1. Who must take TOEFL before entering a HP program?

Answer: The purpose of the iBT TOEFL exam is to evaluate if the student has the requisite English Language skills in reading, listening, speaking, and writing to enter a clinical course and to practice in such a way that they can understand and be understood, so that safe care is provided.

The following students will be required to take the iBT TOEFL exam:

  • All students seeking admission into a Health Profession program for whom English is a second language and/or
  • Have taken COMPASS ESL and/or ESL classes, and/or
  • Have attended a high school or college where a language other than English is spoken, and/or
  • Any student who scores greater than 61 on the iBT TOEFL, and did not take ESL classes, but scored lower than the minimum required to enter the program, must retake the iBT TOEFL to demonstrate they meet the minimum scores required of the program in reading, listening, speaking, and writing
  1. If I received a COMPASS score of greater than 61, why do I have to take TOEFL?

Answer: First see #1d, further the purpose of the COMPASS exam is to evaluate if a student has the requisite reading, writing, and math skills to enter the first level of college courses at Parkland College, and that is different from evaluating if a student is prepared to enter a clinical course and practice safely.

  1.  Why is it necessary to take the TOEFL at all; I have gotten As in all my classes? Is this just a way to keep ESL students out of HP?

Answer: This is a very important question, and we are so glad to have the chance to answer! It may feel as if Health Professions is placing barriers in the way of our ESL students, but in fact we are trying to help them be successful! Many of our programs only allow one chance to be successful because of the demand, and the small size of the program. We want every student who wants to be a health professional to be successful, and we are trying to identify scores that are consistent with success, and identify ways in which our students can strengthen their English language skills before they enter.

  1. But my English will get better the more I am in my classes. I work hard and study hard, so I will learn fast. Why can’t I just get in and work on my skills as I go along?

Answer: In health professions, as soon as you are in clinical, you are dealing with live patients. While the faculty are there to help you learn, they also must first protect the patient safety.

  1. I would never do anything to hurt a patient, and I would study hard. I still do not understand why I cannot learn while I am taking my courses?

Answer: Once you are in clinical reading, listening, speaking and written language skills are critical to student success in clinical courses. Accurate communication between the student and patients and families, care providers, physicians, all hospital employees, and faculty is essential to effective patient care, and patient safety. Some programs need students to have very clear and precise spoken communication (XRA, NUR, CNA, DHG, LPN, RTT, and MOA) because they are constantly giving directions. If the patient cannot understand you, that can result in safety issues. In other programs, speaking is not as important (SUR), but listening and understanding what you are hearing from a surgeon, with a mask on, talking rapidly, and in an emergency requires acute listening, and rapid understanding and knowledge of what is being said, and what needs to be done without delay. Students with lower listening skills will not be safe. See our web site for the examples of why we have the requirements we have in place. It is important that you understand that the sub-set scores are set with a great deal of thought, and are set with all the knowledge and experience we have about what it takes for students to be successful. When you are ready we will welcome you into our health professions programs.

  1. There are different TOEFL tests, which one do I take?

Answer: The Ibt TOEFL is the only test recognized by Parkland Health Professions.

  1. If I received less than a 61 on the ESL COMPASS how can I improve my scores?

 Answer: The best way is to make an appointment with the Program Director of ESL, Tracey Brown C 151, 353-2083 to plan what you can do to improve your English skills in reading, listening, speaking, and/or writing.

  1. If I scored greater than 61, but lower than the minimum score to enter the health profession I selected, what can I do?

Answer: Students who score above 61, but not high enough to be admitted to Health Professions should meet with a counselor to develop a performance plan, designed to help you use the English language skills at a more advanced level such as:

A. Working in a position that requires listening and speaking English every day

B. Practicing with a family member who is skilled,

C. Practice “American Speech Sounds” on the CAS computers.

D. Helpful courses recommended to us by Counselors, Administrators, and Faculty at Parkland who once were ESL students, include:

    • COM 103 Intro to Speech Communication,
    • COM 120 Interpersonal Communication,
    • COM 140 Voice and Diction,
    • COM 200 Principles of group discussion, and
    • THE 103 Performance of Literature
  1. If I took the test previously, will my score count for my application to HP?

 Scores older than two years at the time of submission are invalid.