Handout for Students

Kent State University
ESL Center: 201 Satterfield Hall

Attendance Policy

United State Immigration, governments that sponsor students (SACM, etc...) and Kent State University require ESL students to attend all ESL classes. You are required to have a minimum of 90% attendance in ESL classes (only 4 absences per 7 week module are permitted accepted).

Students' Responsibilities

  • Check and manage your Kent email (...@kent.edu) regularly.
  • Check your class schedule on FlashLine.
  • Make sure you have NO holds on your record. (Flashline / Student/Resources / Courses and Registration / Check Registration Status/View Holds)
  • Make certain that your academic and financial records are in order. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial, Billing and Enrollment Center.


All students are enrolled in courses for credit. This means that you will be given a grade for each class you take. The grades you can earn are:

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • F

Based on the grades you earn, the university registrar will calculate your GPA (grade point average). Students can advance to the next level if their grades are A, B or C. When the semester is over, you can request your transcript. Any visiting students who would like Kent State University to send their transcripts to their home universities need to sign a special release form at the beginning of the semester.

Academic Progress 

The United States government requires students to make forward progress academically in order to maintain student visa status. Therefore, students cannot typically repeat classes with "A" or "B" grades of repeat levels that they have already successfully completed.

Registration and Change of Classes

Based on the results of your placement test, we will assign you your proficiency level and advise you on which classes to enroll in. All full-time students must be enrolled in 8 or 9 credits per module.  Kent State University charges an additional $456 per credit hour for each credit hour enrolled above 16.  If your government sponsors you and you want to drop a class, the ESL Center needs written permission from your government to drop a class. If you do not qualify for full-time status, you can be enrolled in a maximum of 11 credits per semester. Once you are registered, you CANNOT change your classes unless you provide official documentation from a doctor saying why such a change would be necessary.


All students who enroll in ESL classes must pay their tuition in accordance with university payment requirements. If you are not on a payment plan, full payment is required soon  after you register. Students who live on campus are also required to pay for their housing. Both tuition and housing payments need to be made at the Financial, Billing and Enrollment Center.


Whenever an emergency occurs, you may call 911, the emergency Kent police contact number. If there is a problem, but not an actual emergency, call 330-672-2212, the Kent State police contact number.

Personal Issues

If you have any concerns regarding health, family, legal issues or expected travel, please contact your ESL student advisor.

Changing Levels and Criteria for Skipping ESL levels

  • In order to be considered for release or skipping levels, the student must be enrolled in Reading, Writing, Listening and Grammar.

Usually, students move from level to level if they have passing grades in Reading, Writing, Listening AND Grammar. If a student wants to skip one level, he/she must have a GPA of 3.75 or higher. NOTE: Starting Fall 2016, students will not be permitted to skip until completing level 5. In order to advance from level to level, ALL students must get a passing grade in Reading, Writing, Listening, AND Grammar, including students with F2 visas.

Release Policy for Undergraduate Students:

 There are several options for you to be released from ESL:

Full Release

  • If you score 71 (iBT) or 525 (ITP) on the TOEFL, or 6.0 on IELTS.
  • If you attend the intensive ESL program as a full-time student taking Reading, Writing, Listening, Grammar AND Speaking for one module and have a GPA of 3.75 or higher at Levels 8, 9, or 10.
  • If you are in levels 8, 9, or 10 and attend the KSU ESL Center as a full-time student for a minimum of two modules and have a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or higher with no D grades in levels 8-10. All D's in levels 8-10 must be retaken before a student can be fully released.

NOTE: All Kent State University ESL Center students must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA to be released based on a TOEFL or IELTS score. If an ESL Center student has an adequate TOEFL/IELTS score to be released but a cumulative GPA below 2.0, the student must retake any levels 8-10 classes where the student got a D or F until the student's cumulative GPA is above 2.0.

Partial Release

  • TOEFL score: If you score 480-500 (ITP) or a 54-61 (iBT), you may be given permission to enroll in one non-ESL course. If you score 500-524 (ITP) or 61-70 (iBT) you may be given permission to enroll in one or two non-ESL courses..
  • IELTS Academic version score: If you score a 5.5 total plus a 5.0 minimum on the writing section you are eligible for a partial release and can enroll in one non-ESL course.

Release from ESL study does not guarantee your acceptance to a college or major. Students must meet the admission requirements of their individual college and/or department.

Admission Policy for Graduate Students

Release from ESL at the graduate level can only be achieved through acceptable test scores (TOEFL, IELTS) as determined by the department you will study (for example: Business, Aeronautics, Nursing, etc.).

Important Notes
  • The ESL Center Director reserves the right to conduct a final exit interview to confirm release eligibility. The final exit interview may consist of a written essay and/or multiple choice tests.