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3.09 / English Language Proficiency

In an effort to assure that English Language Proficiency would not become an impediment to education, the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) has adopted policies affecting all applicants of whom teaching would be required. KBOR policy defines "faculty" and "teaching" in the following: "Faculty shall include all full-time or part-time personnel having classroom or laboratory instructional responsibilities and/or direct tutorial or advisement contact, other than for courses or sessions conducted primarily in a foreign language." Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual, Chapter II, Section C, Item 2 (b) (iii)

Wichita State University has adopted the following policies and procedures to comply with Regents requirements in this regard.

Faculty/Unclassified Professionals:
All candidates for a position with instructional duties that fit the preceding definition must have their spoken English assessed prior to employment through interviews with an Assessment Committee. Only a candidate who is part of a formal exchange agreement may be exempted from this requirement. Any exception must be approved by the Provost.

The Assessment Committee (which may be the Search Committee) will be appointed by the department chair or director and will be composed of at least three members: two faculty members and one student. The Assessment Committee will judge the candidate's spoken English by means of an oral interview to be conducted face-to-face or by mediated means and will sign and submit the required form.

Prospective faculty found to be potentially deficient in speaking ability shall be required to achieve a minimum score of 23 on the Speaking section of the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) or a minimum score of 50 on the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK). The SPEAK is administered by the Intensive English Language Center while the TOEFL can be taken at any ETS-authorized testing center. A candidate is required to submit a TOEFL/SPEAK score consistent with Kansas Board of Regents requirements to be eligible for an appointment without spoken English remediation conditions.

A report detailing the process for interviewing prospective faculty, including the composition of the Assessment Committee and scores from the TOEFL or SPEAK for each new hire will be submitted to KBOR every year.

Graduate Assistants with Teaching Responsibilities:
All prospective graduate teaching assistants shall have their English competency assessed prior to being considered for any employment having classroom or laboratory instructional responsibility and/or direct tutorial responsibilities. The following shall be used to implement this policy:

1.  All prospective graduate teaching assistants must be interviewed by and have their competency in spoken English assessed by no fewer than three University personnel, one of whom shall be a student. An oral interview shall be conducted either face-to-face or by mediated means.

2.  Any prospective graduate teaching assistant whose first language is not English shall be required to achieve a minimum score of 23 on the Speaking section of the TOEFL iBT or a minimum score of 50 on the SPEAK or a minimum score of 7.0 on the Speaking section of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to be eligible for an appointment without spoken English language remediation.

3.  All prospective graduate teaching assistants who do not meet the above requirements shall not be assigned teaching responsibilities nor other tasks requiring direct instructional contact with students.

4.  An exception will be made for courses taught in sign language.

5.  A report detailing the process for interviewing graduate teaching assistants, whose first language is not English, including the composition of the interview team and scores from the TOEFL or SPEAK for each individual hired will be submitted to KBOR every other year.

Revision Date:
October 29, 1998
May 4, 2005
July 14, 2012
November 2, 2016

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