Lyle School of Engineering - Special Academic Programs
Guildhall at SMU
The Guildhall at SMU is the first digital game development program to be based at a research university. The program has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers an 18-month program that prepares students to work in the digital games development industry. The program has three tracks: art creation, software development and level design. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate from the Hart eCenter at SMU.
John E. Wheeler, Director
Students whose first language is not English may encounter special challenges as they strive to function efficiently in the unfamiliar culture of an American university setting. The Office of General Education offers the following ESL resources to students from all schools and departments of SMU.
The Courses (ESL)
1001. ESL Communication Skills.
The goal of this course is to improve ESL students’ oral and aural interactive skills in speaking, giving presentations, pronunciation, listening and American idiomatic usage so they may become more participatory in their classes and integrate more readily with their native English-speaking peers. It is designed to meet the needs of both undergraduate and graduate students who may be fully competent in their field of study yet require specialized training to effectively communicate in an American classroom setting. The course is noncredit and no-fee, and is transcripted as Pass or Fail. ESL Program approval is required, and students may apply online at smu.edu/esl.
1002. ESL Communication Skills II.
Building on skills developed in ESL 1001, students make use of their knowledge and practice to explore various aspects of American studies. In addition to speaking and presentation skills, reading and writing are also exploited as a means for students to gain a deeper understanding of American culture, customs, attitudes and idiomatic use of the language. The course is noncredit and no-fee, and is transcripted as Pass or Fail. ESL 1001 is recommended as a precursor but is not a prerequisite. ESL Program approval is required, and students may apply online at smu.edu/esl.
1300, 1301, 1302. ESL Rhetoric.
The ESL sequence of first-year writing aims to provide students with the tools they will need to successfully complete writing assignments required of them during their University coursework. The ultimate goal of the class is to bring students’ analytical reading and writing skills in line with the standards expected of their native English-speaking peers. Building on the principles of effective writing taught in regular rhetoric classes, students are given extra practice in vocabulary development, grammar skills, standard American English pronunciation and conversational fluency. The 1302 courses are specially designed around themes that are pertinent to the realities and experiences of nonnative speakers of English. ESL sections of rhetoric grant students the same amount of credit as do regular rhetoric classes, and “ESL” will not appear on the transcript. ESL Program approval is required.
20XX. Intensive English Program (IEP).
All 2000-level courses are exclusive to IEP. This multilevel, yearlong program is designed to prepare students and professionals for academic success at the university level. The course of study consists of English for academic purposes, TOEFL-related skills and American culture. It is open to currently enrolled and newly incoming students, as well as to those not affiliated with SMU. On-campus housing and meals are available during the six-week summer term. This is a noncredit, nontranscripted program, and separate tuition fees will be charged. ESL Program approval is required, and the application package may be downloaded via the IEP link at smu.edu/esl.
3001. Advanced Grammar for Writers.
This course helps students develop their grammar and writing skills within the context of academic readings. Problem areas of English grammar and style are explored through periodic assignments, research documentation methods and a final research
project. The course is free of charge, noncredit bearing, and will appear on the transcript as Pass or Fail. ESL Program approval is required, and students may apply online at smu.edu/esl.
3002. Advanced Academic Writing.
Building on principles of grammar and style covered in ESL 3001, this course helps students further improve the writing skills needed for their particular academic careers, using academic texts as a basis for out-of-class writing assignments and a final research project. The course is free of charge, noncredit bearing, and will appear on the transcript as Pass or Fail. ESL Program approval is required, and students may apply online at smu.edu/esl.
4001. ESL Pronunciation Skills.
Students improve their pronunciation by focusing on sentence stress, rhythm, intonation and body language while learning to mimic American speech patterns. With the instructor’s assistance and extensive individual feedback, students develop personal strategies and exercises to become more aware of their own weaknesses. The course is free of charge, noncredit bearing, and will appear on the transcript as Pass or Fail. ESL Program approval is required, and students may apply online at smu.edu/esl.
Conversation Buddy Program
Once at the beginning of each term, all students are notified via campus e-mail of this opportunity to practice their language skills in an informal, one-on-one setting outside the classroom for one to two hours a week. Every effort is made to match native speakers of English with a native speaker of a language or culture in which they may have an interest. In this way, both the ESL student and the native English speaker benefit from a two-way language exchange. To apply for a Conversation Buddy, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
ESL Self-Study Lab
A collection of audio- and videotapes plus computer software is available for self-study use at the Fondren Library Information Commons. Students will find materials to help them improve their pronunciation, listening, vocabulary and grammar skills.
The University maintains an academic campus at Fort Burgwin, located 10 miles southeast of Taos, New Mexico. SMU-in-Taos is open for summer study each year, offering courses in the humanities, natural and social sciences, business, and performing and studio arts, as well as archaeological research. The campus plans a full fall term beginning in 2009.
Students are housed in small residences called casitas. Each residence has separate dorm rooms, complete lavatory and shower facilities, and a large study area with fireplace. Classrooms, offices, an auditorium, dining hall, library, computer lab and laundry facilities also are located on campus.
The campus is home to both Pot Creek Pueblo and historic Fort Burgwin. Pot Creek Pueblo, one of the largest prehistoric sites in the northern Rio Grande Valley, is located on the property. This site is one of the ancestral homes of modern-day Taos and Picuris pueblos, and was occupied from
A.D. 1250 to 1350.
Historic Fort Burgwin was originally established in 1852. The fort served many purposes, chief among them to protect area settlers, prior to its abandonment in 1860, just before the Civil War. Reconstructed, the fort now serves as office and classroom space for campus academic programs.
In 2009, three summer terms will be offered in Taos: May term, June term and August term. May and August are short, intense terms in which students may take up to four credit hours. June term is a longer, more traditional summer term that allows students to take up to nine hours of coursework. Course offerings vary year-to-year and are designed to be relevant to the Southwest. Courses are
heavily field trip-oriented to best take advantage of the campus’s proximity to important Northern New Mexico cultural sites. Plans for a full 15-credit fall term are planned for 2009, pending the completion of additional student housing and campus facilities.
Literature describing the campus and its programs is available from the SMU-in-Taos Office, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750145, Dallas TX 75275, 214-768-3657. Course descriptions and additional information can be found at smu.edu/taos,
or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1953, students and faculty of Southern Methodist University have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities. ORAU is a consortium of colleges and universities and a management and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.
Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (the DOE facility that ORAU operates), undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates and faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines, including business, Earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry and mathematics.
ORAU’s Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU’s members, private industry and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, such as the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, the Visiting Industrial Scientist Program and various services to chief research officers.
For more information about ORAU and its programs, contact Dr. James E. Quick, ORAU Councilor for Southern Methodist University, at 214-768-4345, or Monnie E. Champion, ORAU Corporate Secretary, at 423-576-3306; or visit the ORAU home page at orau.org.