English for Academic Purposes

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program is designed to help non-native speakers of English obtain the proficiency necessary to operate successfully in the higher education environment. The program provides a cultural orientation to the United States and to the higher education system. Students are tested at the time of registration and are placed into an appropriate level. Each program level takes one semester to complete. There are 5 levels of instruction. ESL 096-100 (Levels 1-4) meet 15 hours a week in class, 5 hours a week in Lab, for a total of 20 hours a week. ESL 111 (Level 5) meets 6 hours a week in class, 5 hours a week in Lab, for a total of 11 hours a week. Each level is 15 weeks in length. Grading for the courses is as follows: ESL 096, 097, 098 and 100 are graded on the Pass (P)/No Pass (NP) basis. Students receive letter grade for ESL 111W & G. Since language proficiency is being assessed, a minimum grade of B is required to pass these two courses. ESL 096-100 are assigned 12 academic credits. The advanced level, ESL 111, is assigned 6 credits, which can be applied toward the General Education Requirement in Humanities. Students in this level are also invited to take regular credit courses. Both before and after arrival at St. Thomas University, students will chart out a course of study with an assigned academic advisor.

If a student were to complete the 5-level program, a student would receive 91 hours of instruction/54 credits. The number of levels offered each semester depends on student enrollment.