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Guidance on Pathway Programs for Foreign Students

September 26, 2014

PLEASE NOTE DATE OF PUBLICATION BELOW -- THIS IS EMBARGOED FOR FRIDAY, SEPT. 26 The Student and Exchange Visitor Program is expected to post new draft guidance regarding the certification of pathway programs for international students today. The guidance, which is the second such draft, defines a pathway program as a “postsecondary program of study combining nonremedial and remedial coursework to prepare a student who is unable to meet the requirements for admission into a degree program.” It specifies that SEVP can certify a pathway program only if it consists of at least one nonremedial course per session and if all the student’s nonremedial courses are applicable toward graduation requirements. The guidance also stipulates that in pathway programs that consist of an English as a Second Language component, all schools involved the ESL portion of the program must be in compliance with the Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act.

As Inside Higher Ed has reported, many universities have turned to third-party corporate partners to help administer and deliver their pathway programs for international students.

SEVP will be accepting public comments on the draft guidance for a 45-day period. 

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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