English Language Proficiency

At many U.S. colleges and universities students who do not meet minimum English language proficiency test scores must take remedial, non-credit ESL classes. This often means extra time and money to earn a college degree. At Dean, we’re more flexible. We know students sometimes score lower on a language proficiency test, despite having a strong academic record. If this is the case, a student may enroll in our FOCUS Program where they will receive English language support in credit-bearing classes that count toward their Bachelor’s or Associate Degree.

FOCUS Program

Our unique FOCUS Program embeds English language skill development—writing, listening, and speaking—into special sections of required college courses just for international students.

FOCUS is not a conditional admission program. Students are fully admitted to Dean College and are expected to graduate on time. The program combines cultural orientation, English language development and optional individual tutoring with credit-bearing academic classes to provide a holistic educational experience.

There are three levels in the FOCUS Program, and students are placed in classes according to the English language proficiency test score submitted for admission. Students who place into level I of the FOCUS Program are required to enroll in one hour of one-on-one academic coaching per week. There is an additional fee of US $850 per semester.

Students who place above our FOCUS program levels (see below) will be fully matriculated into Dean College, and complete first semester courses as outlined by their academic major. The following table outlines the levels, courses and credits for the three FOCUS levels.

FOCUS Program Placement Chart

FOCUS Level English Language Test Scores* Sample First Semester Courses Academic Credits
III

TOEFL - 61 to 78

IELTS - 6.0

PTE - 50 to 57

ITEP 3.7 to 3.8

Cambridge Assessment - 169 to 175

GTEC - 1076 to 1200

Password - 6.0

ENG 111: Composition (3 credits - 6 contact hours)

SPC 101: Communication Fundamentals (3 credits - 6 contact hours)

Introductory Course in Your Major (3 credits)

College Core Elective (3 credits)

Open Elective or Course in Your Major (3 credits)

15 academic credits - all applied to your degree
II

TOEFL - 45 to 60

IELTS - 5.5

PTE - 42 to 49

ITEP - 3.5 to 3.6

Cambridge Assessment - 162 to 168

GTEC - 900 to 1075

Password - 5.0

ENG 111: Composition (3 credits - 6 contact hours)

SPC 101: Communication Fundamentals (3 credits - 6 contact hours)

Introductory Course in Your Major (3 credits)

Math Elective (3 credits)

 

12 academic credits - all applied to your degree
I

Students falling below these levels will be considered for admission to FOCUS Level I on a case by case basis.

TOEFL - Below 45

IELTS - Below 5.0

PTE - Below 42

ITEP - Below 3.5

Cambridge Assessment - Below 162

GTEC - Below 900

Password - Below 5.0

ENG 111: Composition (3 credits - 6 contact hours)

SPC 101: Communication Fundamentals (3 credits - 6 contact hours)

Introductory Course in Your Major (3 credits)

Math Elective (3 credits)

One hour of Academic Coaching for English language development.

12 academic credits - all applied to your degree

* English language exams not listed above will be considered on a case by case basis.

Features of the FOCUS Program

Intentional Student Orientation

Dean’s International Student Orientation (ISO) program introduces all new international students to the academic, social, and student life aspects of college in the United States. Orientation activities help students ease into college life and become familiar with other students, the campus, and Dean College staff.

Ongoing orientation is considered vital to student success at Dean and throughout their first semester, students receive support from the international student advisor and their academic advisor. 

Communication Fundamentals

All students at Dean are required to complete Communication Fundamentals (SPC 101) to earn their degree. Students who place into the FOCUS program will be placed into an intensive (6 hours per week) section of this course designed specifically for international students. These sections help students improve their oral communication skills in English while building their interpersonal, small group, and public speaking skills. Listening, pronunciation, stress, and intonation skills may also be emphasized.

English Composition

All Dean College students are required to complete Composition (ENG 111) in their first semester. Students who place into the FOCUS program will be placed into an intensive (6 hours per week) section of this course designed specifically for international students. Students will strengthen reading comprehension skills as well as sentence, paragraph, and essay writing abilities. 

Academic Coaching

All students at Dean have the option of enrolling in one-on-one or small group language support through the College’s Academic Coaching program. Academic coaching is designed to provide structured support and assistance to help students strengthen writing skills and study strategies. Academic coaches work closely with international students to create a foundation for success in their academic classes. 

International students who place into level I of the FOCUS Program are required to enroll in one hour of one-on-one academic coaching per week. There is an additional fee of US $850 per semester. Students may also enroll in up to 4 additional hours of coaching per week as needed, at a rate of $850 per semester for each additional hour. 

Students in levels II and III are strongly advised to enroll in academic coaching. Many of the competitive bachelor’s degree programs to which international students transfer after Dean require a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 79.