LCCC strives to meet the needs of English language learners in our community by offering both credit and non-credit ESL courses. Each program is designed to help you develop English language skills to prepare you for life, college, and career goals.
Credit ESL Program
- College level ESL courses every semester (intermediate to advanced)
- Prepares students for college and career
- Daytime or evening schedules at main campus and Allentown
- Credit ESL testing schedule
Noncredit ESL Program
- Beginner to intermediate level classes every 8 weeks
- Prepares students for employment, citizenship, and credit ESL courses
- Daytime or evening classes in Allentown
- Non Credit ESL Class Application
The mission of the ESL Program embodies the LCCC college vision to promote academic excellence, student achievement, and support of diverse populations based on student-centered values by delivering high quality academic English courses and holistic support to non-native speakers. Students in the ESL program bring a diverse and global perspective to the campus experience while achieving academic and career goals.
Credit ESL FAQs
Credit courses are tuition-based and prepare students with the academic language skills necessary to be successful in college and career. Placement testing is required for each program and scores determine which courses you are eligible to register for.
Non-credit courses are designed to teach basic English language skills for daily life, to prepare students for credit ESL courses, or to be successful in the workforce. Non-credit courses run on a 9-week schedule all year. Most of the non-credit courses are free or have a small fee.
The number of courses you take depends on the results of your placement test and whether you want to be full-time (12 credits) or part-time (3-9 credits.) ESL courses are offered in the skill areas of reading, writing, speaking/listening. Beginning ESL students may want to take each of these courses while some students will test out of a particular skill area. Students may also choose to take content courses at the same time as advanced ESL courses. International students must be full-time and take a minimum of 12 credits. It is important to discuss your courses with an ESL Admissions Representative or Academic Advisor to make sure you are on the best path forward.
Even if you have been in school in the United States, you may still want to take the advanced courses in particular because they offer specialized linguistic support that prepares you for college-level work. International students who have studied English for a long time may also want to take the advanced level course, ESL 251 (English for Academic Purposes), which helps students become familiar with American writing styles and course expectations. We highly recommend taking the ACT ESL placement test first to be sure.
The non-credit program does not offer college credit.
You do earn college credit for ESL courses in the credit program, but your grades do not count toward your GPA, except for ESL 251 (English for Academic Purposes.) You may receive credit for ESL 251 as an humanities elective in some majors. All ESL courses are 3-credits except ESL 251 (English for Academic Purposes), which is 6-credits.
Most students taking 6 credits or more qualify for some type of financial assistance. You should make sure you have completed the FAFSA on time to learn if you are eligible for federal or state financial aid.
Non-citizens must have an “eligible noncitizen” status to qualify for financial aid.
If you have a bachelor’s degree from any country, you are not eligible for federal or state grants.
All students must take the ESL placement test to be placed in the appropriate level courses. The test is free. Testing hours are available regularly during the day by appointment at both the Donley Center in Allentown and at the Main Campus in Schnecksville.
If English is an additional language for you, plan to take the ESL placement test. ESL students are placed in ESL courses based on ESL Test scores, a writing sample, and an interview. Students below a certain level are advised to take non-credit ESL courses at the Donley Center. It is not unusual for students to test at different levels in reading, writing, and speaking. Some students do not need courses in each of these areas. You should work with the ESL Assistant after you complete the exam to determine the best placement for you.
Even if you have been in school in the United States for a long time, you may still want to take the advanced ESL courses in particular because they offer specialized linguistic support that prepares you for college-level work. International students who have studied English for a long time may also want to take the advanced level course, ESL 251 (English for Academic Purposes), which helps students become familiar with American writing styles and course expectations.
IMPORTANT: Be prepared for a 3-hour period of time. Children are not permitted to stay with you during the test, and they may not be in the building unattended. Please be on time. If you are late for your test, you may have to reschedule.
LCCC offers many types of support for students. Tutoring in language and subject courses is available for free for ESL students (and all students) by appointment at both main campus and the Donley Center. Counselors are also available at both campuses to help students with issues such as test anxiety and study skills.