Student Handbook

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This handbook provides information to students about ESLI. Please view it.

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Student Handbook

  1. 1. University of Southern Indiana<br />ESLI at the University of Southern Indiana<br />Becky Whited, Director<br />8600 University Blvd. <br />Evansville, IN 47712<br />Phone: 812-461-5362 Fax: 812-461-5363 Email: esli@usi.edu<br />Student Handbook<br />
  2. 2. Welcome to English as a Second Language International (ESLI). We are here to help you achieve your academic goals whatever they may be. To help you understand some of the regulations we have and to help you avoid problems, we have developed this student handbook. Please read through it and keep it handy for your reference. If you have any questions, just ask!<br />
  3. 3. During the next couple of days and then throughout the semester, we will not only talk about our policies, but we will also introduce you to new ways of doing things. For example, we will discuss our courses and how we will teach them. Many of you have studied English in an intensive English school in your home country already. You have become used to doing things in a certain way. You my find that our teaching methods are quite different here. This may confuse you; it may disrupt you; and it may even offend you.<br />
  4. 4. If you experience these negative feelings, we want you to know that they are very normal and valid. You are NOT a bad student if you feel this way!! It is the beginning of what we call “culture shock.” The best way to deal with culture shock is to first accept it as inevitable. Then adopt the attitude that DIFFERENT IS NOT WRONG OR BAD. Please ask us any questions you have or talk to us about any problems—however small they might be. Don’t be embarrassed to come to us. We are here to help you before small worries become a problem. <br />
  5. 5. The information in your Student Handbook is designed to help you adjust to study in the USA and to answer some of the most common questions that students have. <br />
  6. 6. Section 1. USI Standards<br />All students enrolled in the ESLI program at the University of Southern Indiana are considered USI students and must therefore adhere to the same standards as all other USI students. Failure to do so will result in the same disciplinary measures as are taken for non-ESLI students who disregard these standards. These standards are clearly explained in the USI Catalogue. <br />
  7. 7. Section II INS Regulations<br />You are here because you have been granted an F-1 student visa. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) of the United States government has established some guidelines for F-1 visa holders. Here are some that you need to know: <br />
  8. 8. <ul><li>You must pursue a full course of study as long as you are in the United States.
  9. 9. You must attend the institution that issued your I-20 at least one semester.
  10. 10. Anything less than full time attendance in ESLI classes (25 hours/week) puts your F-1 status in jeopardy. This also means that if you miss excessive classes you will jeopardize your F-1 status.
  11. 11. You may work up to a total of 20 hours a week on campus only** (There are some exceptions to this policy. Please see the director if you have questions. )</li></ul>**We strongly discourage any work while you are studying English at ESLI. The course of study is very intensive and demanding. You will need to focus all of your energy and concentration on your study of English. <br />
  12. 12. Section III<br />Living Arrangements<br />ESLI recommends that students live in the dorms on campus. The dorms are safe, reasonably priced, and provide students the opportunity to meet Americans and learn English more quickly. Every effort is made to provide each ESLI student with an American roommate. <br />
  13. 13. Students living in the dorms can either eat in the dining hall or on their own. Some of the dorms have kitchens where students can cook their own meals. <br />
  14. 14. The university requires students living in the dorms to sign a contract each semester. Therefore, students must live in the dorms for the entire semester. If a student moves out of the dorm during the semester, he/she loses all the money paid for the dorm room.<br />
  15. 15. Some students decide to live in apartments in Evansville. ESLI cannot find apartments for students, but apartments listings are available. There are some advantages to living in apartments, but students will make slower progress learning English because they do not speak English and do not live with an American roommate.<br />
  16. 16. Apartments also require contracts, usually 6 months. If a student moves out of the apartment before the contract is expired, s/he is responsible for the rent until the contract expires.<br />If you have any questions about living arrangements, please ask. <br />
  17. 17. Section IV<br />Placement<br />And Progress<br />
  18. 18. Section 4<br />At the time of your original enrollment in ESLI you will be given a placement test to determine which level would be best for you. The test takes two hours and measures: reading, writing, grammar, and listening skills. In addition, a student may be asked to participate in a conversation with a faculty member to determine speaking ability.<br />
  19. 19. Section 4<br />ESLI has three levels—beginning, intermediate, and advanced.<br />Even after you are placed in a level, you teachers will closely monitor your progress to determine if you need to be moved to another level.<br />
  20. 20. Section 4<br />If you feel that you have been placed in the incorrect level of ESLI, you may take a Challenge Test to move to the next level. You must request to take the Challenge Test within one week of your placement. The Challenge Test costs $25. Special arrangements must be made with the ESLI director to take these tests. If you have any concerns or questions about your placement, please let us know. <br />
  21. 21. Section 4<br />At the end of each semester, you will be given a final exam in each class. If you pass the final and have passing grades for the class, you will be advanced to the next level of ESLI. If it is necessary for you to repeat a level, do not think that you are a failure. Everyone learns at a different speed, and we all have different abilities. We want you to enter the university as soon as possible, but we also want you to succeed in your university courses.<br />
  22. 22. Section 4 cont.<br />The following grades are required to pass from a level in ESLI: <br /><ul><li>In order to pass Level I, students must have grades of 70% or above in every class.
  23. 23. In Level 2, students must have grades of 75% or more in every class.
  24. 24. In Level 3, students must have grades of 80% or more to pass.</li></li></ul><li>Section 4 cont. <br />There are some things you can do to help assure that you will progress as quickly as possible through ESLI.<br />These are:<br />Live in the dorms with an American roommate.<br />Speak only English, both in and out of class.<br />Commit to study at least one hour for each hour in class.<br />Attend campus activities to meet and talk with other USI students.<br />Attend all class sessions and complete all assignments.<br />Participate fully in class.<br />
  25. 25. Section 4 cont. <br />Some students need additional help to master the material in their classes. Private tutors are available for a fee to assist you. If one of your teachers, or the director of ESLI, recommend private tutoring, you should seriously consider this suggestion. Often a tutor can make the difference between passing and failing a level.<br />
  26. 26. Section 5<br />Challenge and Exit Tests<br />
  27. 27. Section 5<br />ESLI has a Challenge Test for each level of the program. If a student makes VERY high grades in his/her level (all grads above 95), the student may request to take a Challenge Test to skip the next level in ESLI. If a student makes VERY high grades (all grades 90 or above) in Level II and wants to try to skip Level III, s/he may request the Exit Test. This test is very difficult; and even if a student is making high grades in Level II, it is still unlikely that s/he will pas the Exit Test. The cost for each test is $25. Arrangements must be made with the Program Director. In no case will exceptions be made for students who do not have all grades above 90%.<br />
  28. 28. Section VI<br />ESLI Calendar<br />
  29. 29. Section VI<br /> ESLI classes meet on the same schedule as classes at the University of Southern Indiana. There are two semesters—15 weeks each—in fall and spring and one summer term—10 weeks. Students attend four and a half days per week, for a total of 25 hours of classes per week. The holiday and vacation schedule is the same as the university’s. (See University calendar in the Appendix.)<br />
  30. 30. Section VII<br />Attendance Policy<br />
  31. 31. Section 7<br />Attendance in all classes is important. Frequent absences are detrimental, not only to the absent student, but also to the entire class. Poor attendance will be reflected in the student&apos;s final grade and will make progression through the program more difficult. <br />
  32. 32. Section 7 cont.<br /><ul><li>You are expected to be in the classroom and prepared to begin class ON TIME each day.
  33. 33. Tardy: You will be marked “Tardy” if you arrive for class between starting time and 15 minutes past starting time. If you arrive after 15 minutes past starting time, you will be marked absent.
  34. 34. Three tardies will count as one absence</li></li></ul><li>Section 7 cont.<br />Absences: Students who have more than ten (10) absences in any class in a semester will be withdrawn from ESLI program and from USI. Summer semesters may only have six (6) absences. This will place the student out-of-status and INS will be notified immediately. Students who are absent must call and leave a message with the director and or instructor<br />
  35. 35. Section VIII<br />ESLI Curriculum<br />
  36. 36. Section 8<br /> ESLI knows that to prepare students to do well in the world of academics and in the work place, we must have a well-rounded and comprehensive curriculum. With that knowledge, we have spent many hours reviewing textbooks, supplementary materials, and teaching approaches.<br />Our students study the following subjects: grammar, reading, writing, and listening/speaking. Students receive 25 hours of intensive English instruction each week. They are placed in a classroom with outers whose abilities are similar to theirs. <br />
  37. 37. Section 8<br />A second important focus of the ESLI program is making students aware of the community in which they are living. Each semester ESLI students take at least three educational excursions to area businesses, cultural events, and recreational activities. The cost of these excursion is included in the student&apos;s ESLI tuition and fees.<br />
  38. 38. Section IX<br />Student Advisors<br />
  39. 39. Section 9<br />At the beginning of the semester, or upon your arrival, you will be assigned an advisor. Your advisor will meet with you during the semester, both on a formal and an informal basis. She or he will help you with your adjustment to the United States, to this school, and to the many different things you will have to deal with. Your advisor will try to answer questions you may have about your classes, about your study plan at home, and about your future plans for English study or graduation to the university.<br />
  40. 40. Section 9 cont. <br />We encourage you to be honest and open with your advisor so that she or he can help you. You will be responsible for asking the questions and seeking help. Your advisor will always keep your concerns confidential unless you indicate otherwise. Information that is less personal will be shared sensitively with the Director when necessary. You can be sure that you will always be respected. <br />
  41. 41. Section X<br />Academic Probation Policy<br />
  42. 42. Section 10<br />It is ESLI’s desire that all of our students perform to their best ability while at the University of Southern Indiana.<br />In order to assist in this purpose, certain minimum requirements have been established. These requirements have to do with academic performance while at ESLI. If students do not meet these requirements, they will be given two opportunities to rectify (fix) their situation.<br />
  43. 43. Section 10 cont.<br />The first opportunity is called “ACADEMIC WARNING”<br />A student will be placed on Academic Warning if s/he has two or more grades below 70% on a midterm grade report. This requirement applies to reading, writing, grammar, and speaking and listening classes.<br />
  44. 44. If you are placed on Academic Warning:<br /><ul><li>You will receive a letter from ESLI informing you of the status and the requirement of this status. You will have an interview with the ESLI director and your advisor.
  45. 45. The Warning will last for only the semester in which it is given. You must improve your grades during the next half of the semester or risk being placed on Academic Probation.
  46. 46. The purpose of Academic Warning is to help you improve your grades to an acceptable level.</li></li></ul><li>Academic Probation<br /> If you are placed on Academic Warning and you continue to receive poor grades you will be placed on Academic Probation.<br />
  47. 47. If you are placed on Academic Probation:<br /><ul><li>You will receive a letter informing you of the status and the requirements of the status.
  48. 48. These include: an interview with the ESLI director, weekly meetings with your advisor, and other requirements as appropriate (such as tutoring, special homework, etc)</li></li></ul><li>Academic Probation will remain in effect for the semester in which it is given, and the entire semester that follows. If your grades improve satisfactorily the Academic Probation status will be lifted.<br />The purpose of Academic Probation is to help you to remain in the program.<br />
  49. 49. Recommendation of Withdrawal: If you are on Academic Probation and continue to have poor grades on the final report, you will be asked to withdraw from ESLI and return home. A notification will be sent to USI informing the university of this action. <br />
  50. 50. Section XI<br />Classroom Etiquette<br />
  51. 51. Section 11<br />A. General: Every individual is of the highest value and worth; therefore, it is expected that students always treat each other with dignity and respect. No race or position makes anyone better than another, thus, positive, meaningful, and friendly relationships are encouraged among all students and staff. Discrimination or prejudice of any kind will absolutely not be tolerated among any ESLI students or staff or at any ESLI function, whether on or off campus.<br />
  52. 52. Section 11 cont.<br />B. Speaking in Class: General courtesy is expected in every class. Only one person should speak at a time, unless there is a group discussion activity. It is considered rude to speak out or visit privately with a neighbor while the teacher or another student is talking.<br />
  53. 53. Students may not, except when permission, use their first language during class time. They should make every effort to speak English throughout the ESLI center at all times. Diligent practice in using conversational English will greatly assist in language acquisition. Teachers may enforce their own standards for fist language usage within the class.<br />
  54. 54. C. Homework in class: It is both rude and unacceptable for student to attend an ESLI class and at the same time try to complete homework from another class. This is disrespectful to the teacher and shows poor study habits and a lack of discipline on the part of the student.<br />
  55. 55. D. Textbooks: Only books related to the subject, as directed by the teacher, should be brought to class. Teachers may collect personal reading materials and study helps if students try to use them during class. <br />
  56. 56. E. Illness: Students suffering from serious colds or other contagious illnesses should stay at home and phone the ESLI office. Student who are new to Indiana must understand the problems of the climate changes. Special care must be taken to prevent serious and prolonged illness. Students should pay particular attention to regular, adequate rest ad healthy food. <br />
  57. 57. F. Fatigue: (tiredness) It is considered rude to sleep in class. Students who d this may be asked to leave and will be marked absent. <br />
  58. 58. D. dictionaries: It is strongly recommended that ALL Students use only an English dictionary in class when needed. Beginner level students are allowed to use a native language dictionary. Intermediate students are allowed to use a native language dictionary with permission of their teacher.<br />Advanced students are not allowed to use a native language dictionary. You are encouraged to bring your own English dictionary to class. <br />
  59. 59. Section XII<br />University Facilities:<br />
  60. 60. Although ESLI students do not take regular USI classes, they are USI students and must conduct themselves in and on the campus facilities with due respect and consideration for all other students and staff. ESLI does not have special privileges over any other university group or program. All rules and regulations applying to USI students also apply to ESLI students. <br />
  61. 61. Facilities you may use:<br /><ul><li>The library,
  62. 62. Bookstore
  63. 63. Computer labs
  64. 64. Activities center
  65. 65. Student health center
  66. 66. RFC
  67. 67. Swimming pool
  68. 68. You may also attend athletic competitions and fine arts programs at the same cost as any other USI student.</li></li></ul><li>Section XIII<br />Activities<br />And Non-class<br />Functions<br />
  69. 69. No ESLI function or activity that occurs in place of regular classes is optional. In other words, if you are scheduled to do something during class time, you must.<br />
  70. 70. Parties and other social activities planned for ESLI during non-class time hours are optional but very beneficial for the development of good relationships and the improvement of conversation skills.. <br />
  71. 71. Section XIV<br />Classroom Honesty<br />
  72. 72. In the U.S. students are expected to do their own work, unless instructed differently by the teacher. <br />There are two types of problems that occur frequently regarding classroom honesty.<br />
  73. 73. Plagiarism: this is when a student presents the work of another person as his or her own. There are ways to avoid this. Your teachers will help by teaching you the right way to handle someone else’s words.<br />
  74. 74. Cheating: This occurs when:<br /><ul><li>A student does someone else’s work.
  75. 75. A student uses outside aids such as electronic dictionaries, text messages, the computer, etc.
  76. 76. Students use cheat sheets, or other methods to get answers for a test.</li></li></ul><li>Cheating and Plagiarism are serious offenses. ESLI will not excuse a student who uses these methods.<br />The first time you are caught cheating or plagiarizing you will receive a grade of zero for the assignment or test.<br />If you repeat the offense a second time, you will not be allowed to take your final.<br />A their offense will cause you to leave the program.<br />
  77. 77. Section XV<br />Student Problems<br />
  78. 78. Section 10<br /> Each student is important to ESLI. We want to respond to your needs, and we welcome your suggestions. If you have a suggestion, speak to your advisor or the ESLI Director. Occasionally , a student may be unhappy about a situation in ESLI. This might concern grades, a faculty member, or another student or students. You are encouraged to talk to your advisor or teacher about the problem. In addition, you may write a formal complaint and turn the form in tor the Director. A copy of the complaint form is in the Appendix of your handbook. Additional forms are available in the Director’s office.<br />
  79. 79. Section XVI<br />Driving cars in the USA<br />
  80. 80. Section 16<br />Many students purchase cars for their use while living and studying in the USA. Please use caution when purchasing and driving a car. <br />Things you should know about driving a car in the United States:<br />You must have a US driver’s license and insurance in order to purchase a car in the US.<br />You are responsible for knowing and obeying all the laws related to driving in the US.<br />If you have an accident, please try to remain calm. Make sure the police are called to investigate. This is for your protection. If the accident was your fault, you will receive a ticket and will have to pay a fine. <br />If you have any questions, please see your advisor or the ESLI Director<br />
  81. 81. REMEMBER: IT IS ILLEGAL TO DRINK AND DRIVE IN THE U.S. THE PENALTIES FOR DRINKING AND DRIVING ARE SERIOUS.<br />
  82. 82. Section VII<br />ESLI Recommendations<br />
  83. 83. Section 17<br />Admitted ESLI students may enter the University of Southern Indiana when they have successfully completed the ESLI program. A TOEFL score is not required of ESLI graduates. When a student completes Level III of ESLI with all grades above 80%, the ESLI director will notify admissions and send copies of the Certificate of Completion to the registrar’s office and to the International office. These go in the student’s permanent file. The student will then be admitted to the university, provided that he or she has taken and made a qualifying score on any other tests required by USI<br />
  84. 84. Section 17 cont.<br />All students entering the university must take Placement tests in writing, reading, and math. They are given by the Academic Skills Center.<br />ESLI realizes that these required tests are important to university-bound students. In your ESLI classes, we emphasize the skills necessary to perform well on the required admission tests. However, your first priority is to learn English. Therefore, you may not miss class to study for or to take such admission tests. Students who do so, will have unexcused absences and will not be able to make up class work or tests that they miss. <br />
  85. 85. If you desire to enroll in a university other than USI, you will need to make a qualifying score on an international TOEFL exam.<br />
  86. 86. We are glad to have you here and hope that you do well in your studies. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.<br />

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