WSU offers English-improving program to international students for fall

Program is available for undergraduate, graduate students; full-time enrollment is $5,000 per semester



The INTO WSU Academic English Program’s goal is to help international undergraduate and graduate students increase their English language proficiency.

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

Faculty members from the WSU Intensive American Language Center are working with Global Campus instructional designers to offer students an English-improving program online for fall. 

Kate Hellmann, director of WSU’s International Student and Scholar Services, said the INTO WSU Academic English Program’s goal is to help international undergraduate and graduate students increase their English language proficiency. The program is recognized by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. 

The program helps students learn English to enter degree-seeking programs throughout the WSU system. It also helps them navigate the United States’ university culture and environment, Hellmann said. 

The cost for full-time enrollment is $5,000 per semester, and it is a 16-week program with 18 hours of instruction a week, Hellmann said. 

She said students can also enroll in the program part-time but the cost is different than full-time enrollment. 

The program has been offered before, but this is the first time it is being offered online, Hellmann said. 

There has been a discussion about putting the program online for about a year, but COVID-19 helped fast track those efforts, she said. 

The hope is to continue offering the program online but Global Campus will see what the market looks like and how many students enroll, she said.

Lauren Reed, learning resource coordinator for WSU International Programs, said students have to take a placement test before entering the program. 

There are different levels of academic English like beginner, intermediate and advanced, she said. 

Hellmann said any students who want to improve their English can take the classes as long as they are over the age of 16. 

Reed said the online courses are developed and organized the same way as an online course for any other subject. 

The class is going to use the same curriculum that is used in in-person classes. Because it is language-focused, the class will be as interactive as possible, she said. 

Reed said teachers will be available for one-on-one interaction with students online. 

Teachers and students will have to use different online tools made available by WSU throughout the class, she said. 

Hellmann said the advantage of being at a physical location is there is a lot of interaction between students, which helps with understanding the language better.

She said the advantage of online learning is that students can work on the class from anywhere at any time zone as long as they have an internet connection. 

Reed said the online courses will be helpful for students who do not get a Visa in time to move, or those who want to learn English before they move to the U.S. It’s also helpful to students who want to improve their English in general. 

“There’s a lot of changes in the world right now,” Reed said. “[But] we’re still there … to give them quality instruction.”