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Mission Statement for the Ohio Program of Intensive English

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 Scholar 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.