Program Description

The IEP is an academic English language program serving intermediate to advanced English language learners. Learn more about our program structure and courses below.

Three Levels of Instruction

Level 4 – Intermediate
Level 5 – High Intermediate
Level 6 – Low Advanced

New students take a placement test when they arrive to determine their level.  Depending on their level, they will take 23-25 hours of classes each week.

Each level takes approximately one semester (15 weeks) to complete.  Students have the option to take a summer session (10 weeks) to attempt to pass a level. Note that Level 4 is typically not offered during the summer due to low demand. The summer session is usually recommended for returning students only due to its shortened schedule and intensive nature. Summer is best for motivated new students who have at least a TOEFL iBT 70 or place into our Levels 5 and 6.

IEP Courses

Our conversation and presentation skills classes are designed to give students tips and tricks to increase confidence when speaking with native-English speakers.
  • Learn to clearly present information and/or research in front of an audience
  • Learn how to structure an academic presentation and clearly present information, opinions, and/or research in front of an audience
  • Develop speaking skills so that you are better understood
  • Practice vital conversational skills such as:
    • expressing opinions in one-on-one conversations
    • participating in small group discussions
    • asking for clarification and using follow-up questions 
Understanding what you hear in an academic, business, or informal setting requires sharp listening skills. While all class activities are created to increase general listening skills, the primary focus will be listening to authentic lectures and learning how to effectively take notes of important facts and ideas. In this class, students will:
  • Listen for the main idea and details
  • Practice strategies for following involved conversations
  • Use a variety of techniques to increase note-taking speed
  • Utilize strategies for regaining focus during a long, and/or complex academic lecture

These skills are particularly useful for students who will be continuing their academic studies after the IEP since undergraduate and graduate students spend most of their university class time listening to lectures and taking notes.

This class is designed to introduce IEP students to authentic examples of the styles, vocabulary, and reading topics often seen in undergraduate classes at an American college or university. Lessons will focus on reading strategies, critical thinking, annotating, vocabulary skills, and discussing written texts. Students will have opportunities to strengthen their reading comprehension and fluency by reading texts from a variety of reading types (news and business reports, journal articles, academic research, etc.).
In order to succeed at work or in school, you must have knowledge and confidence in your ability to write in English. In these classes, our instructors use a variety of writing tasks so that you can practice writing skills and use advanced grammatical structures.  Depending on your level, you might find yourself writing some of the following:
  • Movie review
  • Response to a test or essay question
  • Narrative about an architectural structure
  • Analytical report
  • Business plan
  • Compare/contrast magazine article
  • Persuasive magazine article
  • Data analysis and summary

Additionally, students who place into our highest level will learn how to research and write a short- to medium-length research paper. This task will focus on using appropriate resources and, most importantly, how and when to cite outside sources in a research paper.

This class is designed for new students and is taken the first semester of enrollment in the IEP.  ALUC  provides discussions with the other IEP students, NC State student mentors, and the course instructor on topics related to being successful as an international student.  Topics include:
  • Academically-focused aspects of student life such as:
    • Communication strategies
    • Time management and goal setting
    • Academic policies and resources available on campus
    • Working effectively in groups
  • Cultural information
  • Practical advice pertinent to students’ success

Passing a Level

  • Receive a GPA of 3.0 or higher*
  • Have approximately 90% overall attendance rate

*A student that does not pass their current level the first time is given two additional, consecutive semesters (e.g. fall 2019, spring 2020, summer 2020) in which to pass that level.

NC State Grading System

Numeric grades are given for all work assigned in class including daily homework assignments, quizzes, in-class assignments, tests and exams. In the IEP, numeric grades are based on a scale of 1 to 100.

The equivalent letter grades are as follows:

A+97-100B+87-89C+77-79
A93-96
B83-86C73-76
A-90-92B-80-82C-70-72
FBelow 70

Completing the IEP

  • Complete level 6 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and meet all other exit criteria
  • Have approximately 90% overall attendance rate

Sample Schedule

Class TimeMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
8:30 - 10:00Conversation & Presentation SkillsListening & Note-TakingConversation & Presentation SkillsListening & Note-Taking
10:00 - 10:40BreakBreakBreakBreakBreak
10:40 - 12:40Academic Writing & Advanced GrammarAcademic Writing & Advanced GrammarAcademic Writing & Advanced GrammarAcademic Writing & Advanced Grammar
12:40 - 12:50BreakBreakBreakBreakBreak
12:50 - 1:50American Life & University Culture
1:50 - 1:55BreakBreakBreakBreakBreak
1:55 - 3:55Academic Reading & VocabularyAcademic Reading & VocabularyAcademic Reading & VocabularyAcademic Reading & Vocabulary