This site used cookies to offer you a better experience. By continuing to use this site, you consent to the use of cookies.

Skip to content

Opportunities for Every International Student with UStart

With the UStart program, international students from all academic backgrounds and proficiencies get the support and guidance to successfully pursue a US university degree, including admission to CSU!

At Shorelight, student success is at the heart of everything we do. With UStart, our newest first-year program, international students who need extra guidance with academics and English-language proficiency now have a clear and supported path to a US university degree. 

Tailored specifically for international students whose academic credentials may not meet traditional entry requirements, UStart builds students’ academic skills and cultural awareness, all in a welcoming and encouraging environment. 

Best of all, international students who successfully complete UStart will be empowered to pursue their goals with confidence, including admission to Cleveland State University (CSU)! 

“UStart is an opportunity for talented international students who need extra resources to succeed academically, socially, and professionally,” says Dr. Sarah West, Cleveland State Global. “We address student needs holistically, with compassion and all best teaching practice.”

All Skill Sets Welcome with UStart

Offering a mix of academic courses and English language instruction, UStart curriculum is designed for students who are currently unqualified for Direct or Pathway entry at other Shorelight universities. 

International students of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

Automatic Progression to CSU

International students who successfully complete UStart will qualify to continue their degree studies at CSU* – no separate application required. With this clear path to a US university degree program, students can focus on what really matters – their first-year studies – without the additional pressure of upcoming admissions and acceptance processes.  

Empowered Students

UStart’s extensive support services include English-language tutoring and one-on-one academic advising. A flexible program structure, with two placement tracks and two semesters available, enables students to learn and work at their own pace.  


Program Structure

Minimum 2 semesters

Credits Earned


UStart Track 2

Program Structure

Minimum 2 semesters

Credits Earned


“UStart is designed to support the entire student,” says Dr. Robert Schleper, Cleveland State Global. “Navigating the college experience can be difficult under the best of circumstances, so our program includes individualized academic advising, social and cultural support, language services, and in-house coursework geared toward student success. We believe every student has the ability to learn and grow, and we’ve built a program to facilitate the best academic experience.”

Next Steps

The first cohort is underway – UStart at CSU is now accepting applications for Fall 2021! Applications are due by July 20, with a move-in date of August 16. Classes begin on August 17. 

Could your students benefit from UStart? Reach out to a Shorelight counselor today for more info!

Speak to a Shorelight advisor

*UStart students must complete the program in good standing for continuation to CSU.