Gateway students improve skills
Issue date: 1/15/10 Section: News
"We don't want to just turn them away. We want to give them an opportunity to get a foundation year so they develop their English language," Hoekje said.
The Gateway program consists of specially tailored academic courses and English courses. In addition, they also have test preparation courses to improve their scores on the International English Language Testing System or the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
In addition to observing the pattern of students being denied admission because of the language barrier, the impetus for this program was to be more aligned with the University's strategic plan of becoming more international and attracting more international students, Hoekie added.
With the introduction of this program, strong international candidates that can benefit from this program are referred by International Admissions. However, students that know very little to no English but possess the academic skills are not accepted because they only have one year to prepare, according to Travis Harman, ESP specialist at the English Language Center.
For Ismaeel Almarazeeq, a student from the United Arab Emirates, it is an opportunity to improve IELTS/TOEFL scores while acquiring credits from math and science classes. It is Almarazeeq's first quarter in the Gateway program and he is taking calculus with other Drexel students. When taking a math class, students can be registered in a calculus or non-calculus based class depending on their scores.
Although designed for admission to Drexel, the goal is to become a gateway to other universities by providing the foundation of the language and the academic culture, according to Hoekje.