2019-20 Annual Report – Intensive English Language Program


To prepare international students linguistically, academically, and culturally to succeed in undergraduate and graduate programs at UA Little Rock.

IELP Objectives:

  • To help students improve their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills that will enable them to succeed in university courses
  • To enable students to participate actively in most conversational situations
  • To introduce students to American culture in terms of a typical U.S. campus and community
  • To foster international and intercultural awareness and understanding
  • To assist UA Little Rock in recruiting international students who will contribute to the academic diversity of the campus

Summary Narrative

1) Enhance recruitment and retention efforts to increase enrollment

IELP expanded international recruitment efforts by beginning a pilot with Keystone, an online marketing company, to help us market the university to around six million potential international students in over 100 countries.

IELP faculty and the IELP director/transitions advisor work individually with each student during their final semester to help them enroll in programs at UA Little Rock. We assist students in submitting their applications, requesting evaluations of their previous transcripts, registering for a tour and other recruitment events, and registering for the Accuplacer. We also provide whole-class lessons on the application and admissions process and invite a recruiter from Admissions to speak with students, as well as on what to expect when taking the Accuplacer.

IELP faculty and the IELP director/transitions advisor followed-up several times throughout each semester with IELP graduates who are now enrolled in undergraduate programs at UA Little Rock with a goal of enhancing retention efforts by providing continued assistance in navigating university systems and processes as well as providing additional academic assistance if needed.

2) Strengthen student-friendly operations and customer service

IELP faculty and administration office hours are designed so that all IELP employees are available during the prime time slots for office visits and student meetings, which are the 30 minutes before classes begin and in the hour after classes end. All classes in the IELP program begin and end at the same time each day, which enhances the efficiency of the office hours system.

Due to the streamlined nature of our personnel structure for fiscal efficiency, the IELP director also teaches a full-time course load every semester. During class times, no IELP faculty or administrator is in the office to meet with visitors. However, we have partnered with a neighboring office so that they greet any visitors and inform the IELP director in the classroom of the visitor’s presence.

IELP also utilizes our web-based document request system to increase efficiency and processing speed. This system was created internally by IELP at no cost.

3) Improve diversity and inclusion efforts to provide a safe and inclusive environment for students

The very nature of IELP is one that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion through linguistic and cultural group activities. As we prepare international students to begin academic programs at UA Little Rock, we analyze the previous knowledge that is expected of incoming freshmen. Every semester includes a unit, modified for each of the linguistic proficiencies of our class levels, on the racial history and diversity of the United States and the Civil Rights Movement.

Beyond our program, IELP strives to integrate the diversity of our students into the campus community through existing models such as events during International Celebration Week and Diversity Month. We also encourage and assist IELP students in connecting with various campus groups and organizations.

4) Align financial and human resources to operate more effectively and efficiently

IELP partnered with the Office of International Student Services, Admissions, the Graduate School, and Marketing to share the cost of Keystone, an online marketing company, to help us market the university to around six million potential international students in over 100 countries.

IELP reduced the number of full-time faculty by 71% in AY 2018-2019. Intensive English programs at other institutions under similar circumstances adapted by eliminating their foundations/beginning level and requiring students to have a minimum of an intermediate proficiency for admission. IELP recognized that, by doing so, we would further reduce our student enrollment. In order to maintain the existing class levels and student admissions, the IELP director began teaching a full course load every semester. The IELP director also functions as the program’s transitions advisor in assisting students with the application and admissions process for undergraduate and graduate programs at UA Little Rock.

5) Promote student development, engagement, and leadership

IELP classes routinely participate in opportunities on-campus to discover opportunities for student development and engagement. IELP faculty encourage and assist students in connecting with various campus groups and organizations. We also help and encourage students to connect with the International Friendship Outreach (IFO), which offers opportunities for social and cultural interaction between Americans and internationals in Little Rock. IFO also sponsors a number of social events, outings, and day trips throughout the year.

IELP also arranges conversation partners for interested students. This program matches IELP students with UA Little Rock undergraduate or graduate students to practice conversation and vocabulary through dialogue about culture or other common interests. This also leads to greater student engagement and a feeling of connectedness as IELP students transition to undergraduate or graduate programs.

IELP cultural curriculum includes exploring various local academic and cultural opportunities. In AY 2019-2020, IELP classes toured Oppenheimer Library, UA Little Rock Fitness and Aquatics Center, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Arkansas Historical Museum, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, River Market, Little Rock Zoo, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Pinnacle Mountain, Heifer International, and the Arkansas State Fair. Several IELP students also performed in various campus ensembles through the Music Department, and IELP classes attended these performances to support classmates when the concerts occurred after daily classes ended.

At A Glance


  • Fall and Spring
    • Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, 17.5 contact hours per week
    • 3 hours Cultural Language Enrichment per week
    • 20.5 total hours of instruction per week
    • 280 total hours of instruction per semester
  • Summer
    • Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, 25 contact hours per week
    • 4 hours Cultural Language Enrichment per week
    • 29 total hours of instruction per week
    • 275 total hours of instruction per semester

Class Levels/Proficiency Levels:

  • Foundations
  • Intermediate
  • Pre-University/TOEFL Preparation


  • 2 full-time instructors
  • 1 full-time director (also serves as a 3rd full-time instructor and part-time transitions advisor)

IELP Applications/Deferrals Processed and Admitted:

  • Fall 2019 — 25 admissions
  • Spring 2020 — 20 admissions
  • Summer 2020 — 7 admissions

IELP Students Served:

  • Summer 2 2019 — 8 students
  • Fall 2019 — 14 students
  • Spring 2020 — 12 students
  • Summer 1 2020 — 3 students

IELP to UA Little Rock Undergraduate Matriculation:

*Eligible students defined as students who graduated Pre-University/TOEFL level class and sought undergraduate enrollment. Removed from data calculations are students who have already completed highest degree desired, students only in U.S. for limited time due to arrangement with international partner institution, etc.

  • Summer 2 2019 — 3 students; 75% of eligible students
  • Fall 2019 — 7 students; 87.5% of eligible students
  • Spring 2020 — 3 students; 100% of eligible students (*applications submitted; admission pending to date)
  • Summer 1 2020 — in progress

Assessment 1

Develop hybrid online instruction for English Language Learners.

Type of assessment (learning outcome or operational)


Activity or experience being assessed

IELP created a lesson and formative assessments to ensure students were familiar with BlackBoard functionality prior to use for hybrid and online language instruction delivery.

Assessment artifacts

Students will complete a direct assessment covering the functionality of BlackBoard.

Time period assessment was done

Spring 2020


Due to the migration of in-person classes to remote learning during COVID-19, this goal has been modified. Gaining access to BlackBoard for IELP students is still in progress, so in preparation for the migration IELP faculty selected Google Suite as the remote instruction delivery method. Faculty created and delivered a lesson and formative assessments on the functionality of Google Suite tools during the final days of in-person classes, just in case we needed to quickly migrate remotely. Results of the formative assessment indicated that the lesson and unit were effective at introducing students to Google tools. After remote instruction began, many students commented that Google Suite was easy to use and that they felt the lesson prepared them well for using the tools long-term.

Continuous improvement process
Creating a lesson and direct assessment for Google Suite. Modifications to the lesson have been made based on students’ questions and prior familiarity with Google Suite.

IELP faculty will use the lesson created for Google Suite as a template for a future BlackBoard lesson. The Google Suite assessments were effective and will be migrated to the BlackBoard platform.

WHEN: Fall 2020

Stateholder involvement / Communication plan

IELP faculty are discussing and editing the lesson and formative assessment process.

Assessment 2

Type of assessment (learning outcome or operational)


Compare recruitment tools (Keystone and Study in the USA) to determine which is more effective in creating potential student leads

Activity or experience being assessed

Utilize our existing in-house communication tracking system to track leads from each recruitment tool (Keystone and Study in the USA) and other data.

Assessment artifacts


Time period assessment was done

November 4, 2019, to June 30, 2020


Due to the nature of international recruitment and enrollment as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still too soon to determine how many student leads from Keystone and Study in the USA will become enrolled students. However, we are able to compare the numbers of student leads. From when UA Little Rock’s Keystone entry went live on November 4, 2019, to June 30, 2020, IELP received 596 student leads through Keystone. During the same time period, IELP received 148 student leads from Study in the USA.

Continuous improvement process
IELP will discontinue Study in the USA and will continue with Keystone.

IELP will explore alternative international student recruitment methods to replace Study in the USA and to supplement Keystone.

WHEN:Fall 2020

Stateholder involvement / Communication plan

IELP faculty are reviewing alternative options.

Assessment 3

Type of assessment (learning outcome or operational)

Student Learning – CAS: Interpersonal Competence

Activity or experience being assessed

Combining IELP classes with Applied Communications class Intercultural Communication weekly

Assessment artifacts

Interviews between individual students and instructors; class writings
Time period assessment was done

Fall 2019


Qualitative data were gathered from IELP students in both written and oral form. Common themes included an increased understanding of United States culture, feeling more connected to UA Little Rock students, and a reduced fear of speaking in English with English-speakers. The weekly meetings also increased the number of UA Little Rock undergraduate students volunteering to be conversation partners with IELP students.

Continuous improvement process

IELP faculty and Intercultural Communication faculty have decided to continue the collaboration again in Fall 2020.

During this semester, the groupings of students changed during each class meeting to allow for each participant to interact with the most number of other students possible; however, IELP students suggested that, in the future, the groupings should stay the same each week to allow for deeper relationship building. All faculty involved in the project have decided to use consistent groupings in the Fall 2020 semester.

WHEN: Fall 2020

Stateholder involvement / Communication plan

IELP and Intercultural Communication instructors involved met during and after the project to discuss the effectiveness and changes for the future based on assessment results.

Priorities for Next Year

  • Expand international student recruitment strategies by piloting alternative strategies and analyzing the return on investment for targeted advertising in specific countries
  • Develop and deliver a pilot semester of hybrid instruction