The Intensive ESL Program serves 100 to 150 incoming freshmen each semester. Five linked courses are block programmed: ESL (one of three levels), Speech (one of three courses), the Freshman Seminar, Career Exploration, and a General Education Discipline course such as History, Health, Psychology, or Sociology. By linking five courses, students have a full-time program through which, in addition to ESL "equated" credits, they can earn eight "real" credits toward fulfilling their degree requirements. Students in an Intensive ESL learning community earn 18 credits; 10 are equated credits for ESL, and 8 are real credits that count toward graduation.
A longitudinal study conducted by Professor Bailin Song of the Department of English compared the academic success of 385 ESL students who began their studies in the Intensive Program with another 385 ESL students who did not begin in the Program. Students who began Kingsborough during the period beginning Spring 1995 and ending Spring 2000 were all tracked until Fall 2003. Positive results prompted the 1998 decision to make the Intensive ESL Program a requirement for incoming, full-time day ESL students, except when precluded by family or work responsibilities.
Intensive ESL is coordinated by Prof. Gabrielle Kahn, Department of English.