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Columbus State Community College Language Institute

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Background The Language Institute officially began on January 3, 2000. It was the result of a CSCC Development Foundation grant designed to create and present non-credit courses in language and culture for businesses and individuals. Nearly 20 years later, the focus has shifted such that Basic English (Basic ESL) is the lion’s share of the work of the Language Institute, although non-credit language and culture courses are an important (and growing) part of the Institute’s offerings.

The noncredit Basic English program at Columbus State began in 2000 in response to needs expressed by the College’s Admissions office and Modern Languages departments. The influx of refugees, particularly those from East African countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, had created a need for an ESL program that was more basic than the college-level (credit-bearing) developmental ESL program. Basic English was created under the Language Institute to help refugee and immigrant students gain the language, literacy and cultural skills they needed to achieve their educational and career goals.

Noncredit Basic English courses are presented in two ways. First, there are open-enrollment courses that take place on one of Columbus State’s campuses and at off-site locations, as needed. In general, fees for the open-enrollment Basic English courses are paid by the students. Sometimes employers or other organizations pay these fees.

Also, specialized Basic English courses (e.g., workplace literacy for low-income immigrants/refugees) are frequently offered through grants or contract-funded programs. Since 2005, contract funding has come from Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (TANF/Refugee funding). Grant funding in this period has come through Nationwide Insurance, the Columbus Foundation, the Raymond Mason Foundation and the Dollar General Foundation.

Since 2000, there have been over 20,000 enrollments in the noncredit open-enrollment Basic English courses. When this number is added to the number who have taken basic English literacy courses that have been provided through grants and contracts, there have been over 25,000 enrollments since the beginning of the program.

Language Institute Contact Information Other Helpful Information
Dr. Tara Narcross, Language Institute Supervisor (Office: WD 1108)
Office 614-287-5448

Non-Credit Registration Office (WD 1090)
Main number: 614-287-5858
Columbus State switchboard: 614-287-2400
Columbus State Public Safety: 614-287-2525
IT Help Desk: 614-287-5050 (
Payroll: 614-287-5791
Human Resources: 614-287-2408
Office of Disability Services: 614-287-2570
Media Services: 614-287-2463
To reserve equipment: