ELI Student Orientation (ESO)

ELI Student Orientation Mission

The mission of ELI Student Orientation (ESO) is to ensure a smooth transition to student life for new ELI students so that they are prepared for their studies when the semester begins.

Why is ESO Required?

During ESO, new ELI students will attend required policy workshops, take placement tests, open a bank account, get a mailbox at the Gallaudet University postal center, and do other activities designed to help new students get familiarized with each other, the ELI program, the Gallaudet University campus, and the greater Washington, DC area.

Instructions for New ELI Students

All new ELI students are required to arrive on time for ESO, which runs for one and a half weeks before the fall semester or for one week before the spring semester.

New ELI students who will check into dorm rooms need to be aware that scheduling travel plans to coincide with Arrival Day is important. If you arrive early, you will be responsible for paying nightly charges to Residence Life. There is a possibility that your dorm room would not be available if you arrive too early. In this case, please be prepared to find hotel accommodations.

On Arrival Day, please check in at Hall Memorial Building room E253 at the front desk. Check-in times are from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ELI staff will help you get settled into your dorm room if you are staying on campus. If you arrive on campus when the ELI is not open, please go directly to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), located in the lower level of Carlin Hall, to get your student ID before proceeding to your assigned residence hall. Someone at the front desk of your residence hall will have your room key.

You will take required placement tests for English, American Sign Language (ASL), and mathematics. You will also attend mandatory policy workshops, follow Gallaudet University/ELI policies and procedures, and settle properly into your academic life as a new student. After your placement test scores have been evaluated by the ELI administration, you will be assigned to a level for English, ASL, and mathematics. Please note that mathematics classes are optional but the mathematics placement test is required. You will also be assigned to a Cross-Cultural Communication class, which is required for new ELI students. Classes will begin after the completion of the ESO program.

You will be attending business registration in order to officially register for classes. If you have any holds on your student account, you will need to do what is necessary to clear them. When you have completed ELI Student Orientation and business registration and are officially registered for classes, you can begin attending ELI classes for the semester.


New ELI Students pay an ESO fee to participate in ELI Student Orientation.  The ESO fee structure is listed below.

  • Fall Semester: $490
  • Spring Semester: $400

Please note that separate dining cards for the student cafeteria will be given to new ELI students to purchase meals during ESO. When the semester starts, the meal plan goes into effect on the student ID cards.

ESO Schedule

Arrival Day for new students for the Spring 2018 semester is Sunday, January 7th. ELI Student Orientation (ESO) begins on Monday, January 8th and runs until January 13th. Then students begin their classes on January 16th.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

TimeEvent Details / Location
11 am - 6 pm Arrival Day (Student ID and Dorm Key) (HMB E253)

Monday, January 8, 2018

TimeEvent Details / Location
9 am - 10 am Welcome to ELI / Check-in HMB (HMB E253)
10 am - 12 pm Health Check Group (A) (SHS (A))
12 pm - 1 pm Lunch (SAC Marketplace)
1 pm - 3 pm Health Check Group (B) (SHS (B))
3 pm - 4 pm Mailbox Assignments (SAC Marketplace)
5 pm - 6 pm Dinner (SAC Marketplace)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

TimeEvent Details / Location
9 am - 10:30 am RAVENS Test (HMB E250)
10:30 am - 12 pm SEVIS Check-in (Dawes House 101A)
12 pm - 1 pm Lunch (SAC Marketplace)
1 pm - 3 pm Computer Accounts Workshop (MLC B220)
3 pm - 4 pm Residence Hall Policy Workshop (HMB E254)
4 pm - 5 pm Residence Life Tour (HMB E254)
5 pm - 6 pm Dinner (SAC Marketplace)
6 pm - 7 pm Meal Plan Workshop (HMB E254)
7 pm - 8:30 pm Math Test (HMB E250)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

TimeEvent Details / Location
9 am - 11 am DPS Workshop (HMB E254)
11 am - 12 pm GWE Test (HMB E250)
12 pm - 1 pm Lunch (SAC Marketplace)
1 pm - 3 pm Open Bank Account Workshop (HMB E254)
4 pm - 5 pm ASL Game (HMB E253)
5 pm - 6 pm ASL Test (HMB E253)
6 pm - 7 pm Dinner (SAC Marketplace)
7 pm - 8 pm Billing Policy Workshop (HMB E254)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

TimeEvent Details / Location
9 am - 10 am Sexual Misconduct Workshop (HMB E254)
10 am - 11 am Student Conduct Workshop (HMB E254)
11 am - 12 pm Business Registration (HMB E254)
12 pm - 1 pm Lunch (SAC Marketplace)
1 pm - 2 pm Library Barcode Stickers / Group Photo / Individual Photo (HMB E253)
3 pm - 4 pm SHS Workshop (HMB E254)
4 pm - 5:30 pm EGT Test (HMB E250)
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Dinner (SAC Marketplace)

Friday, January 11, 2018

TimeEvent Details / Location
9 am - 11 am SEVIS Workshop (HMB E254)
11 am - 12:30 pm Gallaudet Tour (HMB E254)
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch (SAC Marketplace)
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ELI Staff Welcome (HMB E254)
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Class Policy Workshop (HMB E254)
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Deaf Comedy (HMB E254)
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm ELISO Workshop (HMB E254)
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Dinner (SAC Marketplace)

ESO Workshop Descriptions

Students receive a copy of their class schedule during ESO once the placement tests have been completed. Students are encouraged to meet with the ELI Coordinator or the Operations Support Specialist if they have any questions.  Below are descriptions of ESO workshops and activities.

Academic Technology / Computer Accounts Workshop

The Academic Technology / Computer Accounts Workshop helps students to set up their computer accounts and covers the following topics:

  1. Email at http://mail.gallaudet.edu
  2. GDOC Blackboard on http://my.gallaudet.edu
  3. Password changes every six months

Billing Policy Workshop

The Billing Policy Workshop helps students to understand their financial responsibilities and covers the following topics.

  1. Advance payment requirements
  2. Bank transfers/money wires
  3. Gallaudet University health insurance plan
  4. Do not let personal or family health insurance expire if you waive Gallaudet's health insurance plan
  5. Bison at http://bison.gallaudet.edu
  6. Student Center inside of Bison where the balance due is found
  7. Refund policy for fall and spring semesters

Business Registration

Business Registration is when a person officially becomes a student for the semester and includes the following topics.

  1. Signing a promissory note
  2. Selecting a meal plan
  3. Completing an online waiver form in Bison in order to use the outside health insurance plan that the student or family already has. Filling out an off-campus address form if the student is not living in a dorm on campus
  4. Completing a Family and Educational Rights Protection Act (FERPA) online form in Bison

Website: Student Financial Services

Health Insurance Check

The new students meet with the Operations Support Specialist about their health insurance plan. The following actions may occur during this meeting.

  1. If the student is waiving Gallaudet University's health insurance plan, then it is necessary to submit a copy of the student's outside health insurance ID card.
  2. If the student will have a health insurance plan through an embassy, the embassy may be contacted to get a temporary health insurance policy number.

SEVIS Check in

The new international students meet with the Office of Research Support and International Affairs official who will review their passports and I-20 forms or DS2019 forms. The international students will fill out three agreement forms required for their F-1 or J-1 visas. When the paperwork is approved, the official will then update SEVIS to an active student status on behalf of the student.

Class Policy Workshop

The Class Policy Workshop helps the new students learn what it means to be a good student at the ELI and to have good study habits. The following topics are covered.

  1. Late policy
  2. Absence policy
  3. Following a syllabus
  4. Doing homework on time
  5. Make-up tests may or may not be available, depending on the instructor

Dorm Policy / Residence Hall Policy Workshop

The Dorm Policy Workshop explains the following topics for new students living in the dorms.

  1. The Residence Advisor (RA) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for help
  2. How to respect your roommate or change to another dorm room
  3. How to complete a complaint procedure or report something illegal
  4. Flashing fire alarms and emergency evacuation routes.  For more information, please go to the Emergency Evacuation Procedures and Routes.

Department of Public Safety (DPS) Workshop

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) Workshop helps new students learn how to protect themselves and their property.  The following topics are covered.

  1. Do not walk alone in the dark.
  2. How to contact DPS if you see something wrong
  3. A DPS tracking number can be engraved on valuables.
  4. DPS has a lost and found box and if a student has lost something on campus, it might be found there.
  5. If a student encounters a violent situation, DPS can be called. DPS will report violent situations caused by students to Gallaudet University and the local police if necessary.
  6. Student drug and alcohol violations will be reported to Gallaudet University as well.  For more information, please go to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Point System Policy.

English Language Institute Student Organization (ELISO) Workshop

The English Language Institute Student Organization (ELISO) Workshop explains the unique and common characteristics of this student organization for ELI students. The ELISO has equal status with other student organizations on campus, but there are ELI requirements to follow due to ELI's accreditation status with Commission of English Language Accreditation (CEA).

Gallaudet University Tour

New students take a tour of the Gallaudet University campus and various departments within certain buildings that are particularly relevant to ELI students.

Meal Plan Workshop

The Meal Plan Workshop helps on-campus students learn about the meal plans available for the semester or learn how to get a medical wavier. It also covers the difference between regular meal plan options and the dining dollars option.

Office of Student Conduct Workshop

The Office of Student Conduct Workshop helps new students learn how to act respectfully and treat others with respect. The following topics are covered.

  1. Federal and local drug and alcohol laws
  2. Gallaudet University drug and alcohol policies
  3. How to say no and resist peer pressure
  4. Religious tolerance is encouraged.
  5. Sexual harassment is forbidden.  For more information, please go to the Office of Student Conduct.

Sexual Misconduct Workshop

The Sexual Misconduct Workshop goes into explicit detail about what types of sexual behavior are unacceptable. Topics covered are listed below.

  1. Creating pornographic videos is forbidden.
  2. Sexual abuse is prohibited.
  3. Rape is against the law.

Bank Account Workshop

New students will have a chance to open their own bank account at PNC Bank with the help of the ELI staff. The ELI administration makes the arrangements with PNC Bank so that international students do not need to have a Social Security number to open an account there.

Placement Tests

What does it mean to take a placement test? It means we would analyze your scores to determine the best fit for a new student within our class levels. All new ELI students are required to take placement tests during ELI Student Orientation. The English test scores are converted to levels or grade equivalents and then averaged to determine a potential placement into a level of English as Second Language class. Descriptions of the five placement tests are listed below.

  1. The ELI Writing Test (EWT) measures writing skills and essay structure. The final rating is agreed upon by a select number of evaluators proficient in English.
  2. The English General Test (EGT) measures grammar skills, reading comprehension at the sentence level, and vocabulary knowledge.
  3. The ASL placement evaluation is conducted by an in-house expert in the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASL-PI). The ASL-PI is a holistic language evaluation used to determine global ASL proficiency.
  4. The Math placement test measures knowledge and computational skill in basic math, pre-algebra, and algebra.
  5. Raven’s Progressive Matrices measures the capacity to pick up complex patterns, an ability that facilitates the learning of a new language.

Post Office / Mailbox Assignments

Accompanied by ELI staff, new students will go to the on-campus post office in the Student Academic Center (SAC) near the Marketplace food court and get their mailbox number. Students will learn how to open the combination lock on their mailbox.

SEVIS Workshop

The SEVIS Workshop is required for all international students. The F-1 and J-1 visa policies of Homeland Security and the Department of State are explained in depth.

Student Health Service (SHS) Health Check

The Student Health Service (SHS) Health Check is for new students that have not received a health clearance on their Gallaudet University student accounts from Student Health Service and are not able to complete business registration. Their immunization records and health history form are reviewed at SHS. If any immunization shots are missing, the student will need to go to an outside medical clinic to get his or her shots completed. If the new student does not complete the Health History Form and get all the necessary immunizations before arriving on campus, there will be a SHS hold on his or her student account. In this case, the student would need to go to an outside clinic, (which may charge $600-$700), get  immunization shots, bring the immunization records from the clinic to SHS, and receive a clearance from SHS. If the new student does not have a SHS clearance, he or she will not be allowed to register for classes.

Student Health Service (SHS) Workshop

The Student Health Service (SHS) Workshop helps students learn that they can come to Student Health Service on campus when they are sick, injured, or in need of other medical services. The following topics are covered.

  1. SHS can give prescriptions for medical drugs.
  2. SHS can give referrals to other doctors or medical facilities.
  3. Gallaudet University health insurance benefits and coverage

ELI Sponsored Social Activities

The ELI encourages new students to interact with each other and with the ELI staff in organized ice-breakers and other informal events.

Washington DC Tour

New ELI students learn how to get around in the greater DC area with the help of an ELI guide and tour a museum together. They learn how to ride the Gallaudet University shuttle, use a map of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) subway, and purchase a Smart-trip card or a paper ticket for a trip on the subway or bus.