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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Placement tests -- Do I take the TELD for the ACE/ESL program or CTEP for the English program?

If you took ESL or ELD classes in high school and were placed into Senior English in 12th grade, you should take the TELD placement test. Some college students have been in the U.S. for a long time and have excellent speaking skills, but their writing may still contain many errors that are related to differences between English and their native languages. If this describes you, then take the TELD. Most high school graduates who take this placement test enter our two highest ACE levels. The TELD can also place students directly into English 101.

2. I graduated from an American high school, where I passed senior English. Why would I still need to take ESL or ACE classes in college?

Many ACE students have graduated from American high schools. Our goal is to help you get to and succeed in English 101 and other college courses. If your writing skills are not at a college level, you might place into a very low level of English, which you might not pass--even if you passed senior English in high school.

3. If I took the English placement test (CTEP) and am currently in an English course, can I change to the ACE program?

YES! But you need to make all add/drop changes during the first two weeks of the semester. Be sure to talk to the ACE department chair or a counselor in D-106 so we can help you make the switch into the right course.

Contact Diana Babayan at (714) 628-4782 or

4. Won't the ACE program slow down my plans to transfer or look bad on my transcripts?

Most ACE students place into ACE 102  or ACE 116and will need only a couple semesters of ESL before they are prepared for English 101. If you are in the English program and don't pass those courses, then it will take you longer to transfer. That's why it is so important for you to take the right placement test.

Also consider this: ACE 102 and 116 units transfer to some CSU and UC institutions. English N50, N60 and 061 units do not transfer.

Universities understand that if your native language is not English, your academic background will probably include ESL, and they often recognize that former ESL students are, in fact, very highly motivated to succeed.

ACE has seen its former students graduate from CSUF, CSULB, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCI, Amherst and other outstanding universities.

 5. Does SCC have an International Students' Program?

SCC's International Student Office is located in A-. Any questions you have about your visa status or requirements should be directed to that office. International students who come from countries where English is not the primary language MUST take the TELD placement test.

International Student Office: (714) 628-5050 located in SCC A-205

6. Are the ESL programs at Santiago Canyon College and Santa Ana College the same?

They cover similar grammar, reading and writing skills, but they are organized differently. In ACE, speaking skills are practiced in the 053 and 093 courses. The chart below shows in general how the two programs compare. At SAC, the ESL program is called EMLS (English for Multilingual Students); at SCC, the ESL program is called ACE (American College English).

Santa Ana College

Santiago Canyon College

1. EMLS 055

2. EMLS 107

3. EMLS 109

4. EMLS 110

5. EMLS 112

6. ENGLISH 101

1. ACE 052 and 053 (053 is optional but recommended)

2. ACE 102 and 093 (093 is optional but recommended)

3. ACE 116

4. ENGLISH 101

7. What if I'm a Continuing Education student? Can I take ACE classes?

Yes! We "save" ten seats in ACE 052, 053, 102, 093 and 081 for Continuing Education students as a way to build a bridge between our noncredit and credit ESL programs. When Continuing Education students work side-by-side with credit students, they often realize that they are ready to study college credit classes and perhaps would like to work toward a degree or certificate. You will register in the Continuing Education ESL course but attend classes on the SCC campus with ACE students. Talk to Eden Quimzon at the Chapman Center about this opportunity, or on the SCC campus, visit the Continuing Education staff in U-80.

                        Eden Quimzon, ESL Coordinator for Continuing Education / Chapman Center

                        SCC Continuing Education Office on campus U-80  (714) 628-5929