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Program Specifics

Program description

In order to help AdvantageVT participants become self-sufficient, responsible university students, we have developed a curriculum that prepares them for the academic rigors of a top-ranked American university while also helping them improve their English language skills.  The program also provides the skills students will need to succeed in both their academic and social lives.

AdvantageVT combines advanced English language training (English for Academic Purposes) with Virginia Tech undergraduate credit-bearing courses. Completed Virginia Tech credit-bearing courses count toward the undergraduate degree curricular requirements. The program is one to three semesters in duration, depending on a student’s English language proficiency upon entry.  

The English for Academic Purposes courses in AdvantageVT closely support credit-bearing classes.  University Success Seminars on the topics of study skills, time management, interpersonal communication, and other similar subjects help students better adjust to the demands of undergraduate study. 

Level 3 placement

For students placed at Level 3, English for Academic Purposes 300 and University Success Seminar make up the first semester of AdvantageVT.  Two credit-bearing courses pertinent to students’ intended majors are introduced in the second semester. Students will also take English for Academic Purposes 400 and part two of the University Success Seminar during the second term.  In their third semester, students placed at Level 3 will take three credit-bearing courses and English for Academic Purposes 500.   

Level 2 placement

Students placed at Level 2 begin taking credit courses relevant to their pathway (engineering, science or business) in their first semester.  Two credit courses make up half of their first semester program, with English for Academic Purposes 400 and the University Success Seminar making up the balance.  In their second semester, Level 2 students will take three credit courses plus English for Academic Purposes 500.    

Level 1 placement

Students who place at Level 1 will have one semester in the pathway program.  Over the course of this term, they will take two credit courses, English for Academic Purposes 500 and the University Success Seminar.

Course descriptions

English for Academic Purposes 300 (Level 3)

This course provides the academic preparation required for success in introductory university courses, including advanced English training focusing on the four language skill areas (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). Content focus will be in the areas of engineering, science, and business. 

University Success Seminar 300 (Level 3)

Seminar exploring university culture in general and policies and resources at Virginia Tech in particular. Participants will become aware of opportunities and responsibilities regarding student life, effective study habits, and self-management. There are weekly projects and assessments.

English for Academic Purposes 400 (Levels 3-2-1)

EAP 400 promotes academic skills such as analytical, critical, and creative thinking; interpersonal communication; technology literacy; and self-monitoring while developing college-level proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Content focus will be in the areas of engineering, science, and business. Team as well as individual activities are incorporated.

University Success Seminar 400 (Levels 3-2)

Seminar that cultivates a working knowledge of the details of degree planning, effective studies, support services, and the dynamics of academic interactions.   Participants will become aware of opportunities and responsibilities regarding student life, effective study habits, and self-management. Projects and assessments occur weekly.

English for Academic Purposes 500 (Levels 3-2-1)

EAP 500 further cultivates academic skills including reflective thinking and problem-solving, teamwork and leadership information literacy, and goal-oriented self-adjustment while polishing English language skills. Content focus will be in the areas of engineering, science, and business. Team and individual activities are practiced.

University Success Seminars topics

  • Develop methods for effective note taking
  • Set goals and manage time
  • Understand the university’s Acceptable Use policy
  • Explore Virginia Tech’s colleges and degree programs, as well as the university class structures
  • Cultivate emotional intelligence
  • Understand email etiquette and classroom communication
  • Utilize the University Libraries and web resources at Virginia Tech
  •  Follow the Undergraduate Honor Code
  •  Explore Virginia Tech’s student organizations and clubs
  • Discover the university’s athletic and health resources
  • Learn personal habits of health and wellness
  • Understand Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community
  • Explore the history of Virginia Tech
  • Learn to conduct a research project