The following news release was originally published in the Waterloo Daily Bulletin on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014.
Plans are underway at Renison University College to break ground on a new expansion that will be home to Renison's English Language Centre and English Language Studies. The complex will house eight new classrooms, a student lounge, a meeting room, a glassed-in atrium capable of hosting small events, and office space for 15 staff and faculty members.
The new wing is being built largely to house the quickly expanding programs in the English Language Studies (ELS) department. Last year, English Language Studies taught over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students in its classes.
With the Faculty of Mathematics now requiring its students to take communications courses early in their program to prepare them for co-op and post-graduation employment, there will be a significantly larger demand for ELS courses," says a statement from Renison. "This emphasis on developing communication skills will replace the English Language Proficiency Exam that all Math students currently have to pass in order to graduate. Besides better employment, the goal is to build communication skills that will make them better students, friends, and citizens as well."
The Faculty of Mathematics initiative could bring an additional 500 students into the English program.
Another new initiative supported by the English Language Centre (ELC) is the Bridge to Academic Success in English (BASE) program. BASE is for students who have exceptional academic high school marks but are slightly below the English language admission requirements. In BASE, students are admitted to their undergraduate program and complete one to two terms of intensive English language courses as well as one academic university credit course. The content taught in the English courses is directly relevant to the academic credit course that the student takes. These English language courses are taught by the ELC.
The University of Waterloo is in a time of transition, and the Math faculty is the first to prioritize the development of language competence over language testing. Renison is supporting this initiative and creating unique programs to allow students novel pathways into the university,” says Julia Williams, director of ELS.
Renison plans to have the new building completed by mid-December 2014, and open officially for winter term in January 2015.
About the Renison English Language Institute
The Renison English Language Institute (Renison ELI) has offered high quality English as a second language (ESL) programs and courses since 1970. We welcome more than 1000 students each year to Renison University College.
Housed within Renison ELI are the English Language Centre (ELC) and English Language Studies (ELS). We invite you to explore our programs and courses, and look forward to welcoming you to the Renison community.