Faculty Senators Concerned Hospitality School Is “Lowering The Bar”

FIU's Hospitality school building at Biscayne Bay Campus.

By: Joshua Ceballos/Investigative Editor

The graduate hospitality school wants to lower its English requirements for international students, but some critics argue they’ll set the bar too low.

Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management submitted a proposal to the Faculty Senate this week to waive a previous English proficiency test requirement for their Master’s in Hospitality Management program. Faculty Senate is the body that votes on curriculum and policy changes.

When students apply to most graduate programs from non-English speaking countries, they have to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS English literacy exam and pass with an 80 or a 6.5 respectively. The school wants to do away with that requirement if applicants have passed ENC 1101 and ENC 1102 from an English-speaking institution.

Diann Newman, vice dean of the Chaplin School, said that the proposal comes out of a desire to attract more international students to the program without putting more hurdles in their way.

“We are very enthusiastic about encouraging more international students to come to our program. We take pride in the diversity we have in our program,” said Newman.

The proposal was met with some backlash when it was brought before a planning committee for the Faculty Senate.

“Are we lowering our standards for anyone to get in?” asked senator Patricia Pereira-Pujol.

Other senators shared that sentiment, raising concerns about whether students who only pass ENC 1101 and 1102 actually have enough proficiency to present in class in English or work with English-speaking peers.

“There’s some concern.. that we’d be letting in students with less ability, but I don’t see it that way,” said Newman. “We have many students who come to our program from china- they have taken 1101 and 2 and are successful in our masters and bachelors.”

Newman said students from FIU’s Chinese campus, the Tianjin Center, have graduated from there with just ENC 1101 and 1102 and gone on successfully to master’s programs here in Florida. If that’s the case for them, she said, why not other international students?

The proposal is set to go before the full faculty senate on Tuesday, Jan. 14 for a vote on whether to change the policy or not. Senators will decide whether this is a matter of making Florida International University more “international,” or a matter of lowering the bar to increase admissions.

The faculty senate will meet at 1 p.m. on Jan. 14 in Wertheim Conservatory 130 on the Modesto Maidique Campus.

Be the first to comment on "Faculty Senators Concerned Hospitality School Is “Lowering The Bar”"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.