The summer 2013 appointment of Kate Pope as director of North Central College’s English Language Institute (ELI) was a component in launching the College’s year-round intensive English program. Designed for students whose primary language is not English, ELI prepares those students for admission to North Central and other U.S. colleges or universities.
Pope brings her own experience of studying abroad, learning and speaking a second language (French), teaching in a foreign country, and developing and leading an Intensive English Program at a university. She also earned a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and a certificate in language program administration.
“North Central’s ELI program draws on 20-plus years’ experience in English language training, primarily through the Summer Language Institute,” says Pope. “Academically based, the new program also focuses on developing social and cultural skillsets in our students that lead to well-rounded individuals, able to learn, work and serve in different roles.”
Pope’s international experience helped her realize the importance of having good people around her in a new environment. “Because I’ve been where our students are, I understand their needs and can tailor our program to meet those needs,” she says. “While I serve as program director, I’m also a counselor and advisor to our students, helping them integrate and feel at home in a different culture.”
Unique aspects of North Central’s program are its individualized attention and flexibility to tailor class work to students’ interests, academic and career goals. In addition, Pope plans opportunities to develop language skills outside of class, including matching ELI students with families in the community and other students studying foreign languages, providing opportunities to serve, and using the campus language resource center.
North Central’s location in Naperville is a big plus, says Pope. Family-oriented yet close to businesses and technology centers, the city is situated among diverse cultures and income levels and near a train line to Chicago and beyond.
All these factors drew Pope to North Central. “There’s great potential to develop the program for undergraduate and graduate students as well as families and international business people in the area. And North Central is eager to be involved.”
Pope earned her B.A. in political science, French and international studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has an M.A. in TESOL and certificate in language program administration from Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College in Monterey, Calif.