English As a Second Language


To succeed at the university level in the United States, students need to have a strong command of the English language. At Tompkins Cortland, we have spent years developing our expertise in ESL instruction for students who wish to take college courses. Many of our ESL graduates transfer to well-known universities throughout the United States, including Cornell University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the State University of New York (SUNY).

There are two kinds of ESL classes offered by TC3: Traditional ESL classes, which are four-credit classes taken during full semesters for academic credit, and classes in the Intensive English Program (IEP), which are often shorter and highly customized ESL class offerings.

Student on Dryden Campus

International students can take ESL classes full time on an F-1 visa without seeking a degree from Tompkins Cortland, or degree-seeking students can take ESL before beginning their program. However, a student visa is not always required; residents and citizens of the U.S. can also enroll in ESL classes.

Tompkins Cortland is committed to all students who want to improve their proficiency and helping students succeed in their academic life at our college. Our ESL programs help students of varying levels of English proficiency prepare for the demands of American university-level courses.

For our Global Connections programs, students might need to take ESL courses before beginning the coursework for their degree, based on their English proficiency scores. Our partnering institutions sometimes request specialized classes or programs for staff or faculty. At Tompkins Cortland, we are ready and able to develop programs that will fit your institution’s needs.