The English Language Bridge (ELB) Program is a one-year program offered to full-time freshmen who speak a first language other than English and meet other qualifying conditions. The ELB Program consists of specialized academic advising and a succession of credit-bearing courses designed to improve academic English skills, completed along with several requisite courses standard for a first-year Saint Mary’s student.
The ELB Program offers an opportunity for both domestic and international students to focus on the development of academic proficiency in the areas of English reading, writing, vocabulary and conversation at a level necessaryfor success in a college setting. The ELB Program prepares minority language students to use the English language at a level that enhances success in all aspects of college life. Admission staff screens applicants for qualifying conditions.
Students whose primary language in the home is not English and/or whose residency in the United States has been for five or fewer years may be offered a place in the ELB Program if two of the following factors are present.
- 17 or lower ACT reading/English score or 420 or lower SAT verbal score; and/or
- High school language arts GPA: below 2.000 on 4.000 scale; and/or
- Grade disparity of 1.0 or greater between high school language arts GPA and GPA in other curricular elements; and/or
- History of successfully using academic support services in high school; and/or
- Recommendation of high school counselor and/or university admission advisor.
If an accepted student elects to enroll in the ELB Program, the director is assigned as an academic advisor and begins the academic advising and registration process.
Students for whom a TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS score and a first-language barrier are present are offered a place in the ELB Program if the following factors are present.
- Student has a valid visa to study in the United States; and
- Student meets all Saint Mary’s admission criteria except TOEFL/MELAB/IELTS score; and
- Student has one of the following English language proficiency scores: TOEFL score of 495–549 (paper based), or 167–212 (computer-based), or 58–78 (internet-based) or a MELAB score of 69–77, or an IELTS score of 5.5–6.5.
If an accepted student elects to enroll in the ELB Program, the director is assigned as an academic advisor and helps the student with the academic advising and registration process.