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International Scholar Transition Program

Ohio Northern University offers an International Scholar Transition (Pathways) Program that allows non-native English users with TOEFL iBT scores between 50 and 78 or IELTS scores between 5.5 and 6.0 to begin work toward a degree while also taking courses to improve academic English skills. Students who successfully complete the two-semester ISTP begin academic majors full-time the follow semester.

The Advantages of the International Scholar Transition Program

  • ISTP students earn college credits that fulfill degree requirements while also improving their English skills.
  • ISTP courses focus on competence in academic listening, reading, speaking and vocabulary.
  • ISTP offers a college composition sequence that fulfills the University's English writing seminar requirement.*
  • ISTP students work with major academic advisors to plan an academic schedule leading to a degree.
  • ISTP classes carry academic credit that may be used as electives in some degree programs.  (Check with the program advisor.)

*Placement in English 1511 accompanied by English 1311 is determined by a writing assessment given to international students during orientation.

How does the International Scholar Transition Program Work?

Qualified degree-seeking students are admitted to the ISTP and remain in the program for the first academic year, taking full advantage of the opportunity to focus on improving English proficiency in preparation for full-time academic study. The ISTP course sequence provides a solid foundation in academic English so that students are prepared to meet the challenges of full-time academic studies in their chosen disciplines (majors) in the United States.  The ISTP is usually a year of study; students have up to three semesters to complete the program.

What is the relationship of ISTP to IEP?

The two programs are separate but inter-related.  ISTP focuses on high level English skills required for university course work; the IEP focuses on lower and intermediate level English skills required for living within a university environment on an American campus.  The IEP also takes students to full academic studies if their sponsoring body does not permit ISTP/Pathways study. 

Students with iBTOEFL scores below 50 study in the IEP; students with iBTOEFL scores above 50 can study in the ISTP if the sponsors permit.  Students can take no academic coursework while in IEP, but ISTP students engage in academic coursework while they refine English skills.  

If placement scores dictate, ISTP students may take some course work in the IEP, just as high level IEP students may take some course work in the ISTP.

ISTP and related courses count toward a student's major and degree. 

English Language Programs
Dukes Memorial 228
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed