More international students will get the opportunity to study at Joliet Junior College beginning this fall, after the federal government’s Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) approved a measure that would allow Intensive English for Academic Purposes (IEAP) classes at JJC. These classes will allow international students to come to JJC for the purpose of learning the English language and American culture.
In the past, JJC was only able to accept international students with higher English language skills. Prospective international students had to score a 74 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and a 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Now, international students can get accepted at JJC by scoring a 45 on the TOEFL and a 5.0 on the IELTS.
The IEAP agenda requires international students at JJC to take a full year of classes in reading, writing, grammar, language tutoring, and American culture. American culture classes will include lessons on American history, pop culture and more.
“Now students with a lower level of English can study and refine their English skills before entering their college degree program,” said Dayna Crabb, international students coordinator. “This program will allow them three years to finish their degree without the overwhelming course load.”
But JJC’s IEAP classes aren’t just for traditional international students who want to obtain a degree. International citizens with master’s degrees, for example, could come to JJC for a year to take IEAP classes just because they want to learn the English language in the U.S.
“Well-educated people from different parts of the world, who maybe aren’t so fluent in English, can study English here now,” Crabb added.
Crabb said the new IEAP classes and lower test score requirements could also be a benefit for Joliet area residents who have family that live outside the U.S. If their international relatives apply and pass the TOEFL and IELTS tests, they could come to Joliet, be with their family, and study English at JJC.
Having a larger number of international students at JJC will only expand the international students program, and contribute to JJC President Dr. Deb Daniels’ vision of making the college a world-class institution.
“By attracting international students to study at JJC, we’re opening doors,” Crabb said. “Having international students at JJC helps expand the global perspective of students, faculty, and staff, as well as the global cultural community at JJC.”
Offering the IEAP classes also addresses a major college goal – providing more services to the growing minority and underrepresented populations of the JJC district.