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English Language Institute

Academic and Program Policies

Welcome to the English Language Institute at Pace University! We are excited to meet you at your placement test! We understand that learning a language is not an easy process for everyone. To help make the transition easier you can use the information below to help with your first days at the ELI.

General Statement of Policies

The University reserves the right, at its sole discretion and with or without prior notice, to promulgate new academic and nonacademic rules, policies and practices, as well as to amend or rescind existing academic and nonacademic rules, policies and practices. By applying for enrollment and by enrolling each applicant and enrolled student, respectively, agrees to be bound by all of the University’s rules, policies, practices, including, without limitation, the Guiding Principles of Conduct. Applicants and enrolled students who fail to comply with the University’s rules, policies and practices are subject to discipline that may include, but is not limited to, denial of admission, denial of academic credits or a degree, suspension and/or dismissal from the University.

Attendance and Lateness Policy

Full attendance is crucial to your success and an important part of your academic experience.  However, we understand that different extenuating circumstances may arise. Please notify your instructor if you will be absent for a class.

For ELI Students in 7-week courses: After 2 absences your professor will drop your grade 3 percent per excess absence (ex. with 3 absences, from 95% to 92%, with 4 absences from 95% to 89%). 

An arrival after attendance is taken by the instructor (usually within the first 5 minutes of class), but within the first 30 minutes of class, is a “late”.  Three “lates” equals one absence.  Missing more than 30 minutes of a lesson is an absence, not a late. 


Within the first two weeks of each term, late homework may be accepted by your instructor if the assignment is submitted by the start of the next class. Starting in Week 3 of the term, late homework may only be accepted in extenuating circumstances with the prior approval of your instructor. Late homework submissions may receive a reduced grade.


Students will take an in-class cumulative midterm and final exams, based on the work covered in class.

Assessment Make-up

Make-ups for quizzes, exams, and presentations may be permissible only with the prior approval of your instructor. Make-ups may receive a reduced grade.


Extra credit grading will not be included in any ELI course. If you would like additional practice, please speak to your instructor. Practice work is not included in final grade calculations.

Course Grades

Grades will be based on a standard university letter grade system.  Students should attend class regularly, participate in class activities, complete all assignments, pass the final exam and demonstrate sufficient proficiency with a grade of B- (80%) or better.  

Grade Appeal Policy

As a general principle, the instructor has sole authority to establish standards of performance and to exercise judgments on the quality of student performance, but in a manner that reflects reasonable and generally acceptable academic requirements. Grades assigned in this fashion are final except as the instructor may wish to review them. No faculty member, administrator, or other individual may substitute his judgment of the student’s performance for the reasonable judgment of the instructor.

Students who believe that a final grade received in a course was not determined in a manner consistent with the principle described above may challenge that grade by first arranging, within a reasonable period of time (approximately 5 school days from the time that the student knew or should have known of the final course grade), to meet informally with the instructor to establish a clear understanding of the method by which the grade was determined. Every effort should be made to resolve the matter at the level of the instructor and the student. Students who have difficulty arranging a meeting with the instructor should consult, Lisa Kraft, Director of the English Language Institute.

If after meeting with the instructor, the student wishes to continue the grade challenge, the student may appeal in writing (with a copy to the instructor and academic advisor) to the ELI Director within a reasonable amount of time. The statement should clearly state the basis for questioning the grade received in the course.

The Director’s decision to have a grade reviewed or not is final. If the Director decides that the method by which the student’s grade was not proper, the Director will apprise the instructor of the basis for questioning the grade and request that the instructor review the grade. If the instructor, for any reason, does not review the grade, the Director will request that at least one other faculty member qualified to teach the course in question review the grade. In the process of such a review, the faculty member(s) is (are) authorized to assign a grade change and may, if necessary, require additional examination of the student’s performance as a basis for the grade change.

Students may, at any point in this appeal process, solicit the advice and assistance of an individual faculty or staff member. This individual’s authority in these matters is limited to mediating the relationship between the student and the instructor and/or Director. 

ELI Level Progression Policy

Progression through the 050 Advanced-Beginner, 060 Low-Intermediate, 070 High-Intermediate, and 080 Advanced courses are based on a minimum B- (80%) final course grade and a level recommendation from course instructors. ELI students who do not meet this 80% standard in their courses may be placed on Academic Probation and may be given one chance to repeat the course(s) and pass. Students may not remain on Academic Probation for more than one term.

After the 080 Advanced level, a student may apply to progress to the 090,091/084 levels, which comprise the Pre-Undergraduate and Pre-Graduate Programs at ELI. Acceptance into these programs is based on an 80% cumulative average of all 080-level courses weighted equally with no single course grade below a 77%. Students must also pass a Writing Exam and be recommended for Pre-Undergraduate and Pre-Graduate study by their 080-level instructors.

Student Grievances

The University views students as responsible citizens who are integral members of the academic community. Policies and practices pertaining to student relations and services should reflect this point of view. All University officers will make every effort to ensure that this philosophy is implemented.  It is recognized, however, that regardless of how well-intentioned people may be, complaints and misunderstandings are bound to arise. It is the purpose of the Student Grievance Procedures to ensure that these disagreements are expressed, explored, and resolved promptly and confidentially.

The Pace University Grievance Procedure states that “claims relating to academic standing, grading or discipline are within the jurisdiction of the Academic Standing Committees and the Deans of the Colleges/Schools.” In lieu of an Academic Standing Committee or Dean of the English Language Institute, academic grievances are within the jurisdiction of the Institute’s Directors. 

Please view the English Language Institute Student Grievance Policy and Procedure for detailed instructions on filing your grievance and ELI Staff contacts.

Level Recommendations

Level recommendations are made by the instructor towards the end of the term. ELI instructors fill out a level recommendation form to recommend that a student continues at the same level or move up to the next level. Typically, students who have been at one level for 7 weeks will continue in the same level, even if they have passed the 7-week course. Most students take one level for 14 weeks. Only those students with outstanding improvement and demonstrated proficiency can move to the next level in 7 weeks.

Level recommendations are made usually in the 5th or 6th week of classes. Regardless of the recommendation made by the instructor, students must complete the rest of the 7-week course.

Being recommended to the next level does not guarantee passing the class. If a student fails the class, they will need to repeat the course.

Electronic Devices in the Classroom

English Language Institute instructors have the authority to determine if and how personal electronic devices are allowed to be used in the classroom.  An ELI instructor may restrict or prohibit the use of personal electronic devices in his or her classroom, lab, or any other instructional setting. Audio or video recordings of classroom lessons are strictly prohibited without prior written consent of the instructor. Any recordings that an instructor has authorized by written consent are to be used for educational purposes only and may not be disseminated by the student. If the student does not adhere to the Policy, he/she may be asked to leave the classroom.

The English Language Institute Policy on Electronic Devices is based on Sections 1 and 25 of Pace University’s Guiding Principles of Conduct. The complete Guiding Principles of Conduct are available within Pace University’s Student Handbook, published online at

All above policies are current as of April 2016.  Please refer to your course syllabi for additional classroom policies set forth by your instructor and approved by the ELI Academic Committee.