The Intensive English Program at Chattahoochee Tech’s Marietta campus began Monday. There will be up to 25 classes taught at five different levels depending on the students’ proficiency, with up to 15 students per class.
One of the program’s new students is Seblewengen Gerbaye, who came to the U.S. from Ethiopia just this week using a visa.
“I was looking for a class with my brother through the Internet, and he came here and interacted with the international coordinator, and through that we found this program,” the 29-year-old said.
The class, taught by Carol Glickman, the college’s English as a second language instructor, and Greg Moor, Chattahoochee Tech’s coordinator for international services, works with students on their grammar, writing, reading, speaking and listening skills.
It also introduces them to social and cultural experiences.
“It’s been at least a year of us working to bring this program to the college,” Glickman said. “We created it so that we could work with students individually in helping them get into the college and stay in college.”
Gerbaye said she is excited about the opportunity.
“I’m enjoying the class, I have a very good teacher, and I like the involvement,” she said.
She will continue to study logistics and supply chain management once she is accepted into the college.
“My profession was related to that when I was in our country,” she said. “It would support me and help me in my job here.”
Moor, who has been with the college since 2002, said the program will allow international students to be more competitive.
“Many of these students want to go to Chattahoochee Tech, but they don’t quite have the English proficiency,” he said. “They don’t do well on the placement tests or score high enough to even go to college.”
The only remedial classes taught at the school are for native English speakers but nothing like what they are offering now.
“We were losing students,” he said. “We want to serve the immigrant and international community in a much more effective way than before.”
Glickman will determine a student’s level of study after giving a one-hour test and conducting an interview while reviewing grammar and writing skills.
The type of students range from those who have lived in America for awhile but just need the English training or are newcomers.
Students enrolled at this time are from Congo, Bangladesh, Germany, Spain, Ecuador, Vietnam and Columbia.
“The college wants to internationalize and become like every other university,” Glickman said.
“It’s what businesses want and a good way to bring in international students.”