Intensive English Program increases enrollment by 40%

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    Enrollment in the Intensive English Program has increased 41.38 percent since 2004, which is about 30 percent more than national programs’ enrollment increase, according to the 2006 TCU Fact Book.Kurk Gayle, the director of TCU’s Intensive English Program, said, after gaining 13 more students this semester, enrollment in the Intensive English Program has reached a record number of 47 students — the largest group of students Gayle said he has seen since he started working at TCU in February 1995.

    He said he attributes the increase to the program’s ability to adapt in times of trouble.

    Like many other schools around the country, TCU’s program enrollment significantly decreased after Sept. 11, 2001, Gayle said.

    “What we did at that time was offer a little more ESL locally – we diversified,” Gayle said.

    The program also had to offer a lower price to keep enrollment up, he said.

    “The university is tremendously supportive of IEP,” Gayle said, explaining another reason for the program’s success.

    He said every department he has worked with has been helpful, including Residential Services, which doubled the number of rooms for Intensive English Program students for next semester, Gayle said.

    Robin Williamson, the associate director of administration in the Office of Residential Services, said they added four beds for males and four beds for females for IEP students planning on pursuing an undergraduate degree.

    Gayle said he was pleased that TCU’s international programs were mentioned in Chancellor Victor Boschini’s convocation speech this year as one of TCU’s six distinctions.

    Boschini said he was happy more students were taking advantage of the program.

    “I think it proves a definite need for the service,” Boschini said in response to the recent enrollment numbers.

    Boschini also said he thinks the program provides diversity to the TCU community.

    “I think this all helps cross cultural understanding,” he said.

    Boschini said he thinks TCU’s Intensive English Program was able to remain stable because it has a solid reputation, which keeps international students coming.

    Lizbeth Branch, an International Student Services adviser, said she attributes the increase of students in the Intensive English Program to a Saudi Arabian program that gives students full rides to certain U.S. schools.

    She said there are currently 14 Saudi students at TCU.

    Branch said International Student Services is going to host a special orientation before the end of the semester for the Intensive English Program for students entering the undergraduate program next semester.

    Branch said this increase in enrollment in the program’s enrollment is beneficial to the university because it contributes to globalization.

    “At the same time they learn the American culture, the university learns about their different cultures,” Branch said.