College Readiness: English as a Second Language

The English Language Studies (formerly ESL) team began implementation of interventions during the 2012/2013 academic year with the intent to:

Promote completion
Increase retention
Support students' progression through the ESL sequence
Provide opportunities for acceleration
Improve student success in English as a Second Language

1. The program was restructured from five to four levels and the curriculum was redesigned.  Newly designed courses were implemented in spring 2013. Each grammar and writing course, previously 3.5 credits each, was replaced by a combined-skills 7-credit course.  The content of the courses was redesigned allowing for a focus on improvement of writing skills and application of relevant grammar structures. 

Passing rate  in writing courses prior to change:

Spring 2012:         848 students participated/passed 62.6%

Fall 2012:              801 students participated/passed 62.9%

Passing rates in new ELS writing courses:

Spring 2013:         858 students participated/passed 67.9%

Fall 2013:              776 students participated/passed 71.4%

Spring 2014:         746 students participated/passed 71.0%

Fall 2014:         688 students participated/passed 66.7%

Spring 2015:         692 students participated/passed 69.2%

Fall 2015:         685 students participated/passed 68.0%


2. The creation of seven-credit courses allows students to progress through and complete the English Language Studies (ELS) program more quickly.  The increasing percentage of full-time ELS students compared to part –time ELS students indicates improvement in this area.

Percentage of full-time ELS students prior to the changes:

Fall 2011:              1,796 ELS students, 148 (8.2%) full-time.

Fall 2012:              1,578 ELS students, 145 (9.2%) full-time.

Percentage of full-time ELS student after the changes:

Fall 2013:              1,201 ELS students, 284 (23.6%) full-time.

Fall 2014:              1,078 ELS students, 300 (27.8%) full-time.

Fall 2015:              1,056 ELS students, 374 (35.4%) full-time.


3. A PREP course was created for English Language Learners who place below the first level of ELS instruction. This provides an opportunity for students to enter the academic program at a higher level and, consequently, progress through and complete the program more quickly. (See our other intervention: English Language Learners: Acceleration & Transition for more information about PREP and the pathway to the academic English Language Studies program.)

Fall 2012 through Fall 2015: 1,531 students participated/ 1,133 successfully completed (74%)

4. Second-chance intensive workshops provide borderline writing students with intensive, short-term practice sessions and an opportunity to retake the department final exam and pass the course.  Students attend the workshops between semesters. (See our other intervention: English Language Learners: Acceleration & Transition for more information about second-chance workshops.)

August 2013-January 2016: 477 students participated/ 339 students moved to next writing level (71%)

5. An upper-level ELS writing course (ENW107) is paired with Composition I (EN101) allowing student to skip one level of ELS writing, earn credit for college-level Composition I, and proceed to Composition II (EN102).

Fall 2013-Spring 2016:  65 students participated/ 62 students moved to next writing level (95%)

6. Paired courses are also offered with Psychology, Sociology, Computer Information Systems, IT Fundamentals, and Child Development Associate. (See our other intervention: English Language Learners: Acceleration & Transition for more information about paired courses.)

ID 15537

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #15537, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

Please note that for security purposes, contact information can only be provided to known contacts at active Achieving the Dream institutions.

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