Center for English as a Second Language

C.E.S.L. Pathway Program

The C.E.S.L. Pathway Program began in Fall 2021 with a mix of ESL classes and Pathway Academic courses.

What is a Pathway program?


Pathway programs are preparatory courses that are designed to help international students build the skills, knowledge, and qualifications that they will need to enter a bachelor's degree program.

These programs generally last one academic year, and they do not end with a degree. Throughout these programs, students take a mix of ESL classes and Pathway Academic course work.

  • Full time academic students must be in 12 credits hours per week.
  • If a student is a Pathway Program student they will be in a mix of ESL + Academic courses (which is referred to as Pathway)
  • 18 to 24 clock hours must be maintained even if the student is 9 credit hours of academic coursework, thus the student would need to take an additional hours of ESL simultaneously to remain in USCIS status. 

At the undergraduate level, students may participate in possibly one semester of intensive ESL classes and onto two or three-semesters of Pathway academic courses depending on their initial level of English and on the general improvement of their own proficiency and need for academic support.

PLEASE NOTE: At the moment Graduate Studies has not joined the Pathway program plan.


Academic Success Courses as part of the Pathway Program

  1. wilsonStudents initially will enroll in courses that focus on the academic and acculturation skills required to succeed in an American higher education setting.
  2. By the end of the three semesters in the Pathway courses, students will have developed the following competencies: academic study skills, campus and classroom culture, research, analysis, note taking, and time management.
  3. In addition, students will understand academic integrity and its application in American higher education, active and collaborative participation in academic discussions, confident communication and self-expression, creative and critical thinking and decision-making skills, flexible problem solving, positive and effective responses to differences in values, attitudes, opinions and ideas, awareness of academic culture, norms, etiquette, and behaviors and effective presentation skills.

Courses (Levels 4-5): A Pathway program provides a bridge or a pathway between the Intensive English Program and credit-bearing university courses, allowing students to take ESL courses and some university courses. Levels 4-5 in the curricular outline we provided constitute the "pathway" portion of the program:

Required Academic Support Courses offered at Tennessee Tech University:

    • ESL Integrated Language Skills 1 (ESL 1010) — 3 credits
    • ESL Integrated Language Skills 2 (ESL 1020) — 3 credits
    • College Reading Improvement (UNIV 1010) — 3 credits
    •  Major and Career Exploration (LIST 1610) - 3 credits 
    • Learning Strategies (UNIV 1030) -1 credit