Center for English Language Programs to close at end of semester


Shane B

Breland Hall houses the Center for English Language Programs.

The English Language program will be leaving New Mexico State University alongside the Confucius Institute by the end of the semester.  

Jan Snyder, the interim director for the English Language Program (CELP) discussed the reason behind the program shutting down. 

“Unfortunately, our program is not self-supporting at this time,” Snyder said. “Our students pay their fees, but it doesn’t make enough money to support the entire program. So, the university found that shutting the CELP down would be best.” 

The students that the CELP has instructed will be tested before the program shuts down, but the rest will have to consider other universities.  

“Most of our foreign students have talked to me and asked what they’re going to do,” Snyder said. “I’m going to test our last group by the end of this semester. Those that reach B2 or higher will go on to the university. The others will hopefully go to UTEP or somewhere else. 

According to Snyder, the worst part about this process is having to tell her two South Korean students, who had desired to stay another semester at NMSU, that it will no longer be possible to do so.  

“We haven’t been able to accept students for a semester now,” Snyder said. “They basically shut us down in October and gave us permission to finish up a group as best we could.”  

For 50 years, the CELP has been responsible for instructing foreign students in the English language so that the students could adapt better to the academic language presented in an American university. 

“Every country in the world has a little different style, so we try to help them understand why we do what we do and how to do it,” Snyder said.  

Though the CELP has assisted students in the learning process, Snyder credited the English department for accommodating students by being understanding and aiding students in coursework and instruction. 

“I think there are those in the English department side who have been incredibly helpful. So, I feel comfortable guiding students into their classes for the next semester or two and knowing that they will be helped,” Snyder said. “But there are many people on campus who recognize these needs. That’s going to be the saddest part.”  

According to Snyder, the transition for much of the foreign students comes as a “culture shock,” but it has been the program’s job to alleviate the stress that would come from such changes.  

Snyder believes NMSU will seek to accommodate foreign students in other ways, but for now, she said she is sad to see the program leave, given its history and report with NMSU foreign students.  

“I think the university is going to start a student success program and that’s wonderful. The students need that. But then, the university needs to understand the variations of what students need, especially international students,” Snyder said.  

The shutting down of CELP and the Confucius Institute are unrelated, though both Snyder and Elvira Masson, Director of the Confucius Instituteare close colleagues and have been working collaboratively for years, according to Snyder 

According to the CELP website, “the program will be closing permanently on May 15, 2020.”  

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