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Southern Oregon University

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Second Language Admission Requirement

What is the requirement?

The admission requirement is defined by the completion of an acceptable second language, including American Sign Language (ASL), through 1) coursework in high school or college or 2) by the demonstration of knowledge and/or proficiency in a second language. If admitted by exception, two quarters or semesters of a college-level second language will be required prior to degree completion to make up the admission deficiency.


When did the requirement take effect?

The requirement began for all new undergraduates in Fall Term 1997.


Who must meet the requirement?

The requirement applies to all admitted freshmen and transfer students who graduated from high school in or after 1997. New freshmen and transfer students who graduated from high school or completed a high school equivalency program prior to 1997 are exempted from the second language requirement.


Can exceptions to the requirement be made?

Yes, students without two years of a second language can be admitted by exception. However, students admitted by exception must make up the admission deficiency prior to degree completion. If the student makes up the deficiency by taking a second language at SOU, an additional fee may be assessed. All exceptions to the second language requirement will be decided on a case-by-case basis as deemed appropriate by the admitting institution.


How can the requirement be met?

There are currently thirteen approved options for meeting the second language requirement.

High School and College Credit Options

  1. Two years of the same high school-level second language, with grade of C- or better, or
  2. C- or higher in the third year of high school-level second language, or
  3. One second language course at the 102 level or higher with a grade of C- or better

Proficiency-Based Assessment Options - The dominant standards for defining and measuring second language proficiencies in the United States are the "Proficiency Guidelines" developed over several decades by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The ACTFL guidelines specify in detail competence levels for speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The performance levels and assessments used by Proficiency-based Admission Standards System (PASS) and by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) are based on or correlated to the ACTFL Rating Scale.

Applicants need to demonstrate proficiency at the ODE Benchmark 4 level, which is equivalent to the ACTFL novice-high level for English-cognate languages.

  1. Pass the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) test with a score of at least novice-high, or
  2. Demonstrate proficiency of at least novice-high on the ACTFL scale in American Sign Language (ASL), or
  3. Pass ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview with a score of at least novice-high, or
  4. Satisfactory performance (grade of pass) on a Brigham Young Foreign Language Assessment, or
  5. Score of 500 or higher on a SAT Foreign Language Subject Test, or
  6. Score of 2 or higher on an Advanced Placement Foreign Language Test, or
  7. Score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level Foreign Language Exam, or
  8. Score of 40 or higher on a CLEP Foreign Language Exam, or
  9. Satisfactory performance on a college second-language departmental challenge exam.
  10. Education satisfactorily completed through 7th grade in school or country where English was not the language of instruction.