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International Graduate Student Access Program

Description

The International Graduate Student Access Program (“Graduate Access Program”) at The University of Toledo enables international students seeking graduate degrees to complete their prerequisites (English as a Second Language & undergraduate coursework) before beginning their chosen graduate program. The American Language Institute (A.L.I.) and the student’s chosen graduate program administer jointly the Graduate Access Program.  A.L.I. provides intensive English language training at the University of Toledo. Students enrolled in the Graduate Access Program will be provisionally admitted to their graduate program and each student will be assigned both a graduate program advisor and an A.L.I. advisor.

Purpose

The purpose of the Graduate Access Program is to help international graduate students improve their English skills (multiple 7.5-week terms, depending on testing results), fulfill any applicable prerequisite classes at the undergraduate level and provide adjustment opportunities to academic life in the United States in a Graduate Study Skills course and in interactions with faculty and students in their chosen graduate program.

Eligibility

Any international graduate student is eligible to enroll in this program. Students enrolled in the program must possess an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, a minimum 500 TOEFL (61 iBT) score from a test taken within 6 months of applying to UT, and any other requirements as determined by the student’s chosen graduate program and the College of Graduate Studies.

Admission

Students with international degrees who meet most, but not all, admission requirements at The University of Toledo (http://www.utoledo.edu/graduate/prospectivestudents/admission/guidelines.html) may be considered for provisional admission and for enrollment in the Graduate Access Program training if they meet the set criteria indicated below:

All admission requirements (including holding the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree) are met except that the English Proficiency examination scores were below those required for general admission to the graduate program but meet or exceed the following minimum passing scores and from a test taken within 6 months of applying to UT:

500 TOEFL (61 iBT): The student would enroll in the Access Program two-semester program beginning January or August.

530 TOEFL (71 iBT): The student would enroll in the Access Program one-semester program beginning January, May or August.

All students will be retested by A.L.I. using the pBT prior to entering the Graduate Access Program. If the retest of the TOEFL does produce a score of 500 (+/- s.d.), the student will be placed at the appropriate level in the regular A.L.I program. The availability of the Graduate Access program is on a space available basis.  Students may be placed on a wait list.

Students are notified of their provisional acceptance into the graduate program and the required participation in the Graduate Access Program through an admissions and enrollment contract, which comes with the letter of acceptance. By signing the contract, the student acknowledges that s/he must successfully complete the Graduate Access Program before they will be accepted as a “regular” status graduate student. Once a student returns the admissions and enrollment contract to the appropriate graduate unit, the Graduate Access Program Advisor will enroll the student in classes.

Students enrolled in the Graduate Access Program will enter the United States on an F1 visa and an I-20 issued by the College of Graduate Studies.

Curriculum

The Graduate Access Program is divided into two core areas: a) The English as a Second Language (ESL) Core and b) the Major Core.

The ESL Core focuses on improving a student’s reading and writing skills through an intensive writing course that is held 10 hours a week (two hours per day). In this course, students learn to prepare academic writing assignments, read material in graduate program-specific academic journals, and practice in-class discussion techniques. The second part of the ESL Core is a 5-hour a week Study Skills class that focuses on familiarizing students with the complex tasks related to studying in a graduate program, such as information literacy, time management, and on-campus resources. Students will take a test preparation course for TOEFL, GRE, GMAT during their time in the ESL Core. This course will focus primarily on the content areas of the test that are related to English writing and reading. Students will be able to take the TOEFL  (ITP-institutional testing program) up to five times per year in the Testing Center.

The Major Core is coordinated with the admitting program and allows time for students to join their chosen graduate program for seminars, journal club and other activities with current graduate students and faculty.  It also allows students to take any undergraduate prerequisites (up to two courses per semester based on the student’s TOEFL score), as recommended by their program.

Core Courses Hours/Week Semester
ESL Core 1. ESL Writing for Graduate Students 10  
  2. Graduate Study Skills 5  
  3. Test Prep (TOEFL, GMAT, GRE; writing and reading sections only) 5  
Major Core 4. Prerequisite 1 3 3
  5. Prerequisite 2 3 3
  6. Graduate department activity (seminar series, journal club, on-on-one work, etc.) 1.5-2 1

 

Participating Programs

Individual graduate units in consultation with the A.L.I. and the College of Graduate Studies determine programs that elect to participate in the Graduate Access Program.  Currently, the graduate colleges or programs offering provisional admission through the Graduate Access Program include graduate programs in the:

  • College of Business and Innovation
  • College of Communication and the Arts
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Medicine and Life Sciences (excludes the M.D., MPH, MSOH, PA, MSBS in medical science and MSBS in oral biology programs)
  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (excludes the PharmD program)

Although the list above indicates colleges interested in considering applicants for the GAP program, not all programs in all colleges will be considering applicants for this program.

Graduate Access Program Faculty

Students in the Graduate Access Program study with highly qualified faculty members from both the University’s academic departments and the A.L.I.

Evaluation

Students in the ESL Core receive letter grades for their work at the American Language Institute. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the ESL Core in order to maintain their status. The work in the ESL Core is not transcribed on the official University of Toledo transcript.

Class Size

The Graduate Access Program will have a maximum enrollment of 15 students per class in the ESL Core. Students will be assigned one faculty member from the A.L.I. who will work with them intensively during their time in the program.

Recommended Start Times

The program has three different start dates, depending on the student’s preexisting English proficiency.

Students with a 500 TOEFL may enter the program in January. This gives the student two semesters (spring and summer) to complete the ESL Core and the Major Core before beginning their regular graduate program in August (start of fall semester).

Students with a 500 TOEFL may also elect to enter the program in August, giving them one semester (fall) to complete the ESL Core and the Major Core before beginning their regular program in January (if their graduate program advisor permits). This option should only be chosen if the student is a good language learner.

Finally, students with exceptionally high English skills (530 TOEFL or higher) may also join the abbreviated summer version of the Graduate Access Program, giving them a high-intensity summer preparation program for a fall start of their regular program. Students are also free to join the Graduate Access Program in either January or August.

As a rule, a hard-working language learner can expect an increase of 25 points on the TOEFL for every 7.5 weeks (one term or a half-semester) of study in the ESL core.

For example, if a student has a TOEFL score of 500, they would need approximately 15 weeks (or two terms in the ESL core) to complete the language proficiency requirement. If a student intends to begin their program of study in the fall semester (August), they should plan on beginning Access Program in the preceding spring semester (January).

Minimum TOEFL Graduate Access Term 1 Courses Term 2 Courses
500 (61 iBT) January OR May

ESL Writing 1 for Graduate Students (10 hours/week)

Graduate Study Skills (5 hours/week)

Prerequisites (up to 6 credit hours- 3 credit hours per semester)

ESL Writing 2 for Graduate Students (10 hours/week)

Test Prep (5 hours/week)

Prerequisites (continued from Term 1)

Graduate Program Activities

530 (71 iBT) May OR August

ESL Writing 1 for Graduate Students (10 hours/week)

Graduate Study Skills (5 hours/week)

Prerequisites (3 credit hours)

ESL Writing 2 for Graduate Students (10 hours/week)

Test Prep (5 hours/week)

Prerequisites (continued from Term 1)

Graduate Program Activities

 

Program Completion Criteria

Successful completion of the Graduate Access Program requires the student to:

  • Take all prescribed courses in the Graduate Access Program and any required prerequisites in full-time status.
  • Complete the program within two consecutive semesters with an overall GPA of 3.00 and a grade of B or better in each and any undergraduate course.
  • Take the required academic English proficiency examination whenever offered by the Testing Center and A.L.I. to assess academic English language progress. Acceptable tests for this purpose are the AccuPlacer (administered by A.L.I.) and the TOEFL (paper-based) administered by the Testing Center.  All scores on the TOEFL iBT are subject to approval by the director of the A.L.I. This assessment will determine which if any courses the student must take during the second semester of Access Program study.
  • Earn a score of 550 or higher on the TOEFL (paper-based only).  No iBT score allowed.

After successful completion of the program, all Graduate Access Program participants are reviewed by A.L.I. and the chosen graduate program and then, if appropriate, promoted to “regular” degree status to begin the required coursework in the graduate degree program. No additional application is required.

Graduate Access Program students are provisionally admitted to the University of Toledo. Students who do not meet the program requirements will be reviewed by the Director of A.L.I. together with the dean or director of the academic department for termination from the graduate program. Students who are terminated before completing their Graduate Access Program training may not be eligible for admission to another graduate program at the University of Toledo. University regulations for appeals and extensions for graduate students apply.

Since students are admitted provisionally, they also will have to meet certain completion deadlines for the Graduate Access Program in order to matriculate as a regular student in their chosen graduate program. If a student does not meet these deadlines, they may choose to continue in the Graduate Access Program as an ESL student only and the provisional admission to the graduate program may be put on hold or revoked.

Students at the A.L.I. are only permitted to repeat one term while in the program. Should students fail a class for a second time, they will need to go through a performance review with the director of A.L.I. This review could lead to a continuation of their ESL core studies or dismissal from the Graduate Access Program.

Dismissal/Termination Appeals Process

Students may appeal academic dismissals in writing to the Dean of the college sponsoring the chosen graduate program and to the Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs.

Pricing

Item Description Cost
ESL Core Instruction in reading, writing, listening, speaking, test preparation, and study skills $3,880/semester ($110/hour)
iPad All students at the A.L.I receive their textbooks and course content as electronic downloads on the iPad From $299/one time
Major Core Prerequisites (as needed) UT course fee schedule

 

For questions about the ESL Core, please contact the director of the American Language
Institute, Mr. Alexander Wrege (alexander.wrege@utoledo.edu).

For questions about the Major Core (graduate program), please contact your chosen graduate program director. 

For questions about Admission to the Access Program, please contact the Assistant Dean for Graduate Admissions, Ms. Deborah Andrews (deborah.andrews@utoledo.edu).
Last Updated: 7/7/15