For Counselors and Admissions Officers

CLIP is open to ESL students who have been admitted to any CUNY college, and have not passed the CUNY Assessment Tests in Reading and/or Writing. It is offered on 9 CUNY campuses.

Who does CLIP serve?

  • Entering freshmen who need to strengthen their English language skills before starting their first college semester
  • Matriculated students who have been academically dismissed from a four-year college, having failed the same ESL course twice
  • Matriculated students who are not succeeding in their ESL classes

Upon completion of a maximum of one year of study, CLIP students return to their home campuses for placement into the appropriate college level courses.

CLIP is an excellent option for ESL students who prefer a full-time immersion approach to their English language studies that does not draw upon their financial aid allocation. Students are also referred to CLIP by college Offices of Admissions, Freshman Year Programs, SEEK, and College Discovery. In addition, faculty in ESL and Developmental Skills departments refer students they believe will benefit from the CLIP instructional model.

CLIP is an intensive academic English Language program. Classes meet 25 hours a week (five hours per day, five days per week), in both day and evening sessions.

CLIP is low cost. Students do not use their financial aid while in CLIP. Instead, they pay a small fee and save their financial aid allocation for subsequent college coursework. There are reduced rates for students on public assistance and in SEEK and College Discovery programs, and higher fees for non-residents. (See the CLIP Calendars and Fees and FAQs.)

CLIP uses a content-based curriculum. Students learn English through studying topics in American history, literature, environmental studies, and others. In this way, students build their knowledge base at the same time as they develop their reading, writing and oral communication skills in English.

CLIP classes are offered at all English language skill levels. Students are placed according to an essay exam and an objective test for listening comprehension, reading, vocabulary and grammar. The students’ scores on the CUNY Assessment Tests in Reading and Writing are also factors in placement. Students can stay in the program for up to one full year (including a summer term). When they leave the program, students are retested on the CUNY Assessment Tests in Reading and Writing per university guidelines.

In CLIP, students learn the essentials about going to college, including information about credits, GPAs, transcripts and GenED Requirements. CLIP links students to college services such as academic and career counseling and financial aid. CLIP students explore majors and careers. CLIP instructors invite college professors to present in their classes and CLIP students visit college departments to learn about programs. CLIP alumni, now successful college students and graduates, serve as mentors and advisors to current CLIP students.

CLIP is a demanding program. It is suitable only for those students who can participate in a class that meets five hours per day, five days per week (in day or evening sessions). Students must also devote time outside of class for reading and other homework assignments. To be successful in CLIP, students have to balance their work, family and CLIP obligations.