The Intensive English Programs at Southeast Missouri State University are part of the Office of International Education and Services and housed at the university’s International Center. Comprised of five distinct program areas: The Intensive English Program (academic), Graduate Conditional Admission Program (Grad CAP), Short Term Programs, American Family Homestay Program, and the Conversation Partners Program, the Intensive English Programs collectively serve about 200 international students each year.
The Intensive English Program (academic) is the largest of these program areas having between 100 and 120 students full time enrolled each semester from more than ten different countries. This is an ESL academic program operating in five eight-week sessions during the year and providing college preparation in English language Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing and Grammar. Courses are taught in four levels—beginning, low intermediate, high intermediate, and advanced—depending on students’ proficiencies at the time they enter. Twenty full and part time faculty and an administrative assistant teach and manage the program. Most IEP students pursue undergraduate degrees at Southeast upon completion of the program.
The ESL Graduate Conditional Admission Program (Grad CAP) provides an opportunity for those students who meet most or all of the requirements for admission to graduate school at Southeast, except for requirements of English language proficiency, to become proficient in the English language at a graduate level.
Short Term Programs are language and culture programs of three to five weeks in length and consists of a balance of regular learning excursions to nearby cites and classroom experiences that relate to those outings (theme-based). Normally, STPs are jointly sponsored by a foreign university and Southeast and participants are college students at those institutions. All participants in STPs are housed in homestay for the duration of the program as a part of language and cultural experience. One to three Short Term Programs are held a year in May, July, and/or February.
The American Family Homestay Program is open to all incoming Intensive English Program students, 18-20 years of age, during their first few weeks at Southeast. This provides the student with the opportunity to learn about American family culture and to further his/her burgeoning English language skills. This also offers community members the opportunity to “adopt” an international student and to benefit from the cross-cultural experience of having an international student live with them for a few weeks.
The Conversation Partners Program provides the opportunity for members of our campus community (often times American students) and beyond to become a conversation partner with an international student in the Intensive English Program. This activity gives the international student more opportunity to practice his/her English conversational skills, acclimate to university campus life, and to gain from the cross-cultural experience. Conversation partners meet in pairs or in groups, two to four hours each week. No specific curriculum is expected but the Office of Intensive English Programs provides a handbook of suggested topics and other resources that many find helpful.