Intensive English Program

South Seattle Community College
South Seattle Community College Students
South Seattle Community College Students
South Seattle Community College Students

South Seattle College’s English as a Second Language (ESL) is called Intensive English Program (IEP). Our ESL or Intensive English Program is primarily designed for international students who are preparing to enroll in college/university level course. Our classes are small and interactive. Most of our students who complete our Intensive English Program enroll in the 2 + 2 Transfer Program and then transfer to many universities across the United States.

Admission to the ESL/IEP

Anyone who is over 16 years of age is welcome to learn American English! Students must apply to attend South Seattle College. Please visit the How To Apply page for information on admission to this program. No test score or high school GPA minimum is required for admission.

How do you choose my level?

Students will take a COMPASS English placement before classes start at South Seattle College. This test is not given off campus. This test has reading, listening, and writing sections. After your test results are given to the International Programs Office, you will have an advising appointment to determine which level you will start in and what classes you can take. You will be placed in the appropriate level according to the results of this test.

Do I have to take the ESL/IEP?

You do not have to take the IEP if you have TOEFL iBT 72 (with a minimum 18 on all sections), IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum 6.0 on all sections), or ACT: English 19, Reading 19 and Math 22 scores. You will be placed directly in the college/university level courses.

Will I be able to begin taking college courses when I finish the IEP?

Yes! Students who complete the Intensive English Program successfully can begin college classes immediately and without retesting.

How is our ESL/IEP program set up?

  • 5 – levels from beginning to advanced
  • Levels 1 and 2 concentrate on Grammar, Reading, Speaking and Listening
  • Levels 3 and 4 concentrate on Speaking, Listening, Writing and International Student Development (ISD) class which provides orientation to college academic life
  • Level 5 concentrates on Writing and Reading with one college level classes from the following list:
    • American History
    • American College
    • Art
    • Choir
    • Keyboarding
    • Math
    • Fitness
    • Health & Wellness
    • International Relations
    • Music
  • Includes 4 instructional hours/day, 5 days/week during Fall, winter and Spring quarters.  Summer quarter is an accelerated 8-week program with 6 hours/day, 4 days/week.
  • 20 hours/week of instructions
  • Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer intake
Downloadable course outline

Meet Our IEP Students

Ha Ban (Vietnam)
South Seattle has a great IEP program for international students. It helped me to improve my English skills step-by-step. Through the South Seattle's IEP program, I developed English skills to attend and take college level classes. Thank you South Seattle IEP! It made a big change in my English skill.
Ha Ban
Jun Wei (Taiwan)
Intensive English Program gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet many students from other countries. And it's a good place to develop your English skills even if you are an intermediate level student. We not only learn about English, but about other educational majors that are suitable for each individual. All the instructors are well qualified and educated. I was very impressed because they took care of me with a personal care.
Jun Wei
Yin, Chen Ho (China)
The teachers are very friendly and I really learn a lot from the IEP classes. My English has improved a lot after 5 months. Now I am in the last level of IEP and I am taking some college level classes like Art Appreciation. IEP teachers are very caring and want to help to us in all our needs.
Yin, Chen Ho