ESL Institute Policies and Standards

Admission/Placement

All international students who have official TOEFL scores below 550 and all international students who have not taken the official TOEFL exam will be tested by the ESL Institute via the La Crosse Battery of Exams during registration week prior to formal registration in classes. Students who submit TOEFL scores of 550 or above will not be tested by the ESL Institute, will be exempt from the ESL classes, and will be granted full admission status.  Graduate program directors may require graduate students with 550 or above to take the Placement Exam.

Students who receive a score of 80 or above on the La Crosse Battery will be granted exemption from ESL classes and will receive full admission status. Students who receive a score of 79 or below on the La Crosse Battery will be given limited university status and will be placed in the appropriate ESL class-levels.

Note: Students who score a 79 or below on the La Crosse Battery placement exam are allowed to submit an official TOEFL score of 550 PBT (or equivalent on IBT or other UW-L recognized standardized exam) for unrestricted admission to the University.  Students who achieve a 550 TOEFL (or equivalent) while enrolled in ESL courses will be required to wait until the beginning of the next term before being released from the ESL program.  Comparable score: 73 on the internet-based TOEFL exam for undergraduate students. Graduate students are required to have a 79 on the internet-based exam. In lieu of a TOEFL score, a band score of 6.0, with no subscore less than 5.5, is acceptable (for undergraduate study) on the International English Language Testing system (IELTS) exam.

The La Crosse Battery

The La Crosse Battery consists of four tests: Test of Aural Comprehension, Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension), the La Crosse Composition Test, and an oral interview. The La Crosse Battery takes approximately three hours to complete. These tests, which demonstrate a student's proficiency in each language skill, will determine the placement level per skill. 

Students will be placed in levels that are appropriate with their placement score (see below).  Students will progress through the program until they have earned at least a C in courses at the 250 level.  Students will be required to complete courses at the 250 level before being released from the ESL program and being granted unrestricted access to degree programs at UW-La Crosse.  Once students reach the 200 level ESL courses, they will be allowed to take ESL courses and 1-4 credits of UW-L courses outside of ESL.  Once students reach the 250 level ESL courses, they will be allowed to take ESL courses and 1-6 credits of UW-L courses outside of ESL.  Note:  If students do not earn at least a C in their ESL courses at the 250 level, they will be required to retake the ESL courses during the next term.  Students, who fail courses at the 200 level and/or earn below a C at the 250 level, will only be allowed to take university courses outside of ESL based on the decision of the director of the ESL program.

Total Average Score

Courses/ESL Levels

49 or below – Limited university admission

050 sections of 100 series of courses

16 credits of ESL required

(Full-time ESL)

50-59 -- Limited university admission

100 series of courses

16 credits of ESL required

 (Full-time ESL)

60-66 – Limited university admission

110 series of courses

16 credits of ESL required

(Full-time ESL)

67-73 – Limited university admission

150 series of courses

16 credits of ESL required

(Full-time ESL)

74-76 – Limited university admission

200 series of courses

Minimum of 12 credits of ESL required

(allowed to take 1-4 university credits outside of ESL)

77-79 – Limited university admission

250 series of courses

Minimum of 8 credits of ESL required

(allowed to take 1-6 university credits outside of ESL)

80 or above -- Full university admission

Exempt from ESL

(ESL courses optional)

Intersession Periods

Students who have not met the university's English language proficiency requirement will not be allowed to enroll in university courses during intersession periods (J-term and summer term sessions).  Appeals to this policy will be handled on an individual basis.

ESL Retention and Probation Standards

The academic status of a student enrolled in Pass/Fail ESL courses is determined by successful completion of courses with a grade of Pass.  Note: Performance at 80% is required for a grade of pass in ESL transcript credit only courses. 

If a student receives an F grade in all coursework during any semester, the student is declared ineligible to continue.*

The first semester a student receives an F grade in 1-3 courses the student is placed on Probation I.

The second semester a student receives an F grade in 1-3 courses the student is declared ineligible to continue.* 

The third semester a student receives an F grade in 1-3 courses the student is declared ineligible to continue.* 

The fourth semester a student receives an F grade in 1-3 courses the student is declared ineligible to continue and may not appeal for reinstatement to this university.

Definitions of academic status as reported on students' records:
Good Standing – never been on probation I or II or declared ineligible
Good standing I – previously placed on Probation I
Good Standing II – previously placed on Probation II
Probation I – Placed on probation the first time
Probation II – Placed on probation the second time or reinstated (see below) after having been declared ineligible to return

*A student can choose to appeal an ineligible status to an ESL appeals committee (representation from College of Liberal Studies Dean’s Office, the ESL Institute and the Office of International Education).  If the appeal is accepted and the student is reinstated, the student will be placed on Probation II.  If the appeal is denied, the student can choose to appeal to the Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS).  If the CAPS denies the student’s appeal, the student is no longer eligible to continue at this university.  If reinstated by the CAPS, the student will be placed on Probation II. 

Note:  If a student has been declared ineligible 3 times, the student may not appeal for reinstatement to this university.  

 

Contact Information:
ESL Institute
Centennial Hall, Room 1209
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
308 16th Street N.
La Crosse, WI  54601 U.S.A.
eslinstitute@uwlax.edu
Phone:
608-785-8315