English Language Requirement for Health Technologies Programs

All health care workers (native and non-native US English speakers alike) are expected to use clear communication skills in the workplace. Students whose native language is not US English are expected to demonstrate "near-native" US English language abilities. There are three options to choose from to confirm this ability if you have attended school in another country and/or English is not the primary language spoken at home:

  1. Take the Duolingo English Test and score 100 points or higher, or
  2. Submit TOEFL iBT scores, meeting a minimum score in listening/speaking, or
  3. Complete EFL courses in the areas of listening/speaking with a score of 80 percent or higher.

All students should submit their test scores directly to Durham Tech and then have the English Language Requirement form, signed by a representative from the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) department where scores will be verified. If students elect to take a listening/speaking class, then after grades are posted for that semester, the student should take the English Language Requirement form to the EAP department for verification of the grade and to have the form signed. The signed form must be submitted to Admissions and Enrollment Services to verify how the English language requirement has been met.

Students meeting the following criteria must comply with this revised requirement.

  1. Students who apply to a Health and Wellness program on or after February 4, 2020, or
  2. Students who applied to a Health and Wellness program before February 4, 2020 but have not yet met the previous English language requirement. The details of the testing options to meet the English language requirement are listed below. Students who are required to test must choose one option.

Option 1

Take the Duolingo Lingo English Test (DET) and have an overall score of 100 points or higher.

Please note that the DET is not administered on the Durham Tech campus, and students must have access to a computer with reliable internet, a front facing webcam, microphone, and speakers. View more information and access to the testing and practice site.

If students do not have access to the technology needed to take the Duolingo test, they may request to take the test in the Durham Tech testing center or the Center for the Global Learner computer lab. When registering for the test, students should indicate that test results should be sent directly to Durham Technical Community College.

Duolingo scores may be used for placement within two years from the date taken. If test scores are older than two years, students must retest unless continuously enrolled. Continuously enrolled is defined as not missing three or more consecutive semesters of enrollment in courses. After students test scores have been submitted to Durham Tech, students must have the English Language Requirement form signed by a representative from the EAP department. Students must take this form to Admissions and Enrollment with the application packet for the health technology program that the student is applying to.

Option 2

Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), iBT version. Students must earn at least the following minimum scores on the TOEFL iBT:

  • Listening – 22
  • Speaking – 26

Please note that the TOEFL iBT is not administered on the Durham Tech campus. Students must make their own arrangements to take the TOEFL iBT. Practice questions, test information, dates, and testing sites are located at www.ets.org/toefl. There is a fee to take the TOEFL iBT.

When registering for the test, students should indicate that test results be sent to Durham Technical Community College, ID# DI 5172. Photocopies of TOEFL Score Reports are not valid.

TOEFL scores may be used for placement within two years from the date taken. If test scores are older than two years, students must retest unless continuously enrolled. Continuously enrolled is defined as not missing three or more consecutive semesters of enrollment in courses. After students test scores have been submitted to Durham Tech, students must have the English Language Requirement form signed by a representative from the EAP department and submit this form to Admissions and Enrollment with the application packet for the health technology program that the student is applying to.

Option 3

If a student does not achieve the required score on the DET or TOEFL iBT tests or if the student opts not to take one of those tests, then the student may enroll in one or more of the curriculum EFL courses designed to improve academic speaking and listening proficiency. If the student is not currently enrolled or does not have reading and writing placement test scores, then the student will have to take the placement test for reading and writing to be placed into the correct EFL courses. If a student places below curriculum level in reading or writing, then the student would take the appropriate level EFL reading and writing courses based on their scores. In addition, EFL 055 English for Special Purposes and/or EFL 064 Listening/Speaking would be required to meet the listening/speaking requirement for the Health and Wellness English Language Requirement. In some cases, students may be encouraged or required to take both courses, depending on their level of speaking and listening.

NOTE: The student must achieve a grade of 80 percent or higher in the required courses to meet the language requirement for application to a Health and Wellness program. After the official grades are posted, the student will need to have the English Language Requirement form signed by a representative of the EAP department who will confirm the grade of 80 percent or higher through the student's online transcript. The student must then submit this form with their application packet to Admissions and Enrollment Services. The Health and Wellness department is then informed that the student has met the English language proficiency requirement.

Important: Students applying to the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) or Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) programs must provide documentation annually regarding how they meet the English language requirement was met with EACH competitive admissions application. Students must meet the applicable version as defined in this procedure. For information about the competitive admissions process, please visit the ADN program or the LPN program pages.

Learn more about the English Language Requirement Frequently Asked Questions.