Talking ACCESS With TIEC’s New Program Coordinator, Merih Ugurel Kamisli, Ph.D.

Merih Ugurel Kamisli, Ph.D., is TIEC’s new program coordinator.

Dr. Kamisli presenting to a group of students from TIEC’s Korea WEST and Pathways programs.
Merih Ugurel Kamisli, Ph.D. is TIEC’s new Program Coordinator. She joined TIEC in 2019 and has helped create and teach new curricula in a wide array of programs. Dr. Kamisli is an experienced higher education professional with a doctorate in Adult, Professional, and Community Education from Texas State University, a master’s of education in Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s in English Language Teaching at Cukurova University in Turkey. 

Prior to this position, Dr. Kamisli worked as the educational adviser and the acting director of the Turkish Fulbright Commission and the EducationUSA Istanbul Office where she managed office administration and procedures and advised students through the admission process to the undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S. and the Fulbright Scholarship Programs. Her research and teaching interests include curriculum and program development, psychology and motivation of adult learners, migrant women and social justice issues in adult education.

In between getting ready for TIEC’s January classes, Dr. Kamisli shared her thoughts about TIEC’s newest intensive English program, ACCESS.

Q: Could you tell us about TIEC’s Intensive English “ACCESS” program?

A: The ACCESS program is designed to be an engaging and rewarding option for students looking to improve their English proficiency. Classes focus on student-centered, task-based-learning activities so that students have more time to practice their skills in a structured and supportive environment. Class activities are supplemented with flexible language lab hours in which students can choose from a variety of digital resources tailored to their individual goals. We try to maximize learning by increasing student autonomy and interaction.

Q: Why are you excited about the ACCESS program? Could you please share the backstory with us?

A: We are very excited about ACCESS because we believe that addressing learner needs in program development is incredibly important. Having completely redesigned our intensive English program based on years of teacher and student feedback, we created a language program that prioritizes individual learning needs and choices, use of interactive and communicative approach, and authentic materials to practice and learn.

Q: How does the ACCESS program differ from the other TIEP programs? How is it different from programs you’ve taught elsewhere?

A: TIEP offers a variety of programs that are tailored to meet learners’ needs. Most of the other programs are designed for more homogeneous groups, like with our study abroad programs. All the students are about the same age and from the same school and studying here for similar reasons. ACCESS is designed to respond to the individual needs of diverse learners who are not applying to the program as a group.

 Q: What should prospective students expect from the ACCESS program?

A: Students should expect an immersive and engaging curriculum that is student-centered, offering opportunities to apply what they have learned in class within the community.

Q: Who can apply for the ACCESS program? What are the admission requirements?

A: Anyone can apply – they simply visit our website to pay the application fee and take the placement test.

Q: What does the tuition for ACCESS include?

A:  Tuition includes 18 hours of instruction a week including language lab hours, learning materials both digital and traditional, access to our extensive reading library, the support of our faculty and staff who are always happy to answer any questions whether academic, professional, or personal, and official records of your courses upon completion of a term or program.

Q: When is the best time for international students to apply for ACCESS?

A: Any time! We have five enrollment periods each year. Two in the spring, two in the fall, and one in the summer.

Q: How can interested students apply for the ACCESS program?

A: Just visit our website: