Newly Renovated ELS Center Opens for International Students

It will provide English classes, incorporate students into campus life and boost enrollment.

Liz Cosgrove is center director for ELS Language Centers/Lubbock.

Liz Cosgrove is center director for ELS Language Centers/Lubbock.

Texas Tech and ELS Language Centers (ELS) Thurday (Jan. 17) hosted the grand opening of the new ELS Center at Texas Tech. The newly renovated facility will serve international students at Texas Tech by providing English language classes and incorporating students into campus life.

Vice Chancellor Joseph Rallo, Interim President Lawrence Schovanec and ELS Educational Services President and CEO Mark Harris spoke during the grand opening ceremony.

“International students are an important component at Texas Tech,” Schovanec said. “Upon graduation, they serve as ambassadors for the university in their respective countries and showcase their educational experience through their work. While at Texas Tech, they have the opportunity to share their cultures with others, helping us create a more diverse and inclusive environment.”

Texas Tech partnered with ELS in June 2012 to help advance Texas Tech’s international initiatives and the Lubbock region’s global presence. ELS operates the largest network of campus-based English language instruction centers in the world.

The new center is located at 1921 Broadway Ave., and features 10 traditional classrooms equipped wth whiteboards and audio capabilities, one classroom equipped with an environmentally certfied interactive whiteboard and a 30-seat computer lab for language technology center classes.

“This technology allows our teachers to present interactive lessons to enhance the language learning process,” said Liz Cosgrove, center director for ELS Language Centers/Lubbock. “All students have the opportunity to work on their individual language skills and objectives through technology-supported learning.”

ELS presents six classes each day and operates continuously in four-week sessions, 52 weeks per year. Classes focus on speaking, listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, reading and writing. Students also may choose to take classes that focus on conversation, listening comprehension, culture, public speaking and current events.

To date, the center has averaged around 50 students per session. The largest groups have come from Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea, Libya and Taiwan. ELS students can choose to live alongside Texas Tech students in the Carpenter-Wells Complex on campus. Additionally, all ELS Centers offer home-stay accommodations with an English-speaking host family.

The partnership between Texas Tech and ELS should help increase enrollment among international students.

The partnership between Texas Tech and ELS should help increase enrollment among international students.

“This relationship with Texas Tech University is an important additional option for the thousands of international students who come to ELS in order to improve their English and prepare for university success,” Harris said. “As the number of international students who chose to further their higher education continues to grow, ELS counts on prestigious institutions, such as Texas Tech University, to build successful pathways for university achievement.”

The ELS Center renovations were designed by JEMA Architects of Lubbock and the construction was completed by M3DConstruct, LLC of Lubbock. Renovations took approximately six months to complete.

“International students greatly enrich Texas Tech and the larger community,” said Tibor Nagy, former U.S. ambassador and vice provost for International Affairs. “Not only do they expose our U.S. students to global cultures and languages which are so necessary for all our students – immaterial of major – to succeed  in this interconnected world, but they also contribute significantly to Lubbock’s economy. Having ELS in Lubbock is clearly a win-win-win scenario for Texas Tech, for Lubbock and for ELS.”