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About Sooner Jump Start (SJS) Pathway Program

The mission of Sooner Jump Start is to promote a vibrant global community by cultivating successful students, providing educational and cultural opportunities, and creating a sense of belonging while celebrating diversity.

Sooner Jump Start is an international pathway program designed to support students in their successful transition into a university in the United States. The program consists of two phases. During Phase One, students study at the Center for English as a Second Language with a focus on English and cultural immersion. During Phase Two, students take 12 college credits as the first semester of their degree paths. Throughout the program, students are given opportunities designed to facilitate personal development and leadership to prepare them for the challenges and changes they will face in the future. A team of highly qualified graduate assistants is available to provide students guidance in academic and daily life concerns.

 

As an international pathway program, students from around the world begin their path to a U.S. university before they leave their home countries.

Immediately following successful completion of the Sooner Jump Start program's application, students are granted access to an exemplary staff willing to assist with pre-departure preparations. SJS is available to help students decide what to bring, the best day to arrive, and to answer any questions students may have about traveling. Much of this information is included in the Sooner Jump Start admission packet.

One of the exclusive benefits of being a Sooner Jump Start student is access to the program's pre-arrival orientation. No other student in the world has access to this online orientation to help prepare incoming SJS students for their new life in the United States.

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One of the first events students will attend is Sooner Jump Start Orientation. During this orientation, students get the chance to meet the Sooner Jump Start staff, network with other students, and gain valuable information for a successful beginning at OU. SJS orientation dates and times will be included in the SJS admission letter.

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CESL LogoPhase One is designed to build students' English proficiency to a university level. Students will study in Phase One until they reach the required English proficiency level of the University of Oklahoma. Students study at the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) whose intensive English program offers expertly taught language instruction for students interested in pursuing education in the U.S.

Courses included:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening/Speaking
  • Grammar
  • Seminars, including TOEFL test prep

Entry level is determined by the placement test completed upon arrival. TOEFL and IELTS scores are not considered for placement at CESL. Students placed in Foundation Level 1 through Intermediate Level Three must progress through each level until qualifying for the Advanced Level.

Phone: (405) 325-2351 
Fax: (405) 325-7038 
esl@ou.edu
esl.ou.edu

Student Progression

This chart details the length of time students will study in SJS Phase 1. There are seven levels at OU CESL (foundation 1-3, intermediate 1-3, and advanced). Each level takes one session (two sessions per semester) to complete. Students who place into the lowest level will spend four semesters at CESL, then move to Phase Two. Students placed in the highest level,  with a qualifying TOEFL or IELTS score, will spend one semester. We recommend that students obtain their qualifying TOEFL or IELTS score before beginning the advanced level.

Progression to Phase Two

In order for students to move from Phase One to Phase Two, students must present proof of English language proficiency by meeting one of the following requirements:

  1. An iBT TOEFL score of at least 61 or IELTS score of 5.5 prior to the beginning of advanced level coursework followed by successful completion of two concurrent sessions in the same semester of Advanced Level classes with an 80% average.

OR

  1. A TOEFL score of at least 79 or IELTS score of 6.5.  The final CESL session must be completed with a 70% average. TOEFL sub section scores should have a minimum 20, IELTS sub section scores should be as evenly distributed as possible. Official scores must be submitted by the admission document deadline.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students must meet English requirements at the end of Phase One in order to advance into Phase Two. Failure to meet these requirements will result in students continuing their English language courses and postponing the college credit courses offered during Phase Two.

CIDL Logo (Center for Independent and Distance Learning)

Once Sooner Jump Start students complete the English proficiency requirement at the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) they will be in Phase 2 and are enrolled in 12 credits hours of OU coursework. These courses are face-to-face college courses selected by SJS and taught by OU instructors. The students meet in small classes where they have excellent opportunity for individualized assistance, encouraging success in their first semester of an OU degree path. The credits will become part of the students’ permanent OU college transcript. 

These are the courses offered at SJS Phase 2 (subject to availability and change):

  • ENG 1113 English Composition
  • HIST 1483 American History 1492-1865
  • PSC 1113 American Federal Government
  • UCOL 1013 First Step
  • MATH 1823 Calculus and Analytical Geometry

Students who complete Phase 2 are considered graduates of Sooner Jump Start. 

We work in conjunction with the Center for Independent and Distance Learning to provide Sooner Jump Start students with college courses for credit during Phase 2. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students must meet English requirements at the end of Phase 1 in order to advance into Phase 2. Failure to meet these requirements will result in students continuing their English language courses and postponing the college credit courses offered during Phase 2.

Phone: (405) 325-1921 
Fax: (405) 325-5702 
cidl@ou.edu 

Students in Sooner Jump Start have access to unique services aimed at international student success. These services include the following:

  • Transportation to the supermarket and bank
  • Assistance setting up an American phone number
  • Assistance obtaining a student I.D. card
  • Assistance registering for Housing and Food
  • Opportunities for participation in the SJS Mentorship Program
  • Regular Advisement Meetings with SJS Staff
  • Graduate Assistants who understand the needs of new international students to the University of Oklahoma
  • Small groups and workshops where students can bond with one another, learn valuable infromation, and have fun
  • Field trips and cultural activities
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