Frequently Asked Questions for English Language Learners
A. Skidmore recognizes that English is a second language for many of our international students and that some students may need support to continue developing their English language skills. While a variety of descriptors exist, Skidmore refers to such students as English language learners (ELLs) and has established a variety of supports that ELL students may find beneficial.
A. Yes. Student Academic Services (SAS) employs an English language specialist who provides assistance to students seeking to improve their English speaking skills. The specialist works with students individually and in small groups and also coordinates opportunities for ELLs to work with peer tutors and with one another. Students are welcome to stop in to SAS to schedule an appointment or call (518) 580-8150.
A. SAS is located on the first floor of Starbuck Center, across from the Financial Aid Office. Professional staff are available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students are also welcome to use the open lab for study, research, and printing until midnight each weekday and on Sunday from noon to midnight.
A. Yes. Skidmore offers a 2-credit course called English for Academic Engagement. It is listed on the Master Course Schedule under Interdisciplinary Studies as GN 151. This course does not satisfy the Expository Writing requirement, but can complement EN 100/103 or other EW courses, and credits count toward graduation as general electives. English for Academic Engagement centers on building students' vocabulary and teaching language skills necessary for students to integrate with the Skidmore academic community and engage in academic discourse. Students will work directly with faculty and peer tutors to develop skills that include academic oral engagement, public speaking, conversational and interpersonal communication strategies, reading comprehension, and listening. The course is open to all students seeking to further develop their English language skills. Final placement will be reviewed and approved by faculty prior to the start of the semester.
A. The Writing Center employs day and evening ELL specialists who are available to work with English language learners to develop writing skills across the curriculum. All of the Writing Center tutors, including the ELL specialists, assist students to get started on writing assignments, discuss organization, and move from drafts to final papers.
The Writing Center also offers a monthly series of workshops where attendees can discuss subjects like drafting and revising, grammar and style, or productive research habits.
A. The Writing Center is located in room 440 on the fourth floor of the Lucy Scribner Library. Students can make an appointment online or by stopping in to the Center.
A. Yes. Though SAS and the Writing Center are two separate offices, professional staff in SAS does provide writing support. SAS often works with students, particularly in the early stages of the writing process, to clarify assignment details, brainstorm ideas, discuss research strategies, and strategize initial drafts. While some students continue to access support from SAS throughout the writing process, we often encourage students to engage with the Writing Center as their assignments progress.
Staff members in Student Academic Services (SAS) are available to help students adjust to college life, develop problem-solving skills, and access other resources. Students often benefit from working with SAS staff to proactively address obstacles faced while transitioning into the Skidmore community, and/or react to academic setbacks. Specific issues often include managing academic schedules, working with faculty members following absences or missed deadlines, and navigating academic demands and personal stressors. While SAS consultations and support will typically focus on students’ academic lives and academic goals, staff members in SAS can also help students connect with other relevant campus resources including the Counseling Center, Spiritual Life, Health Services, and Residential Life.
The Skidmore Student Government Association (SGA) offers a variety of multicultural clubs at Skidmore, some specific to international students. Student organizations contribute powerfully to the vibrant cocurricular life of Skidmore College and represent an incredibly diverse array of community interests. Skidmore students are creative and involved, in and out of the classroom.
The Office of Student Diversity Programs (OSDP) promotes cross-cultural understanding and positive relationships in support of student success and an inclusive campus community. OSDP programs are grounded in an understanding of diversity that includes people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, socioeconomic classes, religious and spiritual traditions, ages, and abilities. The office fosters student leadership and personal engagement by providing support, offering access to resources, and increasing campus awareness of diversity. OSDP does this by advocating for students, creating spaces for cultural celebration, promoting leadership development, and providing opportunities for education and reflection.
The Skidmore International Student Union (ISU) provides a network of support for international students and creates awareness of the growing population of international students for the entire community. During weekly meetings, students participate in activities such as presentations that celebrate their home countries or places they have studied or traveled.