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HU Relaunches Intensive English Program

On August 31, Huntington University kicked off its Intensive English Program (IEP) as a way for students to improve English-language proficiency before enrolling full-time in degree-seeking courses.

“With the Institute for TESOL Studies, we had a great umbrella that the Intensive English Program could fit under,” McKinney said. “With our growing numbers of graduates with TESOL certification or Masters of Education in TESOL who are equipped to teach, as well as our current students benefiting from interaction with and tutoring of English Language Learners, we were well equipped to relaunch an Intensive English Program.” 

Huntington University had an Intensive English Program in the 1990s.

IEP students go through the same application process as all HU students and are academically accepted to the university. The only admissions requirement they have not met is the English proficiency requirement. Once a student’s English proficiency level meets the requirement, they are ready to move directly into degree classes. In the meantime, students are still considered Huntington University students. They attend chapel, live in residence halls and participate in campus activities. 

The program features an academic level, as well as an advanced level, depending on the proficiency of the student.

“We have structured the levels so that students are initially placed within a level based on their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores,” McKinney said. “If they are placed in the top level, they can begin with some IEP classes and some regular degree-program courses. If they are placed in a lower level, they’ll begin with full-time IEP classes and work their way up through the levels of the program. Once they enter the highest level, they can begin to phase in degree-program classes and phase out of IEP classes.”

Four students are currently enrolled in the Intensive English Program for fall of 2015.

“On the first day of classes, I had a new first-time freshman visit my office who was feeling overwhelmed with her classes,” McKinney said. “Even though she met our English proficiency requirement, she didn't feel ready to take on so many classes in her second language. She decided to drop a few of her degree-program classes to fit in six hours of Intensive English classes. Last year, we wouldn't have had much to offer this student and may have lost her as a result. This year, we are able to make a quick schedule change and plug her into our IEP right away. Now that our curriculum, instructors and instruction space are set and classes are running, we feel confident that we will be able to expand enrollment each semester.”