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Florida Gulf Coast University weighs 'intensive' English program

Photo: Florida Gulf Coast University

Florida Gulf Coast University trustees this week are slated to consider launching an “intensive English language program” to help fill a need after the closing of a private university.

Hodges University in Fort Myers announced last year that it would stop enrolling new students, with only limited classes being offered through August. In a news release last year, Hodges University cited “financial challenges and declining enrollment numbers” as the reason for closing.

The Board of Trustees of Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesdaywill discuss the creation of an intensive English language program that would start this fall.

A board agenda document said the program would “prepare non-native speakers with sufficient English language skills to meet the English language requirements for admission to Florida Gulf Coast University.”

Courses would not be offered for credit but would “preserve the structure of a semester-length course,” the document said. Students completing the program would be encouraged to try to become degree-seeking students at FGCU, and the program also would be used to prepare participants for college entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT.

The new program, if approved, would operate on a stand-alone budget.

“We expect to run a slight deficit in the first year of operation as the program transitions from Hodges University. It should become self-sufficient within three years with tapering support from Academic Affairs during the time of transition,” the document said.