Celebrates 50 Years

10/20/20212 years ago

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The Cambridge Community Learning Center (CLC) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The CLC offers a variety of free classes and programs that empower adult learners to transform their lives and realize their potential through education, skills development, and community participation. Over the past five decades, the CLC has supported thousands of adult learners, including residents who were born and raised in Cambridge, people who moved to Cambridge from other countries, and refugees who relocated to the city.

“We are very proud to celebrate 50 years of service in the Cambridge community,” said Maria Kefallinou, Director of the Community Learning Center. “Over the years, thousands of adult learners – Cambridge residents and people new to the city – have participated in our classes and programs. Our teachers, advisors, and volunteers get to know our students beyond the classroom to make sure the CLC provides the support our students need to thrive and become active members of our community.”

The CLC began in 1971 as a small neighborhood organization and became a division of the City of Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs in 1981. Today, the CLC offers six levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes; Adult Basic Education (HiSET/GED preparation); the Bridge to College Program; and job training programs, including the Certified Nursing Assistant Program and the Information Technology Careers Training Program, which is offered in collaboration with Just-A-Start. CLC students can also participate in Citizenship classes, which prepare adult learners to take the U.S. Citizenship exam. Since 2000, more than 200 CLC students have become US citizens.

The CLC’s students, who range in age from 18 to 80, have access to a variety of supports and services, including education and career advising, family literacy, classes for seniors, free tutoring, computer classes, job training workshops, leadership opportunities, and referrals to local organizations.

The Community Engagement Team (CET), based at the CLC and the Cambridge Center for Families, reaches out to underserved Cambridge families and connects them to community events and resources, develops community leaders, and supports agencies in working more effectively with members of Cambridge's diverse community. The CET includes Outreach Workers from the American-born Black, Bangladeshi, Ethiopian, Haitian, Spanish-speaking, and Arabic-speaking communities, who ensure that these communities have access to services and resources across Cambridge.

“The Community Learning Center has been central to the Cambridge community for half a century. The impact of the range of programs offered to support and empower adult learners cannot be understated,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “I want to give a big congratulations and a thank you to the Community Learning Center for their work over the last 50 years. I have no doubt they will continue providing services for the next 50 as well.”

“Cambridge is a welcoming and diverse community, and the Community Learning Center plays a foundational role in upholding these values in our city,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “I am proud of and appreciate the CLC staff, teachers, and volunteers for their amazing work over the past five decades. The CLC will continue to have a lifelong impact on its students and makes Cambridge a more vibrant place to live and work.”

The CLC is offering in-person, online, and hybrid learning options to students enrolled in its programs. Information sessions will be held throughout the fall for ESOL/English classes and the Adult Basic Education program. The CLC is currently recruiting for the Spring 2022 cycle of the Certified Nursing Assistant Program. 

For more information about the Community Learning Center, visit