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Meeting unmet needs – Troy University pilots ESL program at Atlanta Site
By Clif Lusk

 

Non-English speakers in the Atlanta area are finding the language easy to learn thanks in part to a Troy University program aimed at professional and academic language skills.

The University’s Atlanta Site pioneered the program – slated for export to other TROY Global Campus sites – that is geared specifically to non-English speakers who live in Atlanta or internationals who are directly recruited from overseas to study in the program. The program is geared to improve students’ English language skills for college study or for professional purposes.

“Writing and grammar are a great focus,” said Site Director Dr. Philip Perkins. “Listening and speaking skills are also included, as are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) preparation classes.”

The program’s curriculum is based on preparing students to either enter the academic realm or professional world, Dr. Perkins said. Skill sets of reading, writing, listening and speaking are taught in 9-week terms, with students completing higher-level skills each subsequent term. Students in the Atlanta area can choose between day or night classes.

Troy University operates campuses or teaching sites in 15 other states, 11 nations and the U.S. Territory of Guam. It has successfully pioneered the national model 1-2-1 Sino-American Dual Degree Program and has been recognized as a leader in distance learning and international education.

“We’re piloting the program in Atlanta and working out a business model with the thought of expanding English-as-a-Second Language programs into other metropolitan areas on the East Coast and central Florida,” said Dr. Earl Ingram, Vice Chancellor of TROY’s Global Campus, the arm of the University that oversees operations outside the state of Alabama at no cost to Alabama taxpayers.

For Ingram, the program is about meeting unmet needs in metropolitan areas like Atlanta.

“This reaches beyond academic preparation and aims for those who are engaged in American industry and business, as well as in the tourism industry,” he said.

The venture is already beginning to pay off for the University in terms of recruiting international students to Atlanta. For TROY, the Atlanta Site is its first outside of Troy, AL, to accept students who may host international students on F-1 student visas.

This term, the Atlanta Site has 78 ESL enrollments, its highest enrollment since the program began last year. Its enrollment includes students from Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, Senegal, Peru, China, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, Syria and Togo.

Dr. Perkins expects to see five or six international students coming to his site to work toward undergraduate or master’s-level programs in the next term or two.

Lusk is a university relations coordinator.

Troy University Magazine
Troy University
Alumni Affairs Office
Troy, AL 36082