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Academic Policies & Resources

English as a Second Language (ESL)

English language proficiency is essential to develop as an artist at MICA. Students need a strong command of English in order to understand assignments, participate in critiques, comprehend and engage in critical dialogue, and become active members of the MICA community. Therefore, technical and conceptual art-making abilities, even when exceptional, will not be enough for success at the undergraduate level without a solid foundation in English.

MICA is committed to the continued growth and success of students for whom English is a second language (ESL). Toward this end, MICA offers instruction for language learners who enter the program with an English ability in all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) at least an intermediate level and who have a strong motivation to actively pursue language development alongside their artistic development. Based on placement test results, first year students will be enrolled in either language-enhanced sections of core first year required courses that are taught by ESL specialists or in traditional sections of these courses.

In addition, the Humanistic Studies department offers a writing workshop solely for ESL students, designed to assist ESL writers with academic and artistic terminology, grammar and editing skills, and composition skills specific to the two primary foundation-year liberal arts courses, Art Matters, and Critical Inquiry.

In addition to these classes, MICA offers other educational and social support resources.

  • The Writing Studio
  • The Foundation department and Decker Library provide instructional support
  • Mentoring activities are available through the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Affairs.

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