2020-21 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 US 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 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. The division assists students in submitting their applications, requesting evaluations of their previous transcripts, registering for tours and other recruitment events, and registering for the Accuplacer. Whole-class lessons on the application and admissions process, as well as on what to expect when taking the Accuplacer, are also provided to students.

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.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, IELP recognized that US embassy closures, active case numbers worldwide, and travel restrictions would affect students’ ability to travel to the United States. IELP began offering hyflex courses so that students could participate through live, synchronous classes alongside our face-to-face students. While most students chose to defer their admission to a future semester, this was a benefit to some students. IELP will continue to assess enrollment data to determine whether to continue hyflex in the future or to revert to the previous delivery method of utilizing in-person instruction exclusively.

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 the personnel structure for fiscal efficiency, the IELP director also teaches a full-time course load as needed based on enrollment. During class times, no IELP faculty or administrator is in the office to meet with visitors. However, the office has partnered with a neighboring office so that any visitors are greeted and informed that the IELP director is in the classroom.

IELP also utilizes a 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 international students prepare to begin academic programs at UA Little Rock, IELP analyzes the previous knowledge that is expected of incoming freshmen. Every semester includes a unit, modified for each of the linguistic proficiencies of the different 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 the students into the campus community through existing models such as events during International Celebration Week and Diversity Month. IELP also encourages and assists students to connect with various campus groups and organizations.

Two-thirds of the departmental employees have completed the UA Little Rock Safe Zone training. The office spaces of these allies display the Safe Zone symbol to signify that the space is a safe place to talk about issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community.

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

IELP has partnered with several other offices to share the usage and costs of a copier/printer and fax machine, resulting in a significant reduction of financial expenses.

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 as needed based on enrollment. The IELP director and all faculty also function as transitions advisors 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. Students are also encouraged 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 2020-2021, many cultural exploration opportunities were limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IELP participated in outdoor curricular studies including the UA Little Rock Campus Garden, Little Rock Zoo, and River Market. 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.

6) Other

No information provided.

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


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

IELP Admissions and Deferrals:

  • Fall 2020 — 9 admissions; 2 deferrals
  • Spring 2021 — 130 admissions; 82 deferrals
  • Summer 2021 — 169 admissions; 64 deferrals to date

IELP Students Served:

  • Summer 2 2020 — 3 students
  • Fall 2020 — 3 students
  • Spring 2021 — 6 students
  • Summer 1 2021 — 3 students

Assessment 1

Type of assessment (learning outcome or operational)



To assess the customer service of each department under the Division of Student Affairs.

Activity or experience being assessed

The customer service experience of the campus community.

Assessment artifacts

Survey via QR Code and web address found on easily accessible posters posted within Student Affairs

The survey asked the following questions, with an option to leave additional feedback:

I’m satisfied with how the employee handled my inquiry.
This employee resolved my issue.
This person was timely in resolving my issue.
This person communicated in a clear manner.
This person was professional and courteous.
This person made me feel valued.

Time period assessment was done

FY 2021


Despite having posters everywhere and adding the link to the survey in all Student Affairs email signature lines, there were no responses to the survey.

Continuous improvement process

The Division of Student Affairs will continue to develop ways to elicit the campus community’s feedback to better assess staff responsiveness, professionalism, and competency.

Assessment 2

Type of assessment (learning outcome or operational)



Increase engagement with social media in target markets.

Activity or experience being assessed

IELP social media ad campaigns

Assessment artifacts

Analytics from social media companies regarding engagement with the ads

Time period assessment was done

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021


IELP analyzed data from existing IELP social media followers, the 2018 IELP social media promotion, IELP enrolled students, UA Little Rock enrolled international students, and global student mobility trends as reported by the Institute of International Education and NAFSA Association of International Educators to determine a targeted list of countries for the audience market. The ad ran on Facebook and Instagram, which were the primary social media platforms in the targeted countries. The total reach was 197,023 (76.6% of this was on Facebook and 24.4% on Instagram). The ad generated 331,946 impressions and started 124 messaging conversations.

The purpose of this assessment was to determine if a more targeted approach resulted in increased engagement than the 2018 IELP social media promotion. Facebook has since modified the data reported in ad campaigns so an accurate comparison of results could not be determined. However, the results of the 2020 campaign yielded several potential modifications for future campaigns.

Facebook and Instagram utilize more of a campaign’s budget to areas that are performing better than others. In a multi-country campaign, differences in time zones and days of the work week can affect early performance. As we noticed in the campaign, there were several countries that had 0 reach or engagement, despite a vast percentage of the population of these countries using these social media platforms. In the future, we will assess the results of creating several smaller campaigns by region or country rather than one large campaign consisting of all target markets.

Continuous improvement process

No changes have been made in FY21 because there was not another campaign done this year.

Continuous improvement process

Of the countries identified as primary markets (to be continually reviewed), separate ad campaigns by region or country, will be created as appropriate. When possible, materials in the languages of the target markets will be created based on languages spoken by IELP faculty who could also respond in that language to messaging conversations. The timing of regional ad campaigns will be based on recommendations for the best times of year to interact virtually with students in specific countries by EducationUSA (U.S. Department of State) in their annual Global Guide publication.

When changes will be made in FY22

Fall 2021

Stakeholder involvement / Communication plan

IELP faculty and staff reviewed the results in Spring 2021. IELP meets regularly, with social media and recruiting effectiveness and potential modifications being regular topics of discussion.

Assessment 3

Type of assessment (learning outcome or operational)

Student learning/CAS: Interpersonal Competence


Develop hyflex online instruction for English Language Learners.

Activity or experience being assessed

Synchronous and asynchronous communicative activities for classes; conversation partners between IELP students and UA Little Rock undergraduate students.

Assessment artifacts

Observations, individual student interviews, end-of-course survey

Time period assessment was done

Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021


IELP faculty combined all classes together for one class module weekly (approximately 90 minutes) to participate in whole-program communicative activities focused on listening and speaking. Observations of student participation in communicative activities, formative instructional assessments, informal student feedback, and improvement in students’ oral proficiency skills indicated that weekly communicative activities that combined all IELP students, regardless of level or class placement, were overwhelmingly successful. By combining students of varying class levels, students were able to expand their social circles and support systems, and they were exposed to a wider variety of vocabulary, grammatical structures, and cultures than they would have experienced otherwise. Additionally, students expressed that the activities helped them feel less isolated, especially during Summer 2020 when all instruction was delivered remotely. Students also commented that they felt more comfortable experimenting with new linguistic structures in the program-wide communicative activities because they were designed to be entertaining and were low-stakes (no grades, prior preparation, or out-of-class assignments based on the activities).

Also, students were provided the optional opportunity to be partnered with a conversation partner to meet with weekly outside of class. Participation in the conversation partner program was low due to several COVID-19-related factors, including family responsibilities outside of regular class time, students working additional hours, and visual and mental weariness of extended use of video chat during class sessions. With low participation numbers, any detailed results released publicly would therefore be personally identifiable information. Overall, results were positive and the program will continue in FY22.

Continuous improvement process

Content and delivery methods of communicative activities were modified each semester based on the distribution of students’ English language proficiency levels and methods of attendance (remote, in-person, or hybrid). Adaptations were also continually made throughout each semester based on the linguistic and social needs of students.

Delivery methods, content, and partner selection of conversation partner activities were modified based on each student’s individual needs and preferences.

When changes were made in FY21


Continuous improvement process

Communicative activities and opportunities for conversation partners will continue in FY22, using the same continuous improvement process as in FY21. Instructors will meet regularly to determine student needs and adjust activities accordingly.

When changes will be made in FY22


Stakeholder involvement / Communication plan

IELP instructors met weekly to discuss the effectiveness of each week’s communicative activity and to plan the following week’s activity. IELP faculty reviewed assessment data regularly. The IELP director met with students participating in the conversation partner program to determine their satisfaction, learning, needs, and preferences. This qualitative data, along with quantitative data on participating students’ oral skill progression, were evaluated by IELP faculty several times each semester.

Priorities for Next Year

  • Increase IELP marketing and outreach domestically.
  • Increase admitted IELP students’ engagement and enrollment.
  • Expand IELP’s diversity curriculum beyond surface knowledge of diversity in the US as observers to encourage students to become active participants in diversity initiatives as autonomous learners and agents of change.