October 09, 2006

Center for English as a Second Language growing

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Administrators at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) are seeing double. Enrollment at the center, part of the College of Liberal Arts, jumped from 47 full-time and five part-time students in fall 2005 to 93 full-time and eight part-time students this semester.

Roughly 50 of the students are new international students on the campus, and the rest are continuing international students. CESL offers a University-based intensive English language program for students who plan to enter SIUC undergraduate or graduate programs.

"CESL is working hard to increase its own enrollment while also promoting the entire educational experience at SIUC," said Marilyn L. Rivers, center director.

The breakdown of CESL's student body is also impressive. Students hail from countries around the globe including Benin, China, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam.

"We currently have 39 students with full scholarships through the Saudi Cultural Mission/Saudi government. These students will matriculate into SIUC undergraduate and graduate programs when they complete their study at CESL," Rivers said.

She said that some graduate students promote the program while traveling overseas.

Most students who attend CESL enter SIUC degree programs, with the exception of those who come as a group for a specified length of time. Rivers believes the popularity of the program will continue to grow.

"Some students from past groups are now returning for longer periods of study in SIUC degree programs," she said.

Meeting or exceeding the expectations of our students is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.