What is Reduced Course Load (RCL)?

Reduced Course Load (RCL) is permission from The English Island’s PDSO/ DSO for a student to enroll below the full-time requirements for a given term. It is allowed ONLY in the case of academic difficulties, medical difficulties, or completion of a course of study.

Academic Difficulties

If a student was initially misplaced and the misplacement has been verified by the School Director, he or she can take RCL for 1 term.

The student MUST take at least two specialty classes. In the next term, he or she must take the full 18 hours.

Medical Difficulties

Students MUST have documentation of the medical condition from a licensed Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, or Clinical Psychologist.

Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, etc. CANNOT be used.

Although RCL is usually a minimum of 6 hours per week, students with documented extreme medical difficulties may qualify for 1 or 2 terms with no classes.

Each authorized RCL is ONLY for one term. If a student wants an RCL for the next term, he or she must have updated documentation of the medical condition. Students are allowed a maximum of 12 months of RCL.

Note: Medical RCL is usually reserved for severe and ongoing medical issues that would cause a student to miss enough classes to jeopardize his or her status. It is normally not granted for minor illnesses or injuries that cause a student to miss only 1 or 2 classes.

Completion of a Course of Study

In some cases, students who have completed all requirements and need only one or two courses to complete their programs may request an RCL. (For example: a student completed all general classes but has two specialty classes incomplete.)

The School Director or the Lead ESL Teacher must approve this type of RCL request and must provide documentation. This RCL may only occur at the end of a student’s program and can be for 1 term ONLY.

If you have any questions regarding RCL, please contact the PSDO/DSO at dsoadmin@theenglishisland.com.



F-1 Visa students get 4 excused absences during each term without needing a doctor’s letter. If have you used all 4 absences and wish to have additional absences excused, the PDSO needs the following:

A letter from a Medical Doctor (M.D.) 

The letter must show the following: 

  1. The name, address, and phone of the clinic or Doctor’s office. 
  2. The Date of your doctor’s visit.  
  3. Specify the medical illness—this information must be on the letter, or your absences will not be excused. 
  4. The reason why the doctor feels you could not attend class. 
  5. The dates you will be absent due to the illness. 
  6. The Doctor’s name. 
  7. The Doctor’s signature. 

Test Results (COVID-19 ONLY)

Provide positive and negative test results for COVID-19 BEFORE you return to The English Island. These results must be from lab tests (not home tests) if you want a reduced course load (RCL) for your absences. If you are not seeking RCL, then at-home tests are acceptable.