English as a Second Language Certificate Program

(Austin Campus)

ESL Program Mission Statement

 The Texas Health and Science University’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program aims to provide quality English language instruction for students whose native language is not English. The program focuses on developing sufficient language proficiency and skills to successfully advance learners towards educational, vocational and personal goals that ultimately lead to their full participation in the diverse society of the United States. The program also intends to ready students for the TOEFL examination, preparing them for entrance into American colleges and universities.


 The Program

 ESL Achieve TOEFL, the intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Texas Health and Science University, is a resident certificate program, which does not award semester credit hours, but awards a Certificate of Completion.  The University accepts candidates for admission three (3) times per year, in January, May, and September.  Our ESL students are expected to progress through the program within two trimesters each of 15 weeks of instruction.  Initial assessment of English language proficiency is required for admission to the course of study with the TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language standardized examination.

The classroom curriculum is flexible to accommodate the varied learning styles and pace of each student admitted to the program, while meeting the demands of all of students in the program.  All classes are taught by experienced teachers who possess certification in ESL and/or TEFL.  Classes meet twice daily, for 3 hours each session, four days per week, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon, and from 1:15 P.M. to 4:15 P.M., for a total of 24 clock hours of instruction for 15 weeks or 360 contact hours per trimester for two trimesters or 720 contact hours for completion of the program.

The THSU English as a Second Language Program (ESL) is based on and designed from best practices research as defined by the US Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), which publishes frameworks for ESL programs.  Our vision is in sync with the Department’s view which details that successful programs be designed to be flexible, innovative, accountable, and taught by qualified Instructors. 


Educational Objectives of the English as a Second Language Programs

 The objectives of the ESL Program are to equip our students to:

 §  Develop their desired level of English language proficiency through intensive instruction and practice in all language skill areas (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and Grammar).

 §  Develop the academic skills necessary to be successful on the TOEFL examination and in the American university classroom.

 §  Adapt successfully to American life and culture and become full participants in their community.


Admission Requirements and Procedures

 All international students are required to adhere to the regulations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. University procedures and regulations for non-U.S. citizens must also comply with federal law; therefore, admission requirements for international students, including permanent residents, differ from those for United States citizens.  All foreign credentials must be evaluated by a credential service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).  All credentials submitted to the University are retained by the University.

 The THSU English as a Second Language Admissions Committee seeks candidates who show a strong potential for success in today’s global environment. Candidates who demonstrate interpersonal skills and personal commitment and motivation are invited to apply.


The University accepts candidates for admission three (3) times per year, in January, May, and September. Initial assessment of English language proficiency is required for admission to the course of study with the TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) or IELTS. Students must have a documented minimum TOEFL iBT score of < 32 > or IELTS score of < 4.0 > to be admitted to the ESL Program.

 To assess these characteristics, the committee will look to the following elements to help identify a candidate’s potential to succeed in the program: 

●  Official transcript(s) indicating a minimum of 60 semester credits (or equivalent quarter credits), applicable toward a baccalaureate degree, in general education with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; 

● TOEFL English language proficiency iBT test score of at least 32 or IELTS score of 4;

● Two letters of recommendation from references who can speak to the candidate’s interests and professional performance; and

● A letter of interest from the applicant, explaining his or her reasons for attending the THSU English as a Second Language program.

 Note:  Personal interviews may be conducted at the request of the Admissions Committee after a complete application package has been received.  Exceptions to the above requirements are subject to approval by the Admissions Committee.

In addition, the following items are required for admission to the program:

1.       A completed ESL Program application.

2.       A copy of applicant’s birth certificate.

3.       Two full-face, passport-sized photographs.

4.       A non-refundable application fee of $150.00USD for applicants not residing in the U.S.

5.       A $200.00USD fee for the evaluation of transcripts, credentials, and other overseas documents.

6.       One official transcript in English translation sufficient to establish the completion of the equivalent of at least 60 semester credits at the undergraduate level; such transcripts must be mailed to the University from the institutions where the coursework was completed.  If the official transcript is not available in English, contact the Admissions Coordinator for further assistance.

7.       Proof of sufficient financial resources for educational and personal expenses.




Course Name

Clock Hours

First Trimester




Language Assessment and Comprehensive Review


Second Trimester




Intensive TOEFL Preparation





Program Assessment


All students are required to submit their TOEFL score as a basis for admission to the program.  Each student is assessed regularly throughout the program to determine progress in mastering English proficiency and receive the intensive personal instruction required in order to pass the TOEFL at the desired level by the end of the second trimester.  All students must pay for the tests on their own.  The tests are administered online and developed by ETS (Education Testing Service) and administered at several testing centers in Austin and throughout the Central Texas region.


Program Advancement and Completion

 ESL courses at Texas Health and Science University are non-credit-bearing courses.  Students must have an overall grade of 70% or higher to pass a course and move on to the next level.  Students who score less than 70% must retake the course. A course may be retaken only one time. (See Academic Standards section for more details.)

 Regular attendance in class is required for all students, and the instructor takes attendance twice daily.  The University will award a Certificate of Completion to each student upon completion of two trimesters of instruction in the ESL Achieve TOEFL curriculum and the achievement of a minimum score of 50 in the TOEFL Internet-based test or 5.5 in the IELTS test.


 Course Descriptions

 L-801 – Language Assessment and Comprehensive Review (360 Hours)

This introductory course to the ESL Achieve TOEFL curriculum is designed for non-native High Beginner – Low Intermediate speakers of English who score in the following range on the TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): 32 – 44 (or an IELTS score of 4.0-4.5).  The purpose of this course is to establish a foundation of basic English grammar, vocabulary and skills necessary for daily life, as well as preliminary academic skills that will prepare the student for further study in academic English.  The 15-week course provides initial assessment of the student’s deficiency in English language comprehension of vocabulary, word usage, grammar and pronunciation, and assessment of the student’s reading comprehension and writing skills.  The course enables each student to develop a plan of study and learning strategies that is intended to advance the student toward the TOEFL levels desired for completion of the curriculum within two trimesters.  Prerequisite:  None.

 L-802 – Intensive TOEFL Preparation (360 Hours)


The second course in the ESL Achieve TOEFL curriculum is designed for Low Intermediate to Intermediate speakers of English who score in the following range on the TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): 45 – 59 (IELTS score of 5.0 – 5.5).  This course builds upon the foundation, strategies and skills developed in the introductory course.  The primary focus of the course is to develop foundational academic English competencies in the following areas:  Listening/Speaking, Reading/Writing, TOEFL Testing Strategies and Key Vocabulary, which are intended to equip the student to enter an academic degree program at the university level.  The course also continues to introduce aspects of American culture and language necessary for daily life and the acculturation process.  Prerequisite:  None.

Tuition and Fees

For ESL Achieve TOEFL Program

Classroom Tuition                                                                                                                                   $5,400.00 per trimester

($15.00 per clock hour)

 One-Time Fees

Application Fee (Non-Refundable)                                                                          

            Domestic Students                                                                                                                       $ 75.00

 International Students                                                                                                                  $150.00

 International Student Foreign Transcript Evaluation Fee                                                             $200.00


Trimester Deposit                                                                                                                                     $250.00

(Applicable toward first trimester tuition)


Recurring Fees

Student Services Fee                                                                                                                               $110.00

(Including facility, wifi, library, tutoring, administrative services…etc.)                                                                                                            per trimester


Library Fees                                                                                                                                              Varies

(All fees for late returns, lost books, print and copy services are detailed in the library manual.   per trimester

Fines and penalties must be paid prior to registration.                                                   


Textbooks, reference materials, duplication costs (estimate)                                                                   $150.00

                                                                                                                                 per trimester


TOEFL iBT Assessment exams (estimate)                                                                                               $160.00 – 250.00

Assessment exams administered by ETS.  Fees are paid directly to ETS and vary according to location.                                                                               per exam


Additional Fees

Late Registration                                                                                                                                       $ 25.00

Payable if registration fee is not received at least one week before the start of each trimester.
Does not apply to new students.

Student I.D. Card replacement                                                                                                                 $ 5.00

Duplicate Certificate                                                                                                                                 $ 25.00

Official Transcripts                                                                                                                                   $ 15.00

Transcripts will be provided upon receipt of a signed, written request and a fee of $15.00 each, provided all financial obligations are met.


Total Estimated Cost of Tuition                                                                                                            $11,135.00

(Two trimesters is the recommended schedule for this program of study. THSU reserves the right to make adjustments

 to tuition and fees that reflect changes in the cost of living and education, subject to governing board approval.)