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Abstract: Effect Of A University Operated Intensive English Program (Iep) On Engineering Student Academic Success

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Modeling Student Data

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.151.1 - 14.151.17



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Paper Authors


Isaac Wait Marshall University

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Isaac Wait is an assistant professor of engineering at Marshall University in the area of environmental engineering. He earned BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.

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Andrew Nichols Marshall University Orcid 16x16

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Andrew Nichols is an assistant professor of engineering at Marshall University in the area of transportation engineering. He earned a BS in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University, and MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Effect of a university-operated Intensive English Program (IEP) on engineering student academic success


An investigation into the effects of a university-level Intensive English Program (IEP) on academic success for engineering students attending an American-style university in the Middle East. At some universities, IEPs are used to improve English language proficiency for students not meeting a minimum required TOEFL score, but who are otherwise qualified for admission. In this study, students’ overall GPA, major-specific GPA, graduation rate, and preferred learning methods were analyzed relative to enrollment in IEP. Analyses of variance were utilized to characterize the statistical significance of GPA differences between IEP attendees and non- attendees, and two-way cross tabulation (chi-square analysis) was used to determine the statistical significance of differences in graduation rate.

Results show that IEP yields a significant improvement in academic achievement for engineering students with a TOEFL score less than 500, but offers reduced or insignificant benefit to students in other TOEFL score categories and to non-engineering students. Effect of IEP was observed to differ by student gender: relatively higher gains in GPA for males who had earlier attended IEP than for females who had attended IEP. Preferred learning styles for engineering students were not shown to vary as a function of having previously participated in IEP.


The pursuit of university-level education in the English language is increasing in popularity, and a growing number of students are choosing to enroll in English-language universities located in countries where English is not a primary or official language. Within the Middle East, where the process of obtaining a visa to study in North American or Western Europe is perceived to be difficult or unlikely to yield favorable results, many students who desire an American-style and/or English-language education are choosing to enroll in a growing number of English- language, western universities in their home countries.

Some of these institutions are organized as branch campuses of established universities in the west (e.g., New York University Abu Dhabi; Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar; George Mason University, Ras Al Khaimah; Texas A&M University at Qatar; Michigan State University Dubai; Cornell University – Qatar Campus; Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai; Georgetown University in Qatar; Northwestern University in Qatar; University of Wollongong in Dubai; Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar; New York Institute of Technology Bahrain; University of Exeter Dubai; Middlesex University Dubai; etc.).

Other of these universities are independent institutions that may be (or have been) affiliated, to varying degrees, with western universities for purposes of start-up consultation, curriculum advisory assistance, and accreditation review assistance (e.g., The British University in Dubai; American University of Beirut; American University of Cairo; King Abdulla University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia); American University of Sharjah; American University

Wait, I., & Nichols, A. (2009, June), Abstract: Effect Of A University Operated Intensive English Program (Iep) On Engineering Student Academic Success Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4823

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