Each core program class meets for four teaching-hours per day (one teaching hour being 50 minutes), five days per week, over a period of nine weeks during the summer quarter, and three teaching-hours per day, five days per week over the course of twelve weeks during the winter, spring, and fall quarters. English is the predominant language of instruction for both MSA and Classical Level 1 lessons and in mid level, Classical grammar courses. While Arabic itself or a mix of English and Arabic are used throughout other Qasid curricula. Classes are conducted in a comfortable, institute setting having students sit along custom-made, U-shaped tables that are ideal for discussion. Every student, whether in Level 1 or 5, is encouraged and expected to actively participate in class, which promotes our program’s emphasis on developing a student’s ability to converse in Arabic.
Qasid’s administration takes a proactive role in the academic development of each student in three main ways:
- Skills assessment and class placement exam (described below); and
- Open-door meeting policy with faculty and staff. These meetings are an opportunity to regularly “check in”, specifically with the Student Services Director, throughout the term to assure that individual issues are resolved and course objectives are being realized; and
- A full-throttle evaluation of the course, staff, and administration, addressing all aspects of life at Qasid, both inside and outside of the classroom. Qasid prides itself on cultivating a 360-degree review culture. And accordingly, the staff spend several days pouring over these evaluations, and developing specific plans to address common and highlighted concerns in a timely manner.
Skills Assessment & Placement Exam
Predicating their actual entry to a course, each student is required to take:
- A written entrance exam (which takes approximately 2 to 3 hours for mid to advanced students, and far less time for beginning students); and
- An oral interview with instructors.
For new students, the combination of these two metrics will be the determining factor in their course level placement. While for returning students, their past performance with Qasid and their experience with Arabic since their previous enrollment will be taken into account as well.