Program Overview

The English Language Program (ELP) is an academic, intensive English program that aims primarily at assisting international students in developing their English language proficiency to the level needed to pursue their education at Purdue University Calumet. The academic year for ELP students consists of three sessions: Fall Semester; Spring Semester; and Summer Semester. The classes include 1) reading, 2) writing and grammar, 3) speaking and listening, and 4) an elective. Students are given placement tests and are enrolled in one of four levels:

  • Level 1 – Foundations
  • Level 2 – Low-Intermediate
  • Level 3 – High Intermediate
  • Level 4 – Advanced

Classes meet 4 days a week, Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays and some Saturdays are Field Trip Days organized by the Office of International Programs at no additional cost: students are taken on cultural and educational field trips to Chicago and the region. Several domestic students working as mentors accompany ELP students on these field trips in order to provide students with cultural insight and English practice.

  Fall (15 wks) Spring (15 wks) Summer (8 wks)
Reading 6 hours/week 6 hours/week 6 hours/week
Writing/Grammar 6 hours/week 6 hours/week 6 hours/week
Speaking/Listening 6 hours/week 6 hours/week 12 hours/week
Elective 3 hours/week 3 hours/week 0 hours/week

Placement Testing

Initial Placement Test

All new students are required to take a placement test. The placement testing procedure assesses students English language skills in areas of listening, reading, writing, and grammar. Oral interviews will be conducted by faculty to assess student speaking skills. After reviewing test results, the program director and/or faculty will place the student in the appropriate language level.


  • There may be semesters (especially during the summer when enrollment is generally lower) when ELP is not able to any level if fewer than 8 students are placed in that level on the day of the Placement Exam.
  • Students placed in level 1 are not beginners; they generally have a low-intermediate proficiency level in English (a minimum of 400 on the Paper-Based TOEFL or 32 on the iBT).

Diagnostic Testing

During the first two weeks of instruction, students will be given diagnostic tests in each of their classes. The purpose of these tests is to ensure students have been placed in the appropriate courses.

Progressing Through ELP

Level Advancement

At the end of each session, if a student performs well in his/her classes, passes the writing portfolio, and earns a 70% or higher in all four skill areas (75% in the 8-week summer session), he/she moves to the next level, or, in the case of a Level 4 student, moves to non-ELP, mainstream university classes at Purdue Calumet. Upon successful completion of the ELP, undergraduate students are automatically matriculated into degree programs after filling out a new undergraduate application and change-of-status paperwork. Graduate students, however, must obtain 80% in their classes and pass a special Exit Test to be able to start a graduate degree program at PUC.  The other option is to pass the IELTS with 6.5 or the TOEFL with a minimum total score of 79 in addition to the following sub-scores: Listening 14, Speaking 18, Reading 19, and Writing 18.

Repeating Courses

At the end of a session, if a student fails his/her speaking and listening courses but passes his/her reading and writing courses for example, the student is permitted to advance to the next level in only the reading and writing courses. The student must repeat the speaking and listening courses the following semester. In this case, he/she will be a split-level student the following semester. There are some instances, for example, where a Level 4 student has failed only one course. This student is permitted to enroll in non-ELP (regular) university classes (up to 9 credit hours) but must repeat the final ELP class before fully exiting the ELP.
Note: failing a class twice may result in expulsion from the program; however, in very rare cases, the director and faculty reserve the right to allow a student to take a class up to three times.

Bridge Program

Upon the recommendation of every teacher, a student who does exceptionally well in every high-intermediate (Level 3) class might be allowed to become a part of the Bridge Program, a course schedule that is offered only at the advanced level. Bridge students take a combination of ELP and non-ELP (regular) courses. This program is also extended to Level 4 students who are repeating individual ELP courses.  Students in the Bridge Program are required to take a minimum of 9 hours in ELP in order to comply with immigration regulations.  They are not allowed to take any academic classes during the Maymester since they are still ESL students.

Exiting the ELP & TOEFL / IELTS Information

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students who have successfully completed all of their level 3 courses are eligible to apply to an undergraduate program at PUC. The TOEFL requirement for undergraduate students is waived for ELP students who have successfully completed their ELP courses.

Note:   Level 3 and 4 students who take the TOEFL or IELTS test during their semester of study and receive a passing score per PUC requirements must also complete and pass their current ELP classes in order to take non-ELP courses that are required for their major.  This policy does not apply to level 1 and level 2 students.

Graduate Students

In order to apply for graduate school, students must:

A.) Submit official IELTS or TOEFL scores. Students must score 6.5 on the IELTS or obtain a minimum combined score of 77 on the Internet-based test (iBT) as well as specific sub-scores: Writing 18; Speaking 18; Listening 14; Reading 19.


B.) A second option available to ELP graduate students is to take the Graduate Student Exit Test, which eliminates the need for TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Students must meet all other requirements for their graduate degree program/college, which may require higher TOEFL scores, and/or additional exam scores such as the GRE exam.  Students are encouraged to confirm the admissions requirements of their individual departments.

Graduate Student Exit Test

The TOEFL and IELTS are no longer required for admission to the Graduate School at Purdue University Calumet as long as ELP students are able to complete Level 4 and satisfy two other requirements:

  1. Obtain an average of 80% in ELP courses
  2. Pass the ELP Graduate Exit Test.  This test consists of:
  •  a writing sample based on a reading passage
  •  an oral assessment in the form of an interview 

ELP graduate students who do not get the minimum of 80% in each class and/or do not pass the Graduate Exit Test can take the TOEFL or IELTS test and submit it for admission.  In this case, students must score 6.5 overall on the IELTS or obtain a minimum combined score of 77 on the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) as well as specific sub-scores: Writing 18, Speaking 18, Listening 14, Reading 19.

Transitioning Workshop

All graduate and undergraduate students who are in their final semester of the ELP or undergraduate students who have successfully passed the TOEFL are required to attend a Transitioning Students Workshop. This workshop includes important information about applying to their degree program and changing their educational levels and I-20s.

Probation: Students who fail to pass all their ELP classes or miss too many classes towards the end of the semester will be on put on probation the following semester. If they do not show evidence of progress, they will be dismissed from the ELP and will have to either transfer to another school or leave the country immediately. Students who fail a class twice may be dismissed from the program, except in special circumstances where a student may be allowed to repeat a class for a third time.

Back to the Top

Assessment and Grading Policies

The goal of assessment is to enhance learning. Therefore, in order for students to be accountable and responsible for their learning, regular quizzes and tests are part of every class. In addition to regular quizzes, students take a midterm and a final exam, as well as submit a writing portfolio. Furthermore, attendance, general class participation, and performance are taken into account and count towards the required criteria for moving to the next level or completing the program.

Students also receive a mid-term progress report for each class followed by a conference with their teachers to discuss their progress in class and what they need to do to successfully complete their courses. At the end of the semester, students receive a final grade for each class they took: “S”, Satisfactory, indicates they have passed the class; “U”, Unsatisfactory, indicates they need to take the class again.

Back to the Top

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is mandatory.  In order to learn English, students need to attend all class sessions, arrive on time, and be prepared and attentive.  If students are absent, it is their responsibility to make up missed work – incomplete homework will affect grades. Please ask other students or email your instructors for any due homework.  “I was absent” is not an excuse for not doing homework.

Students are allowed to miss three classes without penalty.  A fourth absence will result in a consultation with an ELP advisor.  A sixth unexcused absence and/or combination of lates turned into absences will automatically result in failure of the course and possible expulsion from the program.

NOTE: Being expelled from ELP means that the student will no longer be part of Purdue University Calumet and will need to either transfer to another school or leave the United States immediately.

Lateness Policy

Students will be marked late if they arrive up to 20 minutes after class begins. After 20 minutes, the student may be marked absent. Being late 3 times will equal one absence.

Homework Policy

ELP students can expect to have between 10-20 hours of ELP course homework each week. Students must turn in homework assignments by the given deadlines.  Late homework assignments will not be accepted.

Midterms and Final Examinations

Students must take Midterm and Final examinations on the scheduled dates as determined each semester by ELP faculty. Make-up examinations will not be given.

Back to the Top

Student Behavior

Inappropriate behavior is not tolerated. A student who displays any sort of improper behavior (disturbing class, interrupting, speaking a language other than English, not doing homework, being rude to peers and / or to teacher, coming to class late or leaving early, etc.) will be asked to meet with the teacher outside of class. A second instance of such behavior will result in a meeting with the director of the program and the dean of students. A third instance of such behavior will result in expulsion from the ELP and PUC.

“English-Only” Policy

Students are expected to use only English in their classes for their own benefit and out of respect for others who are attending Purdue University Calumet to further develop their English language skills.



What is plagiarism?  Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged or cited. This includes, for example, copying another student’s presentation, copying pieces of other student’s essays, or copying homework assignments.

Students in the ELP will quickly learn about plagiarism as part of their studies to prepare them for their university studies ahead, as plagiarism is taken very seriously in the U.S. academic environment. Regular university students can be asked to leave their program or be kicked out due to plagiarism.

In the ELP, after it has been made clear to students what plagiarism is, students found plagiarizing will be penalized the following way:
For the 1st offense: Students will receive a zero on the assignment
For the 2nd offense: Students will also be sent to meet with the ELP Director and may automatically fail their ELP class.

Back to the Top

Immigration Policy/Information

Students studying in the PUC ELP Program with an F-1 visa must maintain full-time student status, or minimum of 18 hours of study, while enrolled at PUC.  This policy requires students to follow all ELP attendance and grade policies to avoid expulsion from their ELP courses. Students who are expelled from the ELP program will be subject to deportation and must leave the U.S. according to U.S. Federal Immigration guidelines. For questions about your visa and Department of Homeland Security regulations contact Marsha Gordon, ISS Director, in CLO 176.

Photo Policy

Students in the ELP will occasionally be photographed during field trips, events, and for the newsletter. These photographs are sometimes also displayed on the ELP website and other published materials to put real faces to the students we are proud to have in the ELP. However, if for personal or religious reasons students do not wish to have their photos taken, it is their responsibility to do two things:

  1. Submit a written note to the ELP secretary stating that you do not wish to be photographed and include your full name and student ID number.
  2. Inform the teacher, mentor, or other students while they attempting to take a picture.

Grievance Policy

A “grievance” is a complaint that a student may have because of an action by a university faculty or staff member that is in violation of campus policies or procedures.  Examples of grievances may be inappropriate conduct by a faculty or staff member, offensive materials used in the classroom, unfairness in student grading, etc.

A student who has a grievance should follow the steps listed below:

  1. First, talk to your instructor.  If there is still a problem or you do not feel comfortable addressing this with your teacher, then
  2. Go talk to your ELP advisor.  If the problem is still not settled, the advisor will help the student complete a Student Grievance Form and make an appointment with the Director.
  3. A meeting with the Director of the English Language Program will be arranged.  This meeting will be within 10 days of the date on the Student Grievance Form.  After the meeting, the student will be given a written statement detailing any decisions made.  Then
  4. If still not satisfied with the outcome, the student may contact the Dean of the College.

Back to the Top

Return to the English Language Program Homepage
Return to PUC International Homepage
English Language Program
Classroom Office Bldg, Room 176
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323-2094

1-800 HI-PURDUE, x.2502
Locally within Indiana & Illinois