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About English Language Services


The mission of English Language Services at Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) is...

To provide engaging English language instruction in a dynamic learning environment relevant to the academic and professional needs of non-native learners.


English Language Services (ELS) is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period April 2018 through April 2023 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact CEA, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400,

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English Language Services is also accredited under the university through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and licensed to operate under the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

English Language Services offers several options for students to develop their language abilities.  To view information about the various programs, please click on the respective link. Thank you!


Although English Language Services was officially formed in 2015, the School of Applied Technology (SAT) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) began offering courses in English as a Second Language in 2002 in response to a request from a Korean cohort coming to the university for Information Technology certificates. At that time, short-term certificate programs were created consisting of ESL courses in listening/speaking and writing/vocabulary combined with academic coursework in IT and business as well as optional internships with local Chicago businesses. Within five years, this program grew to support partnerships with a variety of prestigious South Korean and Chinese universities.

In April 2010, Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business reached out to SAT in order to explore the idea of developing a targeted communication program for international graduate business students. A short time later in the fall of 2010, the Professional Communication Advancement (PCA) Program was launched focusing on offering half-semester English communication courses designed specifically for graduate business students.

In Spring 2011, because of the success of the PCA program and in response to a university demand for a structured method of supporting international student success at Illinois Tech, English Language Services began offering ESL courses to the international student body. By fall of 2012, Proficiency in English as a Second Language (PESL) courses were required for all international graduate students lacking English proficiency. Since 2012, the English Language Program (commonly referred to as PESL) has offered two levels—high intermediate and advanced—in Reading and Vocabulary Development, Academic Writing, and Listening Enhancement. Effective Communication courses were added as a requirement in Spring 2013.

In Fall 2013, Illinois Tech welcomed a group from the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program for our first English-only program. Because of that, the Intensive English Program (IEP) was formed. In December of 2015, Illinois Tech's IEP was added as one of the SEVP certified programs allowing individual international students to apply and attend the program. Students in the IEP study English 18 hours per week for 12 weeks. The IEP is a four level program consisting of Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, Grammar, and a content-based elective.

In Fall 2014, English Language Services partnered with Institute of Design in order to offer the English for Design program. English for Design combines content-based English instruction with graduate level design education. The program is taught over two semesters concurrently with coursework in the Design Masters program. Its goal is to help students from outside of the US perfect their English fluency inside, and outside, of the classroom.

In Summer 2016, SAT partnered with Illinois Tech’s Chicago-Kent College of Law to offer a four-week Language and Law Prematriculation (LLP) program for international LL.M students who lacked the necessary English proficiency for admission into the LL.M program. Prior to full matriculation into the LL.M program, students attend law workshops while studying English intensively for 25-30 hours per week.

To contact us, please click here.

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