Jul 21, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Culture and Language Bridge Program

Heidi A. Beck, MA, Interim Director


The Culture and Language Bridge Program is designed to prepare non-native speakers of English for a productive academic career at Seattle University. The primary goal of the program is to provide admitted Seattle University students with a background in American academic culture and language skills essential for success in their studies. The courses offered are highly advanced, with a specific focus on university-level reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Description of Courses

During their first quarter at Seattle University, students at the beginning of their academic careers are usually expected to take courses in English Syntax for Writing (CLBR 86 ), Academic Reading and Writing (CLBR 87 ), Classroom Communication (CLBR 88 ) and one additional class based on the recommendation of their adviser. In their second quarter, first-year students are usually required to take Basic Writing (ENGL 101 ) and two additional courses.

Students who transfer to Seattle University during their subsequent years of study are expected to take courses that advance their strategic vocabulary and grammar (CLBR 80 ), reading and writing (CLBR 90 ), and academic speaking skills (CLBR 91 ) essential for success in their disciplines. Transfer students with TOEFL scores ranging from 190/520/68 to 210/547/78 (inclusive) are required to take the Academic Vocabulary and Grammar course (CLBR 80 ) before they can enroll in Advanced Academic Writing (CLBR 90 ). The course work for transfer students concentrates on American academic culture and specific preparation for requirements at Seattle University. Undergraduate business majors enrolled in the Albers School of Business attend a supplemental course in conjunction with a five-credit-hour class, MGMT 280 . These students are required to take Advanced Academic Discourse (CLBR 91 ) during their first quarter at Seattle University and have the option of taking Advanced Academic Writing (CLBR 90 ) in the same or the subsequent quarter.

The Program Schedule

The program is offered during fall, winter and spring quarters. Courses are not offered in the summer.

English Proficiency Admission Requirements (Policy 2008-01)

All non-native English speakers whose TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score (or a MELAB/IELTS equivalent) is between 190/520/68 and 233/577/91 (inclusive) are required to take the Placement Essay Test upon their arrival at Seattle University. Results of the Placement Essay Test combined with proficiency scores at admission may require that students be enrolled in the Culture and Language Bridge Program to ensure their academic success at Seattle University.

Placement Essay Test

The purpose of the Placement Essay Test is to allow students an opportunity to demonstrate the quality of their writing. Placement Essay Tests are evaluated by the university faculty and the staff of the Culture and Language Bridge Program based on such considerations as language fluency, rhetorical development, logical organization, and sentence structure.

Students whose writing skills require additional improvement need to take courses in the Culture and Language Bridge Program. If first-year students’ writing in English appears to be in need of substantial work, they may be required to enroll in Academic Reading and Writing (CLBR 87 ) and the CLB section of Basic Writing (ENGL 101 ). Moderate writing skills, as determined by the essay evaluators, require students to take the Basic Writing course (ENGL 101  CLB section). On the other hand, students whose writing abilities are deemed sufficient for success in their academic studies do not need to enroll in the program.

Students whose TOEFL scores are 237/580/92 or above are not expected to take the Placement Essay Test or enroll in the Culture and Language Bridge Program. However, they have the option of taking classes in the program.

Academic Progression

In the Culture and Language Bridge Program, students’ work is evaluated with the goal of preparing non-native speakers for success in their studies at Seattle University. In keeping with this objective, a student must earn a grade of C or better in all CLBR courses required based upon the individual’s TOEFL score and Placement Essay Test. Grades below C are considered to be insufficient for progression and thus must be repeated until a grade of C or better is achieved.

Courses numbered under 100, which include all courses with the CLBR designation, do not count for credit toward an undergraduate degree. Moreover, grades in these courses do not affect a student’s undergraduate GPA. On the other hand, the CLB section of Basic Writing, ENGL 101 , follows the university grading system and a grade of D- or better earns a student five general elective credits toward an undergraduate degree. This course does not, however, satisfy the university core writing requirement.