In the wake of budget shortfalls on campus, UC Davis recently received the good news that the English as a Second Language program will not be outsourced to community colleges or a University Extension.
UC Davis did a good job keeping this program on campus. UC Davis is a research institution and regarded highly on an international scale. The retention of this program is advantageous to the university.
However, the ESL program isn’t quite safe yet. It will still feel the brutal axe of universitywide budget cuts.
Undergraduate and graduate sections for classes next school year may be dropped. ESL may also lose several courses for which there are no alternatives leaving many students without the extra help they need. Some teaching assistants and lecturers might go with them as well.
Worse yet, the program may no longer be able to function as a tool for international students. One such course that may be eliminated is Linguistics 26, a class designed for international graduate students who require additional support.
The ESL program already requires international students to be proficient in English before they attend UC Davis. However, the loss of these tools will have a negative impact on those international students who may no longer receive assistance from those trained to work with ESL students.
This is why an alternative for these international students must be proposed such as a mentoring program. There is no guarantee, though, that a program of this nature will be effective as it has never been tried before.
Nevertheless, the ESL program will have to solidify any alternatives that may be considered as international students serve as important members of the UC Davis community.