Scranton summer program gives students chance to refine English language skills

DUNMORE, Pa. — For the second straight summer, Penn State Scranton is offering local ESL (English as a Second Language) students the opportunity to further develop their language skills.

From July 22 to Aug. 9, the campus’ Center for Business Development and Community Outreach will offer its English Language Development Summer College Preparedness Program to high school students or graduates whose primary language is other than English.

The immersive three-week course will be held Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the campus library. Registration fee is $425 for the program, which is open to a maximum of 10 students.

“Realizing that non-native English speakers may not be totally prepared for entry-level college English classes, we decided it was important to have a program where students preparing to go to any college can come for this immersive three-week program,” said Center for Business Development and Community Outreach Director John Drake. “The program not only will improve their English skills, but will also acclimate them to a general college environment.”

Taught by local ESL teachers Shannon Rucker and Allison Carroll, the program aims to enhance students’ English proficiency while also improving the listening, reading, writing and speaking skills that will be integral to a successful first year of college.

In addition, the course will educate students on common terminology used on college campuses, as well provide a tutorial on research techniques, APA Style and the dangers of plagiarism.

To be eligible for the program, students must come from an environment in which English isn’t the primary spoken language. Also, they need to be either a high school graduate or be heading into their senior year of high school. And, they must have a score of 3.5 or higher on the WIDA ACCESS test, or be able to provide evidence of their current English language proficiency level.

Drake said some local school districts may even be eligible to use their Title III funding to help defray students’ expenses.

“Anyone contemplating going to college who feels they have this need are welcome to participate,” Drake said. “And adults who may have recently decided to go to college are welcome to enroll, too.”

To register, or for additional information on the program, contact the Center for Business Development and Community Outreach at 570-963-2600. Or, visit