ESL students on Penn College campusThe noncredit English as a Second Language (ESL) program through Workforce Development & Continuing Education prepares students with little or no English proficiency to gain basic English skills needed to successfully participate within the community. Classes are shorter in duration and are offered various times throughout the year. College credits are not awarded, but Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available upon request.

Noncredit Beginner and Pre-Intermediate Classes (Levels 0-1)

Noncredit ESL classes help students gain basic English skills in vocabulary, reading, grammar, writing, listening, and speaking in a more informal environment. Classes focus on preparing students to communicate in survival situations, such as looking for an apartment, shopping, and obtaining medical care. Content is geared towards non-English speakers who:

  • wish to improve their English conversational skills,
  • will be entering the local workforce, and/or
  • are spouses or family members of international students or people working in or relocating to the local community.

In order to enroll in noncredit ESL classes, students must already be residing in the United States. Testing documentation is not required; however, the Levels 0-1 noncredit classes are recommended if tests scores are below on the following exams:

TOEFL: 397 ITP, 30 IBT, 93 computer-based

IELTS: below 4.5

Special Features

  • Small class sizes
  • Orientation to American culture
  • High standards
  • Supportive environment

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Credit Intermediate and Advanced Classes (Levels 2-4)

Classes emphasize vocabulary, reading, grammar, writing, listening, and speaking. These levels focus on preparing students for academic tasks such as writing essays, taking notes, reading textbooks, and making presentations to help with transition into their majors.

Applicants who wish to apply to the ESL program must provide documentation of a minimum TOEFL score of 397 ITP, 30 IBT, 93 Computer- Based, or IELTS no less than 4.5).

Conditional acceptance may be available for applicants who do not meet minimum English proficiency requirements but are otherwise academically qualified for admission. An offer of conditional admission means that once you have met English proficiency requirements, you have successfully passed Penn College's placement exams, and you have shown sufficient financial guarantee, Penn College will re-evaluate your status for full admission to an academic program.

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