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About the Ohio Program of Intensive English

Accreditations and Affiliations

Logo for the CEA, the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

The Ohio Program of Intensive English is accredited by the CEA, the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC, formerly the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education).

Affiliations include:

English USA logo

About OPIE

OPIE is the Ohio Program of Intensive English, located on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

The Ohio Program of Intensive English began offering classes in 1967 and is one of the leading English language programs in the United States. OPIE is the oldest university English language program in Ohio.

Students come from all over the world to improve their English, prepare for academic study, and learn U.S. culture. OPIE classes are small and teachers pay special attention to student needs. Participation and the practical use of spoken and written English are emphasized.

OPIE’s primary purpose is to help you learn English and prepare you to live and study in the USA. In OPIE you will gain confidence in using American English and have a deeper understanding of American culture. OPIE instructors are experienced and qualified language teachers who have studied other languages and have lived outside the USA. OPIE consists of full-time and part-time levels of intensive English. Our University Success (U.S.) Pathway Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to take part-time English classes while starting to earn credit toward a degree at Ohio University.

OPIE is frequently asked by the U.S. government to provide special programs in International Training and Development for Fulbright scholars, students, and English teachers.

In addition to classes, OPIE offers opportunities to:

•  meet with a conversation partner or attend a weekly conversation hour.
•  get personalized, free one-on-one tutoring in OHIO’s pronunciation lab and writing lab.
•  practice your reading rate and comprehension in our reading lab.
•  attend cultural and social events on campus and in the community.

Classes meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with Wednesday reserved for individual lab work, teacher conferences, and special projects or activities. Please note: OPIE’s summer term is 12 weeks (instead of 14); due to the shortened time period, OPIE classes are held daily and lab and socio-cultural offerings may be more limited than in Fall and Spring terms.

About Athens, Ohio

Ohio University is located in the beautiful, safe city of Athens. State Parks are just a short drive from the city.

Athens enjoys four seasons. In each season, students can participate in a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, and skiing.

Major cities close to Athens are Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. OPIE will arrange to meet you at the airport and drive you to campus. You will need to fly to the airport in Columbus, Ohio

Mission Statement

The principal mission of OPIE is to raise the English language proficiency level and intercultural fluency of non-native speakers who will use English for academic study at institutions of higher education and/or for professional purposes. The OPIE mission consists of five core components: Teaching, Testing, Orientation/Cross-cultural Support, Program Development, and Teacher Development.

Mission Components


  • To provide instruction and training in the English language. Courses are designed to raise the proficiency of non-native speakers to a level enabling them to undertake academic study either at Ohio University (Ohio University admits) or at another U.S. institution of higher learning (OPIE specials) or (b) to undertake employment which requires the use of English. This instruction is provided in compliance with the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Code of Ethics, the University Consortium of Intensive English Programs (UCIEP) Guidelines and the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, Inc.) Standards.
  • To teach Ohio University courses that allow OPIE faculty to incorporate their expertise in furtherance of OHIO's broader mission.


  • To assess the English proficiency of all international students admitted to Ohio University who have not received a waiver or exemption from either the Office of Graduate Student Services or the Undergraduate Admissions Office and to make a recommendation for language study to the Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions Office and/or department/program to which the student has been admitted.

Orientation and Cross-Cultural Support

  • To orient international students in OPIE to American culture and life at OHIO and other colleges and universities in the U.S. The typical student learns what to expect in an American university (e.g., the kinds of classes, methods of instruction, types of tests and testing procedures, appropriate study skills and the use of learning resources such as the library). Help is provided for those students in the process of seeking admission to OHIO and/or other universities.
  • To promote harmony and understanding across cultures through our cultural programs and activities; our elective courses; our programs for students, faculty, and administrators in the residence halls and offices on campus; work with International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS) and community organizations (e.g., United Campus Ministry, the churches, local clubs.

Program Development

  • Internal to OPIE:
    • To keep pace with the profession of teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language and to maintain a program responsive to student needs.
  • External to OPIE:
    • To develop special courses/activities outside of normal class hours.
    • To develop special language training programs in conjunction with units on campus involved in international education overseas or in the U.S..
    • To develop special language programs for international students and teachers.
    • To develop off-campus programs using the expertise of OPIE to meet the needs of academic or business institutions.

Teacher Development

To prepare individuals involved in (or seeking) teaching positions such as Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or International Teaching Assistantships. The purpose of this preparation is to provide them with the guidance and support necessary to successfully fulfill their professional goals and responsibilities.

Beliefs and Values Underlying the OPIE Mission

Our mission statement is based on the following beliefs and values underlying our work and interactions of all faculty and staff in the ESL program:

  • Excellence in faculty, instruction, and service
  • Collaboration and cooperation
  • Pursuit of cultural understanding
  • Learner-centered teaching
  • Participation in service activities and/or professional organizations
  • Extending learning beyond the classroom
  • Adherence to UCIEP, NAFSA and other appropriate national standards.

We envision that the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) will be an unsurpassed program that enables all students and participants to improve their linguistic, academic, and professional skills through access to highly qualified faculty, cutting-edge technology, and personal and caring support services. Additionally, we will strive to provide increased public access to the expertise of its faculty through consulting and outreach services. In the coming years, we envision expanding our services in targeted professional areas to serve the needs of international students at Ohio University. Through this vision, OPIE will produce high quality graduates, raise the national prominence and visibility of Ohio University, and create cross-cultural understanding and appreciation among international and domestic students.

Strategies for the Future of OPIE

The following six overarching strategies will inform the goals for OPIE for the foreseeable future:

  • Broaden and diversify our funding base so that we can reliably plan program offerings, support adequate infrastructure, and market our services.
  • Strengthen student recruitment efforts.
  • Expand opportunities for students to learn beyond the classroom and develop new opportunities for student engagement.
  • Raise both “on and off” campus profile for institutional recognition and off-campus visibility and marketing.
  • Play a central and collaborative role in the Ohio University plan to create a culturally diverse campus that fosters global citizenship.
  • Monitor program offerings and staffing to reflect new needs and opportunities, invest when appropriate and divest when necessary.