Drexel University’s English Language Center Celebrates 25 Years of Excellence
For 25 years, the English Language Center (ELC) at Drexel University has welcomed international students to the Drexel community and prepared them for future academic and professional endeavors in the United States. With unique offerings such as Global Business English, a pre-MBA program, intensive academic English, and undergraduate and graduate conditional admissions Pathway programs, the ELC attracts a diverse student body to its alluring location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a comprehensive, private research university, Drexel is home to more than 25,000 students.
Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Student Body
With an average of 200 students enrolled per term, the ELC strives to meet the varied interests of its student body. Assistant Director of Administration & Outreach, Christie Innes described the latest offerings at the ELC: “We are working on some hybrid programs where students can study ESL and other course content here in Philadelphia and then go home and continue studies through online programs and global classrooms.” Hybrid programs will allow students with a limited amount of time to continue their English studies at their own convenience.
The Language of STEM
The ELC regularly hosts Brazilian students through Science without Borders and has consequently developed a course called The Language of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Designed for future graduate students in STEM programs, this course exposes students to university researchers, lectures, workshops, and discussions focusing on the English skills needed to succeed in these fields.
ESL courses such as The Language of STEM and supported-content courses in the International Gateway conditional admission program have helped students thrive in their future studies, with grade point averages (GPAs) that are higher than directly-admitted international students and even US students in many terms. We are really terrific in preparing our students for the university – both for language and in how to be a student in the American education system,” said Ms. Innes.
In terms of preparing students culturally and socially, the ELC connects international students with local students and regularly organizes activities both on- and off-campus. International students are also welcome to participate in Drexel clubs and activities, and many take the opportunity to become involved in American student life.
“When they leave the ELC, the international students really know some people – students, faculty, and staff. They know the ropes and how to get around; they have started to build their own network,” concluded Ms. Innes.
Waleed Majed Alqahtani:
“ELC is a great place where you can do a lot of things you might never have thought about – friends, hobbies, teachers, and many things you will meet in the campus. I enjoyed being a part of this institution.”