Frequently Asked Questions
I live outside of the United States. How do I take English as a Second Language classes at Fullerton College?
All international students who would like to study at Fullerton College on the F-1/F-2 visa must apply through the International Student Center. ESL classes are offered to students who are pursuing an Associate Degree or Certificate program. However, Fullerton College is not currently authorized to accept F-1/F-2 visa students for ESL only programs.
Do I need to have TOEFL or IELTS scores to attend Fullerton College?
Most students already in the United States don’t need TOEFL or IELTS scores to apply to the ESL program at Fullerton College. Once they apply to Fullerton College, they must take the ESL Assessment Test to help determine their appropriate English level placement. They will also meet with a counselor to discuss final placement.
Students coming from another college and having previously completed an ESL class should schedule an appointment with a Fullerton College Counselor to determine if they will need to take an Assessment Test at Fullerton College.
How much does it cost to take ESL classes?
You can use the calculator available on the Fullerton College website to estimate your total cost of attendance. Non-resident tuition applies to international students (F-1/F-2 visa) and non-California residents.
More information about admission and registration for Fullerton College is available on the Admissions and Records Office website.
If you’re an international student, please visit the International Student Center website.
I have a U.S. permanent resident (green card) visa. Do I still have to pay for non-resident tuition?
Non-citizen students holding a permanent resident (green card) visa must have legal residence in California for a minimum of 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester. So if you’ve been in California for at least a year by the start of the semester you’re applying in, you are considered a California resident. More information about Residency Requirements is available at http://admissions.fullcoll.edu/residency.
I am an AB 540 (undocumented) student. Do I still have to pay for non-resident tuition?
AB 540 allows all persons, including undocumented immigrant students and those who have been granted a T or U visa status, who meet the requirements set forth in Section 68130.5 of the Education Code to be exempt from nonresident tuition in California’s colleges and universities.
Any student, other than a non-immigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California (all public colleges and universities in California).
Students who are nonimmigrants [for example, those who hold F (Student) visas, B (Visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
- An alien student who is without lawful immigrant status (undocumented, out of status)
- Students who are nonimmigrants and who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, Sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption
- A U.S. Citizen and/or Permanent Resident card holder who does not meet the California residency requirement
More information about Residency Requirements is available at http://admissions.fullcoll.edu/residency.
When are ESL classes scheduled?
During the FALL (late August – December) and SPRING (late January – May) semesters, classes are generally scheduled twice a week, either Mondays/Wednesdays (MW) or Tuesdays/Thursdays (TR), with classes in the morning, afternoon, and even at night. Night classes generally start at 7:00 pm. Friday only classes are also offered. We also have short term classes that start halfway through the semester. Some classes are offered during the summer semester (June – August).
The college publishes a schedule of classes for each semester. Click here to see the current class schedule (select ESL from the subject list).
What is the difference between English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and English (ENGL) classes at Fullerton College?
Some students have trouble deciding whether they should enroll in ESL or English courses. Students who have lived in the United States for many years and speak English well may still have trouble with their writing and grammar. Students who are new to the United States may have studied English for many years in their home country but still struggle with speaking, listening, and pronunciation. ESL classes can help both of these kinds of students.
Some things to consider when deciding whether to take English or ESL classes include:
Student success: At Fullerton College, the success rate in college level writing (ENGL 100/101/110) of students who take ESL courses is above the average of all Fullerton College students. 84% of students who began in ESL courses passed the college level writing course designed for ESL students. This rate is well above the college average of 62.2%*. ESL coursework prepares students for the type of work they will be required to complete in their higher level English classes and other college courses.
*Student success data between Fall 2019 and Spring 2021
Classes: ESL classes focus on the unique needs of language learners in writing, reading, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening and speaking. Like in English classes, critical thinking skills are also taught. Many ESL classroom topics are chosen for their relevance to students from a variety of cultures. All ESL classes are designed to ensure student success when they advance to other college courses.
Instructors: ESL professors have advanced degrees in linguistics, language acquisition, and/or second language teaching that include training in bilingualism, cross cultural issues, grammar, composition, listening, speaking, and reading skills instruction. Most ESL instructors have taught overseas and studied foreign languages. This specialized training and experience has prepared ESL teachers to address the needs of students who are learning English and to understand the challenges that they face.
What is the difference between ESL classes at Fullerton College and ESL classes at the North Orange Continuing Education (Anaheim Campus and Wilshire Center)?
ESL classes at Fullerton College help students develop the English skills they need to be successful in college. Reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary are emphasized in these courses. There are also support courses to help students improve their listening, speaking, and pronunciation skills. All Fullerton College ESL courses are COLLEGE CREDIT courses. Students are expected to do homework assignments outside of class and be prepared for class discussions. Students take tests and quizzes in class and receive a semester grade. Regular attendance is required. Many Fullerton College ESL students plan to earn a two-year degree or certificate or transfer to a four-year university.
ESL classes at the North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) help students improve their English skills for day-to-day life in the United States. Conversation, workplace English, citizenship, and life skills are emphasized in these courses. These courses are NON-CREDIT courses (not for college credit). Students spend more hours in class but do less homework compared to a CREDIT class. Regular attendance is important but not required. NOCE also offers some advanced courses that introduce students to academic English. Many beginning ESL students first study English at NOCE for one or two years before transferring to Fullerton College to continue their English studies.
Go to the North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) website for more information about their ESL program.
Can I skip a course in the ESL core sequence?
Some students who show outstanding progress in their core academic reading and writing classes (ESL 82, 83, 184) will have opportunities to skip a course in the sequence through Pop-Up exams. Your professor will explain this to you during the first week of class.
I am filling out the online application, but I don’t see ESL under Intended Major or Program of Study. What do I select?
Many ESL students decide to pursue a degree, transfer, or career certificate program offered by Fullerton College while taking ESL classes and developing their English language skills. Your selection in the “Intended Major or Program of Study” helps our academic counselors give you more information about the program that interests you. Therefore, all new students must select at least one of the several academic programs offered by the college. To learn more about these programs, visit the Degrees and Certificates page.
You will be able to change your selection once you meet with a counselor and discuss your educational plan and the classes you will be taking every semester.
How do I complete the new student online orientation?
Most new students are required to take the online orientation. After you apply to Fullerton College, you will receive an email that would indicate whether you will need to complete the orientation or are exempt. Students who are exempt from the orientation are still welcome to take it.
To access the online orientation, please log into your myGateway account, click on the “Fullerton” tab, then click on the “Fullerton College Orientation” hyperlink.
Watch this video to learn how to access the orientation.
How can I get help if I'm having trouble logging in MyGateway or Canvas?
One common technical issue that ESL students experience is this error when logging in MyGateway:
CAS is Unavailable. There was an error trying to complete your request. Please notify your support desk or try again.
If you get the error above, we recommend that you change your computer or device’s language to English before logging in and try again.