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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

English Language Learners : A-105

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges


This guideline is intended to provide institutions with a course pathway for ELL students who qualify for co-requisite remediation, as outlined in TBR Guideline A-100, to ensure those students have the support needed to be successful in credit-bearing course work. This guideline supports TBR Policy 2:03:00:00 (Admissions) and Guideline A-100 (Learning Support).


  • Learning Support - Academic support needed by a student to be successful in college level general education courses and/or to meet minimum reading, writing, and mathematic competencies as required by faculty in programs that do not require general education courses in reading, writing and/or mathematics. The purpose of learning support is to enhance academic success in college level courses and increase the likelihood of program completion that will prepare students for career success in their chosen field of study. 
  • English Language Learner (ELL) –A student who self-identifies on their admissions application that their primary language is not English or who is a foreign national, and who is in the process of actively acquiring English.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) –Curricular interventions that support a student whose first language is not English and who would benefit from language support programs to improve academic performance in English due to challenges with reading, comprehension, speaking, and/or writing in English. This includes interventions for students for whom English will not literally be a second language as they already have competency in more than one language that is not English.


  1. Assessment
    1. International Non-Immigrant Applicants and in-state applicants must meet admissions criteria in accordance with TBR Policy 2:03:00:00 (Admissions).
    2. Institutions identify placement scores for international (F-1 Visa) applicants through use of the TOEFL or other comparable standardized examinations in accordance with TBR Policy 2:03:00:00 (Admissions).
    3. Institutions identify placement scores for in-state applicants in accordance with TBR Guideline A-100 (Learning Support), by examination of transcripts showing successful completion of ENGL 1010, or by other comparable standardized examinations.
    4. Based on an analysis of student success characteristics, staff and faculty may make referrals for ELL students to enroll in ESL supported courses as provided in TBR Policy 2:03:00:00.
  2. Placement for English as a Second Language (ESL) Supported Courses
    1. International applicants who have placement scores above the minimum level determined by the institution shall enroll in college-level English courses.
    2. In-State applicants who have placement scores above the minimum level determined in the A-100 Guideline or who have successful completed ENGL 1010, shall enroll in college-level English courses.
    3. English Language Learners who have test scores below the minimum placement cut score, shall be enrolled in co-requisite ENGL 1010.
  3. English as a Second Language Supported Courses
    1. Institutions should provide English Language Learners who test below minimum cut scores ESL enhanced co-requisite English courses.
      1. ESL enhanced courses may be provided in two co-requisite formats:
        1. ENGL 1010/ENGL 1020 with a supplemental instruction focused on providing ESL. Supplemental instruction focuses on English for Academic Purpose (EAP), which includes training in academic reading, writing, presenting and note-taking.
        2. ESL enhanced ENGL 1010/ENGL 1020. In addition to the curriculum of the English course, content on English for Academic Purpose (EAP), which includes training in academic reading, writing, presenting and note-taking, is also provided.
      2. Students may have the option to sign a waiver to opt-out and enroll in college level English courses.
    2. At such time as the English Language Learner who was enrolled in ESL enhanced co-requisite English courses successfully completes ENGL 1010/ENGL 1020, they shall have met the requirement for college-level English.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


NEW Guideline approved at Presidents Meeting, May 16, 2017.

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