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Academic Guidelines

Intensive English and English Essentials

Level placement

The Intensive English Program and English Essentials offer five levels of study: Beginner, High Beginner, Intermediate, High Intermediate, and Advanced. Each tier can be completed in one semester.

Your placement exam score is used to determine your proficiency level, which in turn determines your classes. You must take four hours of class per day: two two-hour core classes. Optional electives are available each term. Electives meet for one hour per day, Monday through Thursday. Typical class schedules are noted below. Changes in electives must be finalized by the "drop/add" deadline published on the registration material.

If you disagree with your level placement, the Intensive English Program director will consider your request for a change. Your placement test and prior course grades (if relevant) will be used to assess your capability to do more advanced work.


In order to make sufficient progress to matriculate into a university, students are expected to attend classes regularly, do all assigned homework and turn in assignments on time, participate in class activities and discussions, and otherwise actively engage in the learning experience. Failing to attend classes can have a significant impact on class grades. If you miss class, it is up to the instructor whether you will be permitted to make up missed work or tests.

Making progress

Your instructors will discuss their grading policies at the beginning of each semester and give you a syllabus, or course plan, that details how their classes are graded.  You will receive a midterm report to document your progress to date.

A final proficiency report will be issued at the conclusion of each semester. Results on the proficiency report determine whether you are eligible to advance to the next proficiency level. Full-time status and a "C" or higher in each core class are required for level advancement; grades below a C indicate that the skills at that level have not yet been mastered.

If students do not pass a course, they will have to repeat the course.

Advancement through the program

Students who pass both courses at a level are considered to have mastered that level and must advance to the next level. Only students who fail a course are allowed to repeat a level. Students who have mastered a course will not be allowed to repeat that course.

Proficiency reports

The proficiency report issued at the conclusion of each term is a summary of grades earned in your classes. Percentage scores reported by your instructors are converted to letter grades and points according to the following scale. Points are weighted according to class hours and then averaged to determine your grade-point average (GPA). This process is repeated for every term you attend, and your GPA is adjusted to account for all courses taken. Results for all terms attended are summarized on your transcript, which is available upon request at the conclusion of your program.

Grade Description Percentage Range Points Earned
A Excellent 90-100 4
B Above average 80-89 3
C Average 70-79 2
D Unsatisfactory 60-69 1
F Failing Below 60 0
W Withdrawal N/A N/A
I Incomplete N/A N/A

Withdrawals and incompletes

Policies concerning withdrawals and incompletes are as follows:

W - Withdrawal

A grade of withdrawal (W) is given only in instances whereby a registered student has departed the school prior to the end of classes in a given term, and then only in serious and compelling cases where the cause of withdrawal is clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of a final grade is not possible. Ordinarily, such cases would be limited to a death in the family, accident, or serious illness. A withdrawal constitutes total withdrawal from the LCI, and therefore a student who has withdrawn must re-apply for admission if he or she seeks to return. A grade of withdrawal may only be assigned by the LCI director.

I - Incomplete

An "incomplete" is assigned when a student has been doing satisfactory work in a course, but for unforeseen reasons is unable to complete course requirements within the required time frame for end-of-term grading. Such reasons must be judged appropriate by the associate director and the instructor. With this understanding, agreement must be reached between the instructor and the student as to when remaining course requirements must be satisfied, not to exceed 30 days from the end of the term. The instructor is responsible for assigning a final grade upon completion and evaluation of the work agreed upon. An incomplete mark (I) remaining on the student's record more than 30 days will automatically become a failing grade (F) and will be counted as such in determining grade-point averages.

Download the Summary of Courses and Proficiency Levels (PDF).

Probation and expulsion

Students who fail their classes or do not meet attendance requirements in any given term will be placed on academic probation for the following term. Students on academic probation for a second consecutive term will be expelled at the conclusion of that term if they do not show evidence of progress.

Appropriate conduct is expected at all times. Improper behavior such as disrupting a class, interrupting others, speaking a language other than English in class, being rude to instructors or fellow students, and harassing others will not be tolerated. Instances of such conduct may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Written warnings are issued to students to document probationary status.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to follow the Virginia Tech Honor Pledge. This pledge states: "I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment."

Plagiarism, or the act of representing another's written work as one's own, is considered academic misconduct in the United States. Plagiarism includes restating (paraphrasing) or quoting another person's writing in academic assignments, without full and clear acknowledgment of the author. Similarly, turning in an assignment completed by another person or a paper written by someone else is considered plagiarism.

A student who is found to have plagiarized another's work in an assignment may be failed for that assignment as a first offense. A repeated incident will result in more severe consequences ranging from failure of the course to expulsion from the program.

Further expectations with respect to student conduct are available in the LCI Student Handbook and the Code of Conduct.

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