Admissions and Standards Committee


Motion on Non-Native Speakers of English

In an effort to improve our services to international students and to enhance Georgia State University's "identity as a nationally and internationally recognized advanced research and teaching institution as well as an urban research center [which attracts] students from the metropolitan area, the region, all parts of the nation and around the world," the Subcommittee recommends the following policy concerning students whose native language is not English.(1)

  1. Categories of International Students

A central finding of the subcommittee is that a great deal of confusion can result if one does not distinguish and define the different categories of non-native speakers of English. The following categories should be made clear, in writing, to all applicants, students, and staff. To help applicants, students, and staff determine to which category an individual belongs, see the flow chart at the end of this document. [Not included in web version of this motion.]

    1. "Native speakers of English" refers to those GSU international students whose native language is English.
    2. "Non-native speakers of English" refers to those GSU international students whose native langauge is not English. Non-native speakers of English must be divided in to the following subcategories:
      1. "Non-immigrant freshman" refers to those non-native speakers of English in non-immigrant status who enter GSU as first-time incoming freshman.
      2. "Citizen/Immigrant freshman" refers to those non-native speakers of English who are U.S. citizens or in immigrant status who enter GSU as first-time incoming freshman.
      3. "Non-immigrant transfer students" refers to those GSU students in non-immigrant status who transfer to GSU from another institution.
        1. "Post-30 non-immigrant transfer students" refers to non-immigrant transfer students who have had 30 or more semester hours at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
        2. "Pre-30 non-immigrant transfer students" refers to non-immigrant transfer students who have had less than 30 semester hours at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
      4. "Citizen/immigrant transfer students" refers to those non-native speakers of English who are U.S. citizens or in immigrant status who transfer to GSU from another institution.
        1. "Post-30 citizen/immigrant transfer students" refers to citizen/immigrant transfer students who have had 30 or more semester hours at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
        2. "Pre-30 citizen/immigrant transfer students" refers to citizen/immigrant transfer students who have had less than 30 semester hours at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.


  1. Phases

Another central finding of the subcommittee is that the policies applying to international students must be clearly divided into three phases: admission, placement, and Regents' testing. These three phases should be made clear, in writing, to all applicants, students, and staff.

  1. Native Speakers of English

Native speakers of English must meet the same admission and Regents' Test requirements as citizens of the U.S. See the current catalog. They have no placement requirement.

  1. Non-Immigrant Freshman
    1. Admission--To be admitted as an non-immigrant freshman, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
      1. English Ability--SAT I V 430 OR ACT E 18 OR TOEFL 200 (525 on old scale) AND
      2. Math Ability--SAT I M 400 OR ACT M 16 AND
      3. High School Graduation--The equivalent of graduation from an accredited U.S. secondary college preparatory program AND
      4. High School Grades--The equivalent of an average grade of "B" in all high school academic courses.
    2. Placement--All non-immigrant freshman will be required to take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) during international student orientation. To enter regular classes, a student must get a GSTEP score of 6. Otherwise, the student will be placed in appropriate classes in the Intensive English Program (IEP).
    3. Regents' Testing--All non-immigrant freshman will meet the Regents' Test Requirements by taking either the Alternative Regents' Test or the regular Regents' Test. (One member of the subcommittee argued that a GSTEP score of 6 ought to satisfy the Regents' Test Requirements.)


  2. Citizen/Immigrant Freshman
    1. Admission--To be admitted as an citizen/immigrant freshman, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
      1. English Ability--SAT I V 430 OR ACT E 18 OR TOEFL 200 (525 on old scale) or GSTEP = 6 AND
      2. Math Ability--SAT I M 400 OR ACT M 16 AND
      3. High School Graduation--The equivalent of graduation from an accredited U.S. secondary college preparatory program AND
      4. High School Grades--High school grades will also be considered as an important factor in the admission decision.
    2. Placement--Citizen/immigrant freshman are not required to take the GSTEP. However, for diagnostic purposes, advisors and faculty are strongly encouraged to recommend this test to those who appear to need assistance with English.
    3. Regents' Testing--All citizen/immigrant freshman will meet the Regents' Test Requirements by taking either the Alternative Regents' Test or the regular Regents' Test. (One member of the subcommittee argued that a GSTEP score of 6 ought to satisfy the Regents' Test Requirements.)


  3. Post-30 Non-Immigrant Transfer Students
    1. Admission--To be admitted as a post-30 non-immigrant transfer student an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
      1. A GPA of 2.1 (2.5 for those applying to the College of Education) or better on all college-level academic course work attempted at regionally-accredited institutions AND
      2. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
    2. Placement--Post-30 non-immigrant transfer students are not required to take the GSTEP. However, for diagnostic purposes, advisors and faculty are strongly encouraged to recommend this test to those who appear to need assistance with English.
    3. Regents' Testing--Post-30 non-immigrant transfer students will meet the Regents' Test Requirements by taking either the Alternative Regents' Test or the regular Regents' Test. (One member of the subcommittee argued that a GSTEP score of 6 ought to satisfy the Regents' Test Requirements.)


  4. Pre-30 Non-Immigrant Transfer Students
    1. Admission--To be admitted as a pre-30 non-immigrant transfer student an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
      1. A GPA of 2.0 (2.5 for those applying to the College of Education) or better on all college-level academic course work attempted at regionally-accredited institutions AND
      2. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
      3. English Ability--SAT I V 430 OR ACT E 18 OR TOEFL 200 (525 on old scale) or GSTEP = 6 AND
      4. Math Ability--SAT I M 400 OR ACT M 16 AND
      5. High School Graduation--The equivalent of graduation from an accredited U.S. secondary college preparatory program AND
      6. High School Grades--High school grades will also be considered as an important factor in the admission decision.
    2. Placement--Pre-30 non-immigrant transfer students will be required to take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) during international student orientation. To enter regular classes, a student must get a GSTEP score of 6. Otherwise, the student will be placed in appropriate classes in the Intensive English Program (IEP).
    3. Regents' Testing--Pre-30 non-immigrant transfer students will meet the Regents' Test Requirements by taking either the Alternative Regents' Test or the regular Regents' Test.


  5. Post-30 Citizen/Immigrant Transfer Students
    1. Admission--To be admitted as a post-30 citizen/immigrant transfer student an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
      1. A GPA of 2.1 (2.5 for those applying to the College of Education) or better on all college-level academic course work attempted at regionally-accredited institutions AND
      2. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
    2. Placement--Post-30 citizen/immigrant transfer students are not required to take the GSTEP. However, for diagnostic purposes, advisors and faculty are strongly encouraged to recommend this test to those who appear to need assistance with English.
    3. Regents' Testing--Post-30 citizen/immigrant transfer students will meet the Regents' Test Requirements by taking either the Alternative Regents' Test or the regular Regents' Test.


  6. Pre-30 Citizen/Immigrant Transfer Students
    1. Admission--To be admitted as a pre-30 citizen/immigrant transfer student an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
      1. A GPA of 2.0 (2.5 for those applying to the College of Education) or better on all college-level academic course work attempted at regionally-accredited institutions AND
      2. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
      3. English Ability--SAT I V 430 OR ACT E 18 OR TOEFL 200 (525 on old scale) or GSTEP = 6 AND
      4. Math Ability--SAT I M 400 OR ACT M 16 AND
      5. High School Graduation--The equivalent of graduation from an accredited U.S. secondary college preparatory program AND
      6. High School Grades--High school grades will also be considered as an important factor in the admission decision.
    2. Placement--Pre-30 citizen/immigrant transfer students are not required to take the GSTEP. However, for diagnostic purposes, advisors and faculty are strongly encouraged to recommend this test to those who appear to need assistance with English.
    3. Regents' Testing--Pre-30 citizen/immigrant transfer students will meet the Regents' Test Requirements by taking either the Alternative Regents' Test or the regular Regents' Test.


  7. Policies Applying to All Categories of Non-Native Students
    1. GSTEP results will be distributed to the following units: the office of international services and programs, the admissions office, all offices of academic assistance, and the department of academic foundations.
    2. The Admissions Office should consider changing the way the Silny reports are used. Rather than having the students send their documents to GSU and Silny, GSU might charge international students an additional application processing fee. GSU would then briefly review the international applications and send those for which Silny's advice would be helpful or necessary to make the admissions decision. The application deadline would need to be set earilier to accommodate the change because GSU would be responsible for sending supporting materials to Silny.
    3. GSU should request that the Board of Regents modify the admissions categories to allow for the conditional admission of those students who are judged to merit admission from an academic point of view but lack the English ability necessary to enroll in regular classes. These students would be admitted conditional upon satisfactory performance in ESL classes.
    4. The graduate divisions of the various colleges and school should be encouraged to align their polices regarding the admission of non-native speakers of English to graduate programs with the policies above.
    5. The Enrollment Management Committee (EMC) shall set each term's undergraduate non-native speaker enrollment target. GSU will no longer automatically admit all applicants who meet the Senate-specified minimum admission requirements set out in this motion. The EMC will set enrollment targets and the Senate will set minimum admissions requirements. The Admissions Office will hit the EMC-specified targets by admitting and enrolling the most qualified of the students who meet the Senate-specified minima.

    6. Admissions and Standards Index || Senate Committee Index || Senate Index || GSU Home Page

      Revised 2/14/99