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K-State Today

October 5, 2016

K-State's English Language Program celebrates 30 years

Submitted by Mary K Pyle

The Kansas State University Office of International Programs recently celebrated the English Language Program's 30th anniversary in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room.

"We are so proud that our English Language Program has served more than 10,100 students of whom 2,204 have moved forward to earn degrees or certificates," said April Mason, provost and senior vice president. "In 2012, our English Language Program secured a 10 year reaccreditation by the Commission on Intensive English Language Program Accreditation, which is the longest period of accreditation a university can receive."

Mary Wood, director of the English Language Program, introduced founder Enid Cocke who created the structure of the university's program. Wood spoke to Cocke's dedication and passion to implement an enriching program.

Jim Lewis, the program's first international recruiting director who then went on to serve for many years as the international admissions and recruiting director in the Office of International Programs, spoke of his early efforts to attract students to consider their first start at the university by enrolling as an English Language Program student.

One of the first English Language Program students, Akihiko Tachiama, an alumnus from Japan, told the participants about his experience in the U.S. and finding K-State a very welcoming environment. He graduated from K-State with a degree in marketing 1992. His daughter also attended K-State as an English Language Program student and earned a degree in apparel and textiles.

Throughout the celebration, notable accomplishments of the program's history included being involved in two World Bank grants with Afghanistan, which included assisting in the development of a joint master's degree in teaching English as a foreign language along with the English and modern languages departments.

The program also provided instruction for an additional World Bank grant bringing students from the Fata region of Pakistan to our campus.

The English Language Program ventured into teacher training by partnering with Global Campus and the College of Education with the Go Teacher Program, serving more than 450 Ecuadorans on our campus and 568 Go Teachers at partner campuses.

Annually, about 400 of our international students first experience K-State by participating in the English Language Program. Over its 30-year history, the English Language Program has administered more than 15,400 language placement tests, preparing students for academic success.

Wood thanked program leadership, instructors and staff who have played a key role in the development the program as well as the Office of International Programs and the wider campus community for their support and collaboration in ongoing projects.

Grant Chapman, associate provost for administration in the Office of International Programs, thanked attendees and Hale Library for their sponsorship of the celebration reception. 

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