Barry McNamara  |   Published September 01, 2015

ESL partnership

Monmouth College partners with WIU to assist international students
  • Monmouth College international students form a procession before President Wyatt’s inauguration ceremony. The Monmouth College-WESL Pathways Program will benefit international students admitted to Monmouth College.

International students admitted to Monmouth College may now complete their English language proficiency requirements through Western Illinois University’s accredited English as a Second Language (WESL) Institute, under an agreement signed recently between the two institutions.

Monmouth College president Clarence R. Wyatt and WIU president Jack Thomas signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Monmouth College-WESL Pathways Program. It benefits students who receive a Conditional Letter of Admission (CLA) for successfully completing the application process for admission to Monmouth in all ways but in terms of English language proficiency.

The new Pathways Program was developed as a result of conversations between Brenda Tooley, associate dean for academic affairs at Monmouth College, and Christie Carmack, assistant director of marketing and international relations in Western’s Center for International Studies.

“We welcome the Monmouth College-WESL Pathways Program,” said Tooley. “This program, and the partnership behind it, will enable more international students to successfully enter Monmouth College. It offers students an opportunity to improve their English language skills before beginning undergraduate study and prepares them well for future success at a selective residential college.”

What distinguishes the Pathways Program from non-affiliated intensive English programs is that it provides a connection with the Monmouth College community from the moment the student receives conditional admission to Monmouth and enters the WESL program.

“When students are admitted to the Monmouth College-WESL Pathways program, they will have access to their faculty advisers at Monmouth and will be part of the Monmouth College student community from the beginning of their studies in the United States,” explained Rick Carter, executive director of WIU’s School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach. “Because Macomb and Monmouth are geographically close to one another, the Pathways students will be offered the chance to explore both communities. They also will be provided with the opportunity to meet Monmouth faculty members, as well as engage with Monmouth student affairs staff early in their U.S. studies, which will help ease their individual transitions into Monmouth College.”

Said David Timmerman, Monmouth’s dean, “The development of clear oral and written communication skills are foundational elements of any liberal arts degree. Only with these skills are students able to succeed in college, and only with these skills are graduates able to succeed and help their communities after college.”

The mission of the WESL Institute — which has been in existence for more than 35 years and is one of only seven institutes in Illinois accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation — is to provide an intensive program in academic English for international students preparing to enter an American college or university.

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