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What is PLaCE?

Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE) is an instructional unit based in the College of Liberal Arts. The PLaCE program supports international students and internationalization efforts at the university by providing a strong instructional and assessment program. Our focus is helping international students develop the academic, linguistic, and cultural competencies needed to participate in university life and to compete for graduate school and employment opportunities.

The PLaCE program was initiated in 2012 as part of the Student Success program under the Provost Office. After a successful pilot program (GS100 and GS10100), PLaCE became a permanent program with an English department designation of SCLA 11000 and SCLA 11100. Effective with the Summer 2024 session, the course designation will change to SCLA 11000 and 11100. The PLaCE requirement is based on the University Senate’s recommendation (via Resolution 15-13) and action approved by the Purdue Board of Trustees and set forth by the Office of the Provost on December 8, 2017.

Subsequently, Short Course programs have been added to provide flexible, focused options for international students to meet their English language needs and to fit their schedule. The courses are open to all international students but are primarily focused on graduate students.

PLaCE works in five main areas:

Course Designation Change

Effective Summer 2024, the PLaCE foundational courses of ENGL 11000 and ENGL 11100 will have the course designation of SCLA 11000 & SCLA 11100. The requirement and placement criteria for these courses remain unchanged. GS 10000 and GS 10100 were the predecessors to ENGL 11000 and 11100.

Current Titles:

  • ENGL 11000 American Language and Culture for International Students I
  • ENGL 11100 American Language and Culture for International Students II
New Titles, effective Summer 2024:
  • SCLA 11000 Language and Cultural Exchange I: Self in Context
  • SCLA 11100 Language and Cultural Exchange II: Texts and Contexts
Course Equivalency:
  • SCLA 11000 = ENGL 11000 = GS 10000
  • SCLA 11100 = ENGL 11100 = GS 10100

SCLA 11000 and SCLA 11100 Sequence

The PLaCE program provides a required two-course sequence (SCLA 11000 and SCLA 11100) for all international undergraduate students who have a total score of 100 or less on the TOEFL iBT (or the equivalent on other English language tests, such as IELTS or Duolingo).

These courses contribute to improve English language proficiency for participating international students, helping them take full advantage of the range of educational opportunities available at Purdue, and providing the foundational English language skills and knowledge that they need for success in their educational program and beyond. These courses also help international students gain a better understanding of American culture, especially as it relates to being a university student in the U.S.

SCLA 11000 and 11100 are also a prerequisite to first-year composition classes, such as ENGL 10800 or SCLA 10100 for students with qualifying scores on language proficiency tests. The standard sequence of courses for students in a PLaCE cohort is to take SCLA 11000 in fall and SCLA 11100 in spring, and then to take SCLA 10100 and 10200 (or their equivalent, such as ENGL 10800 and COM 11400, based on their major’s plan of study) in later semesters.

SCLA 11000 is part of the University Undergraduate Core Curriculum (UCC), as a foundational learning outcome for Human Cultures: Humanities. This means that SCLA 11000 counts toward students’ graduation requirements and should not delay their progress in graduating or proceeding into their chosen major concentration. SCLA 11100 counts as a humanities elective

PLaCE Foundational Course Descriptions

SCLA 11000 and 11100 comprise PLaCE’s two-semester course sequence for qualifying first-year international students. In these courses, students build a strong foundation of university-level language, communication, and intercultural skills so that they can more fully participate in the life of the university.

SCLA 11000 Language and Cultural Exchange I: Self in Context

Short title: SCLA - 11000 - LACE I: Self in Context

Course Learning Outcomes - At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Speak English more fluently.
  2. Read English more fluently.
  3. Communicate in English with increased clarity (writing effective academic sentences and paragraphs, speaking on familiar topics).
  4. Develop and apply a process for cross-cultural comparison and reflection.

Course Description

Credit Hours: 3.00. The course takes a social science-based approach to investigating the American university by examining contemporary college life, the history of the American academy, social and environmental issues on campus, and opportunities for engagement with the wider community. Students will improve their speaking, listening, reading, writing skills in English so that they can actively participate in social and academic communication.

PWL Undergraduate: Core Curriculum Approved

SCLA 11000 is an approved course in the University Core for UC-Humanities.

SCLA 11100 Language and Cultural Exchange II: Texts and Contexts

Short title: SCLA - 11100 - LACE II: Texts and Contexts

Course Learning Outcomes - At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Speak and read English more fluently.
  2. Present academic topics to an audience with increased clarity and within time constraints (write effective, short academic essays; present information orally to an academic audience).
  3. Understand reasons and practices for using outside sources in an American academic context.

Course Description

Credit Hours: 3.00. Students will continue to develop the foundational language skills and knowledge that they need to succeed in their other classes at Purdue and to prepare for further academic and professional opportunities. Students will also deepen their understanding of American culture and improve their ability to think about cultural differences in positive ways. In a sense, this class will be a bridge to help you transition to other language-intensive courses at Purdue where you need to read, write, and speak frequently and/or work in groups (such as business, engineering, literature, public speaking, and social sciences).

Short Courses Overview

PLaCE Short Courses provide flexible, focused options for students to meet their English language needs and to fit their schedule. They:

  • Short Courses are open to all undergraduate or graduate international students, as well as Visiting Scholars (see enrollment site for more details on registration process).
  • Short Courses are open to international students at all levels (undergraduate and graduate) but are especially popular with graduate students.
  • Short Courses require no additional fees to enroll.
  • Students self-select the course but are encouraged to contact the instructor or a PLaCE staff member before they enroll in a Short Course so that they find a course that is a good fit for them.
  • Classes are non-credit, are not graded, and do not appear on transcripts; however, students can earn a Certificate of Completion.
  • One of the main reasons students drop Short Courses is because of conflicts with their academic or research duties, so we strongly encourage graduate students to talk with advisors before enrolling
Short Course and Workshop descriptions are found in Appendix Two (Page 13).