South Puget Sound Community College—A Rigorous Academic English Program
Located in Olympia, the capitol city of Washington State, South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) offers intensive English for motivated language learners. Its intensive curriculum and commitment to high levels of student support make SPSCC an excellent choice for academic-track international students.
“If students are looking for a ‘vacation-type’ English program, we are not a good fit,” said International Student Services Director, Heather Lukashin. “Our program is very rigorous and is designed for students to be able to graduate into an American academic setting and excel there.”
The Community College Context
“Community college is a great way to not get lost in the crowd,” said Ms. Lukashin. “Your teachers and advisors will know your name. We have an open-door policy that means you can meet with whoever you need to without an appointment. That makes a huge difference to our students.”
All ESL instructors at SPSCC are TOEFL certified, have master’s degrees, and are focused on offering excellent language instruction. The critical distinction lies in cost. One year’s tuition at SPSCC is $9,500; at the university level, it is $23,000.
Students can utilize free services including tutoring, writing support, and computer labs.
A Conversation Partner program helps students practice English skills and a cultural exchange with an American student. This program has seen significant success in helping international students master English, overcome cultural barriers, and create lasting friendships.
Off-campus activities are available through the International Student Association. Past activities have included shopping trips, paint balling, ice-skating, skiing, community service projects, and fundraisers.
University Transfer Pathway
ESL students who complete the Intensive English Program are guaranteed admission into college-level classes at SPSCC. When they complete their associate degree, they can participate in the 2+2 Transfer Program: SPSCC students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are guaranteed admission to a dozen universities, where they complete their four-year degrees with a variety of program options.
SPSCC has a brand new science facility and boasts excellent programs in engineering, computer science, medicine, and business. These degrees can launch professional careers or provide groundwork for four-year university programs.
Intensive English study at SPSCC is a stepping stone to American culture, academic life, and language skills. “We offer a seamless transition for international students to access broad academic opportunities in the US,” concluded Ms. Lukashin.