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Would you like to join a community of students with diverse backgrounds that have common goals?

3 students working at a table in library

Are you interested in improving your academic English reading and writing skills?

If you are a non-native speaker of English or a U.S. born citizen and English is not the primary language spoken in your home, this program might be the perfect choice for you.  For over a decade, Penn State Brandywine has conducted a successful first-year program, the American Studies Cluster, for students who need help in developing the fundamental English skills required in college. The courses in the American Studies Cluster are mainstream college courses that also provide the additional language skills needed for students to be successful.

Who can benefit from the American Studies Cluster?

  • Students born outside the United States and English is not their native language
  • Students born in the United States and English is not the primary language spoken at home
  • Students score low on the verbal portion of the SAT exam and English is not the primary language spoken at home

How does a student enroll in this program?
First, a student needs to be admitted to Penn State Brandywine.  Once admitted, students are invited to participate after completion of the Penn State academic placement tests.  Penn State Brandywine students can also request to be admitted to this program.

What will this program do?
This cluster of courses, which includes intensive tutoring, helps students improve their academic reading and writing skills. In addition, students acquire the vocabulary, study skills, and background knowledge needed for college success. 

Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including:

  • Bangladesh
  • Togo
  • Albania 
  • Pakistan 
  • Liberia
  • Ethiopia
  • India

Here’s what some of our students are saying about the American Studies Cluster:

  • “It’s a fantastic program, I had a lot of fun in there and suggest to any incoming student to take it.”
  • “It makes the transition from high school to college so much easier.”
  • “The teachers are wonderful.”
  • “It’s a nice environment to study and make friends.”
  • “These courses helped me to fill in the holes that were left after my high school education.”
  • “Great program!”

For more information contact:
Christine Brown
Coordinator of Brandywine Learning
130 Vairo Building
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA  19063
610-892-1463
cmf22@psu.edu

ESL Program Co-Coordinator
Debbie Lamb Ousey
Instructor in English
Penn State Brandywine
Dlo4@psu.edu