English Proficiency for International Students Policy

Section: 
Instruction
Policy Number: 
INST721
Effective: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Last Revised: 
Friday, September 14, 2018
Policy: 

In an effort to increase international student applications and direct admission to the academic level of study at SPSCC, I am recommending that we increase the types of English proficiency options accepted for academic admission. We currently accept three English proficiency assessments —TOEFL, IELTS, and successful completion of Level 9 at 80 percent from ELS Language Centers. While TOEFL and IELTS are the most common English proficiency exams for international students, they are costly to take and typically offered in major cities throughout the world, which is a disadvantage to prospective students from lower socio-economic statuses and who live in outlying cities.

The proposed change will do the following:

  1. Increase our competitiveness in the community college market statewide—all but one community college in the state of Washington accept multiple options to meet English proficiency requirements for academic admission. (crosswalk document available upon request)
  2. Increase access to international students in second and third tier cities worldwide, and in emerging markets.
  3. Improve visa approval rates for students from English speaking countries who are currently only able to apply to our Intensive English program.
  4. Raise the profile and branding of SPSCC by cross-listing English proficiency score acceptance on the websites and marketing materials of the test administrators (ELS, EIKEN for example).
  • International students who do not meet the minimum score requirements listed will be accepted into Intensive English only. They will be required to take the LOEP to determine initial placement.
  • International students who meet the minimum requirements listed will be accepted directly into an academic program. They will take the CPT/Accuplacer to determine initial English placement, which is the same procedure for domestic students and international students who submit the currently approved TOEFL or IELTS minimum scores.
  • No transfer credit will be awarded solely based on meeting the English proficiency minimums listed.

Recommended English Proficiency Options for Academic Admission Consideration

(Scores listed are minimums to allow international students to take the CPT/Accuplacer. Placement will be no lower than ENGL 90. Students who submit minimum scores below will not be placed into Intensive English, which is the current policy for TOEFL and IELTS. No advanced standing or credit will be awarded. )

Test

SPSCC Recommendation

CEFR Standard Benchmark

B-2

TOEFL

iBT 61

IELTS

5.5

ELS

Level 109 with 80%

IB

Language A English SL 5/HL 5

AP

English Lit or Lang 3

GCE O-Level

English minimum C

PTE

51

STEP/EIKEN

Grade Pre-1/CSE 2304-3000

IGCSE

English minimum C

iTEP

3.5

GTEC CBT

1051 minimum

HKCEE (Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination)

English D/3

HKALE (Hong Kong Advanced Level Exam)

English E

HKDSE Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

English 3

Smarter Balance

SBA English 3 or 4

ACT

20 Composite English and Reading

SAT

WR/RD470

Australia

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

New Zealand

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

Canada (except Quebec)

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

UK

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

US

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

Ireland

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

Cook Islands

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

Gibraltar

HS diploma equivalent/English pass

Kenya

English C KCSE

  • Yellow indicates English proficiency assessments already accepted for academic admission.
  • Green indicates countries where English is not the official language, but accepted as such in practice.

Proof of completion of high school equivalent from countries where English is the ONLY official language:

Anguilla

The Gambia

Norfolk Island

Antigua and Barbuda

Grenada

Pitcairn Islands

British Virgin Islands

Guyana

Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

The Bahamas

Jamaica

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Barbados

Jersey

Saint Lucia

Belize

Liberia

South Sudan

Bermuda

Malawi

Trinidad and Tobago

Cayman Islands

Federated States of Micronesia

Turks and Caicos Islands

Christmas Islands

Montserrat

Uganda

Dominica

Nigeria

Zambia