The mission of English Language Services (ELS) at Illinois Tech is to provide engaging English language programs and services in a dynamic learning environment relevant to the academic and professional needs of multilingual learners, as well as promote intercultural awareness in the university community.

For more than a decade, English Language Services (“ELS”)  has worked with thousands of international undergraduates and graduates from every college at Illinois Tech, focusing exclusively on the relevant academic communications skills needed for success in the U.S. classroom and working world. In every course offered by ELS, our team of professionals brings real-world materials and relevant experiences to the classroom. We consistently strive to create a dynamic and collaborative environment to support the international student community throughout their time at Illinois Tech.  

Throughout the academic year, ELS offers a range of services to the international student community, including:

  • Semester-long courses in speaking, academic listening, reading and vocabulary, and academic writing 
  • Free virtual workshops on a variety of topics (past workshop topics include, pronunciation, active listening, developing critical thinking skills, and discussion skills around movies)
  • Career development workshops specifically tailored to international students’ needs (in partnership with Illinois Tech’s Career Services)
  • Free weekly conversational practice sessions  
CEA Logo
English USA the American Association of Intensive English Programs

As English Language Services strives for continuous improvement, we focus on the following values:


  • Our first priority is the student
  • We provide innovative and relevant course instruction
  • We develop engaging, student-centered programming and services

Open and Honest Communication

  • We encourage every team member to respectfully express opinions
  • We value constructive feedback and candid conversation
  • We strive to be open-minded in order to learn from one another


  • We respect each other as professionals and trust each other's judgments
  • We value diverse opinions
  • We are committed to professional development and growth


  • We value collaboration to ideate, strategize, and innovate
  • We strive to contribute equally to the success of our department
  • We seek to acknowledge the contributions of all team members

To develop our current departmental Strategic Plan, English Language Services began by reviewing the university’s strategic plan for 2020-25 and adapting key priorities relevant to English Language instruction and support and international student success. 

  1. During academic year 2022, begin a self-study review for CEA re-accreditation of our overall programs and course offerings  
    • Submit self-study timeline in November 2021
    • Begin self-study process in spring 2022 in preparation for submitting final self-study by November 1, 2022
    • Host accreditation reviewers on campus in spring 2023
    • Achieve reaccreditation by August 2023
  2. Develop and continually grow communications and professional development programs for teaching professionals and teaching assistants across the Illinois Tech campus
    • ​​​​​​Pilot a launch of a revised HUM 601 Teaching Assistant Seminar: Introduction to the U.S. Higher Education Classroom to train incoming Illinois Tech teaching assistants for fall 2021 semester in partnership with Academic Affairs
      • ​​​​​​Offer HUM 601 again in spring 2022 in preparation for incorporating pre-semester training in summer 2022
      • Incorporate training components specifically designed for international TAs into the pre-semester training in summer 2022
      • Revise fall 2022 HUM 601 seminar to be a complement to the summer pre-semester training
    • Develop specific training to support Illinois Tech’s international TAs and faculty during academic year 2022-23 with expansions and more targeted training offered in 2023-24
  3.  Fully realize our potential as the key resource at Illinois Tech for cross-cultural instruction by programming and training geared toward international students and their retention and success both in and out of the classroom
    • Develop academic preparation courses for high-level Pathway program students, focusing on increasing linguistic and cultural competency and understanding of North American academic conventions
      • Launch IEP 086 Academic Prep for University Success I in spring 2021
      • Revamp IEP 086 in fall 2021 to offer a second time for a larger population of students
      • Develop and offer IEP 087 Academic Prep for University Success II in spring 2022
    • Conduct annual training for Illinois Tech’s new Resident Assistants as part of Residence and Greek Life Orientation and Training at the start of each new academic year
      • ​​​​​​​Initial pilot in August 2021
      • Revise and offer again in August 2022 and annually thereafter
    • Partner with Career Services to offer a minimum of two workshops annually to assist international students with preparing for upcoming Career Fairs
      • Offer one virtual and one in-person workshop in spring 2022
      • Offer two in-person workshops in fall 2022
    • Create and offer a multi-part Pronunciation workshop geared toward university students, faculty, and/or staff
      • ​​​​​​​Target Stuart graduate business students to start, but open to the broader community, with a goal of 15 participants in spring 2022
      • ​​​​​​​Revise workshops to offer again in spring 2023 with a goal of 20 participants from the university community
    • Continue offering SPEAK, our weekly conversation group, as a hybrid event in spring 2022 
      • Resume in-person conversation groups exclusively in fall 2022 with the goal of averaging 20 international and domestic students per session by fall 2023
    • Partner with Illinois Tech’s Writing Center to offer two workshops focusing on international students’ errors
      • Complete first workshop during academic year 2023
      • Offer second workshop during academic year 2024
    • Determine which ELS courses can be further modified to better align with STEM-oriented topics and majors
      • Complete needs analysis for PESL and IEP courses by the start of summer 2024 semester 
      • Based on results of the needs analysis, determine order of courses to be modified by fall 2024

The Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) English Language Services is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period August 2023 through August 2033 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 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400,

English Language Services is an active member of EnglishUSA, the largest professional association of English language programs in the United States. 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.