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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI welcomes international students to new A.C.E. Language Institute beginning January 2012

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. and SEATTLE, Wash. – August 10, 2011 – The University of Rhode Island has entered into a partnership with Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.) of Seattle, to help international students prepare for academic English through the new A.C.E. Language Institute on its Kingston, R.I. campus. Beginning in January 2012, the A.C.E. Language Institute will offer intensive English courses designed to help language learners of any level improve their English fluency before being enrolled as full-time students at URI.

This strategic partnership helps alleviate common barriers for many international students – gaining access to standardized tests such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieving the required score. With the new agreement, international students who are academically qualified but do not meet URI’s English proficiency requirements can receive conditional admission to complete A.C.E.’s program and then enter URI directly with no TOEFL score required.

“This partnership with A.C.E. is a giant step toward advancing the globalization of URI, which is a primary goal of our strategic academic plan,” says Donald H. DeHayes, URI provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Throughout 38 years of delivering intercultural training, A.C.E. has opened a pathway to prepare more international students for university life. We share the common values of supporting global citizenry and intercultural competency and we look forward to creating a vibrant cross-cultural learning environment at URI for all of our students."

Partnering with A.C.E. is just the latest of several steps URI has taken to further globalize the University. In March, URI was one of eight recipients of the 2011 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization. The honor recognized URI as “a leader in internationalizing its engineering curriculum and in creating a global environment for students through foreign language learning and connections to companies that are globally oriented.”

The A.C.E. partnership also advances one of the recommendations set by a URI Faculty Task Force on Global Education to increase the number of international students at URI by offering an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. A.C.E. will expand URI's access to students worldwide, building on their broad global educational network.

The decision to partner with A.C.E. was based on the long-standing reputation of the organization and its success at other locations, including Montana State University and Seattle Pacific University. As a non-profit organization, A.C.E. is a leader in global education and provides English language and intercultural services worldwide. Since 1973, A.C.E. has directly impacted the lives of over 130,000 people.

“A.C.E. is pleased to foster the globalization efforts of the University of Rhode Island. We believe language learning is essential to bridging cultures and making the world one community,” says David Woodward, president of A.C.E. “We commend URI for taking bold steps in this direction.”

The A.C.E. Language Institute office will be located in Taft Hall, adjacent to the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons. “This location is an ideal launching point for our A.C.E. students to be integrated into the center of the URI academic community. We welcome visitors to drop by after the office opens later this fall,” says Dr. Rick O’Connor, A.C.E. vice president for ESL Program Development.

Applications for conditional admission are accepted through Nov. 1, 2011 for the first A.C.E. session beginning Jan. 19, 2012. For more information on conditional admission at URI, please contact Nancy Stricklin, International Recruitment, internationaladmission@uri.edu, or +1.401-874-7100.

Photo by Loren Sztajer