ICC establishes cooperative agreement with Bradley to benefit international students

Bradley University and Illinois Central College have established a partnership that will open the doors for both institutions to a much wider international student pool.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed allowing Bradley undergraduate and graduate international students who do not meet requirements on English proficiency, access to study English as a Second Language (ESL) at ICC.

Dr. David Glassman, Bradley’s Provost, said currently Bradley does not have an ESL center on campus nor has Bradley previously had such a partnership.

“This relationship will be instrumental in providing services to international undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the world who want to attend Bradley, but in the past have not had the required English language proficiency scores to do so,” Glassman said.

ICC has been an active partner in the agreement and is preparing for increased enrollment in its ESL program. Students who are referred to ICC for the program will gain admission under the same requirements and conditions as other ICC international students and will follow a four course sequence focused on oral, written and listening skills, along with test preparation. The courses run two days a week for several hours each day.

ICC President Dr. John Erwin said he looks forward to the advantages the partnership will bring to both the international students and ICC.

“We welcome new international students as a means of diversifying our campus and provide unique perspectives representing their cultures and countries of origin,” Erwin said. “It is our hope that, through this increased access for international students, our domestic students will realize the benefits of discovering more about our world and each other.”

According to Dr. Rita Ali, ICC Vice President of Diversity, International and Adult Education, the agreement with Bradley was a natural extension of a long-standing commitment to supporting international education.

“Both colleges have a history of commitment to international education,” Ali said. “Last May, ICC opened its International Center and Chinese Language Institute and is actively exploring educational partnerships with Cuba and other countries. We hope this relationship with Bradley helps support and promote international education and will infuse its many benefits to all of our students.”

Applicants will be admitted to ICC and conditionally admitted to Bradley.  Once their proficiency scores are acceptable students can transfer to Bradley.  Bradley requires students meet minimum proficiency scores based on TOEFL or IELTS standardized tests.  According to Dr. Jeff Bakken, Dean of the Graduate School at Bradley, more than 100 applicants to Bradley’s graduate school passed all admission requirements this year except English proficiency and had to be turned away.

“Bradley has seen a major increase in international student interest in our graduate school and it could grow even more now,” Bakken said. “This partnership with ICC opens the prospective student pool to many countries, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and China, that Bradley didn’t reach out to previously because there was a known need for language training.”

Students could enroll as early as this summer.  Participants can choose to live on either campus while taking the classes.