ESL Institute/Office of Global Engagement

O'Dowd Hall, Room 326
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
Phone: (248) 364-8803
Fax: (248) 370-3587
esl@oakland.edu

Policies and Procedures

English Proficiency
Policy

Please, consult the most recent Oakland University catalog for the current English Proficiency Policy.

Beginning Fall 2019 (Undergraduate students)

English proficiency is needed for students to be successful when completing an academic degree in the United States.  All international applicants, other visa holders, permanent residents, and applicants whose native language* is not English, must be proficient in English as a requirement to enroll in courses for credit at Oakland University.  Such applicants will be required to demonstrate English proficiency by meeting one of the following conditions listed below.

Some programs at Oakland University may require a higher level of proficiency than listed. Applicants should examine the program description for their field of study for information about additional English proficiency requirements and furnish proof as part of the admission process.  Please visit the ESL Institute website and Undergraduate Admissions for additional information.               

Full Admission

One of the following constitutes proof:

1.

TOEFL

79 minimum on internet-based TOEFL

2.

MELAB

77 minimum

3.

IELTS

6.5 minimum

4.

PTE Academic

53 minimum

5.

Duolingo English Test

undergraduate students only

100 out of 160 on test taken after July 15, 2019 (48 minimum out of 100 on tests taken prior to July 15, 2019)

6.

24 transferable credits, excluding ESL coursework, from a U.S. community college or baccalaureate institution

7.

A degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university

8.

One year of study and a diploma from a U.S. high school

9.

Completion of all coursework to earn a high school diploma at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction was English.

10.

Completion of three level 7 courses with a minimum of a B- in the ESL Institute at Oakland University.

11.

Completion of ELS Level 112 Intensive program.

The following criteria only apply to students who do not hold and are not seeking an F or a J visa to study at Oakland University.

1.        

Applicant has worked full-time in the United States for at least three years in an English speaking environment. Evidence must be provided such as a letter of support from human resources to confirm employment.  

2.        

Applicant has worked full-time for at least three years in an English speaking environment outside of the United States.  Evidence must be provided such as a letter of support from human resources that confirms English as the primary language of written and oral communication.  

3.        

A letter of support or comment from the ESL Institute at Oakland University based on an interview and completion of the ESL placement test.

Admission with ESL coursework

Applicants, who are eligible for admission AND provide evidence of the following scores, will be permitted to enroll in the Global Achievement Pathway Program (GAPP) which permits students to simultaneously enroll in the ESL course sequence, as determined by the ESL Institute, and academic program courses.  Enrollment in GAPP will be for one or two semesters. Students must register for ESL courses as part of their coursework starting in their first semester of registration. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute is not negotiable.  Students not making satisfactory progress in the ESL course sequence or academic program are subject to dismissal from their program. 

Global Achievement Pathway Program for One Semester (GAPP - 1)

One of the following constitutes proof:

1.

TOEFL 

     69 – 78 on internet-based TOEFL with a minimum section score of 16 

2.

MELAB 

     73 – 76

3.

IELTS

      6.0  with a minimum section score of 5.5

4.

PTE Academic

      48 – 52

5.

Duolingo English Test 

Undergraduate students only

      95 out of 160 on tests taken after July 15, 2019 (38 – 47 out of 100 on tests taken prior to July 15, 2019) 

Global Achievement Pathway Program for Two Semesters (GAPP - 2)

One of the following constitutes proof:

1.

TOEFL

       62 – 68 on internet-based TOEFL

2.

IELTS

       6.0

3.

PTE Academic

       44 – 47

4.

Duolingo English Test

       90 out of 160 on tests taken after July 15, 2019 (30 – 37 out of 100 on tests taken prior to July 15, 2019)

Admission to intensive English program

Prospective students who do not have adequate English Proficiency for admission or admission with ESL coursework to the university can be admitted to the Intensive English Program. ESL placement is done by the English as a Second Language Institute (ESL Institute) using the ESL Online Placement Test and other assessment tools. During the students' ESL instruction sequence, students' English Proficiency will be evaluated to determine whether adequate progress is being made and if additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute is not negotiable.

Upon completion of the Intensive English Program, students may (re)apply for admission to Oakland University; applicants are evaluated using the admission criteria described above.

* A native language is a language that is acquired naturally during childhood and is usually spoken at home, as opposed to a language that is learned later in life, for example as a part of a person's formal education. Students whose native language is not English are encouraged to visit the English as a Second Language Institute to discuss any language difficulties they may have while attending Oakland University.

Prior to Fall 2019

International applicants, other visa holders, and permanent residents, whose native language* is not  English  must provide proof of  English   proficiency

Admission

One of the following constitutes proof:

  • 550 minimum on paper-based TOEFL**
  • 213 minimum on computer-based TOEFL**
  • 79 minimum on Internet-based TOEFL**
2. MELAB
  • 77 minimum
3. IELTS
  • 6.5 minimum
4. 24 transferable credits, excluding ESL coursework, from a U.S. community college or baccalaureate institution
5. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university
6. One year of study at and a diploma from a U.S. high school.
** Some programs at Oakland University may require a higher level of  proficiency  than listed above. Applicants should examine the program description for their field of study for information about additional English proficiency requirements and furnish proof as part of the admission process ( oakland.edu/futurestudents)

Admission with ESL course work (excluding those seeking an F-1 visa)
Oakland University offers admission to non-native English speakers in a number of  undergraduate programs for those students who are academically qualified, but who have not met the English language proficiency requirement. These students may be conditionally admitted and are required to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes until proficiency is met.

One of the following constitutes proof:
1. TOEFL
  • 520-549 on paper-based TOEFL
  • 190-212 on computer-based TOEFL
  • 69-78 on internet-based TOEFL
2. MELAB
  • 73-76
3. IELTS
  • 6

Students must register for ESL courses as part of their course work starting in their first semester of registration. ESL placement is done by the English as a Second Language Center (ESL Institute) using the ESL Online Placement Test and other assessment tools. During students’ ESL instruction sequence, students’ English Proficiency will be evaluated  to determine whether adequate progress is being made and if additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute is not negotiable.

Satisfactory completion of the ESL instruction sequence is expected within one year, but ESL coursework is required until minimum proficiency is demonstrated.

Admission to the Intensive English program (ESL Institute)

Prospective students who do not have adequate English Proficiency for admission or admission with ESL coursework to the university can be admitted to the Intensive English Program. ESL placement is done by the English as a Second Language Center (ESL Institute) using the ESL Online Placement Test and other assessment tools. During the students’ ESL instruction sequence, students’ English Proficiency will be evaluated to determine whether adequate progress is being made and if additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute is not negotiable.

Upon completion of the Intensive English Program, students may (re)apply for admission to Oakland University; applicants are evaluated using the admission criteria described above.

*A native language is a language that is acquired naturally during childhood and is usually spoken at home, as opposed to a language that is learned later in life, for example, as part of a person's formal education. Students whose native language is not English are encouraged to visit the ESL Institute to discuss any language difficulties they may have while attending Oakland University.

Attendance &
Academic Progress

Attendance will be taken from the first day of the semester following the Oakland University academic calendar.  If you register after the first day of class, you will be counted as absent for any class session that you have missed due to late enrollment.  

ESL Attendance Policy

You must participate in at least 85% of classes. You will fail an ESL course if you miss six classes (6) per term. You must attend the entire session to receive credit for the day. You are considered absent if you are late more than 10 minutes and no early departures are allowed. You will not receive credit for any homework or in-class assignments during your absence unless you have made arrangements in advance with the course instructor. If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor or a classmate to find out what you missed. You will be expected to be prepared for class when you return. If you must miss a class due to illness or an unexpected emergency, notify the course instructor as soon as possible and provide official documentation so that an evaluation of the situation can be made on a case-by-case basis. NOTE: Just because you tell the instructor you are going to be absent does not mean that it is an excused absence.

The ESL Institute follows the Oakland University Academic Calendar.  Some religious and national holidays of our international students are not recognized by this calendar and classes may be scheduled.  If a student wants to celebrate a holiday and chooses to miss a regularly scheduled day of class, they must notify their instructor in advance in order to make arrangements to complete missed assignments and class work.  This will count as an excused absence and will be counted as one absences allowed for the semester.  Please, plan ahead if needing to miss class because of a holiday!

Attendance is taken beginning the first day of the semester until the last day of scheduled classes following the Oakland University academic calendar.

Absences affect academic progress. Unsatisfactory academic progress may affect your visa status.

Academic Progress

Academic progress in all classes is expected. For each class, academic progress includes earning a B- overall.  Students who do not show academic progress are subject to probation and/or dismissal.   

For further information about policies and penalties, students should consult the syllabuses for their classes and also the sections on Academic Policies in the Undergraduate Catalogue.

Student Grievance
Policy
Policy for Responding to Student Grievance/Problems

If you have any problems or concerns, you are asked to follow the guidelines below:

1. Problems with instructor/coursework/program or other issues, you are advised to address the problem directly to the instructor for a resolution.

2. If #1 does not resolve the issue, you are advised to address the problem directly with Melissa Vervinck, Director of the ESL Institute.   Please contact her by email for an appointment:  vervinck@oakland.edu.

3.  If #2 does not resolve the issue, you are advised to contact the Rosemary Max, Executive Director of the Office of Global Engagement.  Please contact her by email for an appointment:  rmax@oakland.edu.

Waitlist
Policy

ESL students who receive notification for permission to register for an academic course for which they are wait listed must forward the notification email to gnau@oakland.edu. The ESL hold will be removed to allow the student to register only for the wait listed course; no additional changes can be made to the student's schedule.

Once the student has registered for that 
course (or until the time limit for doing so has expired), the ESL hold will be reinstated.