The General Foundation Program (GFP) at A’Sharqiyah University consists of four components: English, mathematics, Information Technology (IT), and study skills. All components follow the criteria and standards of higher education as stipulated by the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA). All newly-registered students of A’Sharqiyah University have to take a placement test to be administered in the orientation week of the first and second semesters. Students are assigned to groups based on their performance on the placement test. Based upon placement test results, students are assigned one of three levels: Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, or Advanced. As determined by their initial level, students have to follow the prescribed study path that will lead to the exit certificates: a score of at least 60% through internal assessment. Basic Mathematics and either Pure Mathematics or Applied Mathematics (depending upon the academic specializations and the colleges the students will join after their exit from the GFP) are to be passed at a minimum score of 60%. For the IT component students are required to pass an internal assessment with an average of at least 60%.
Classes in the English Component of the GFP intensively prepare students for university and college studies by developing their English skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in addition to general and academic study skills. Grammar and vocabulary are two language components which are built into all language skills and can be acquired indirectly through the exposure and learning of these skills. There are many opportunities and activities to deal with these components by teachers and students. However, due to its importance for language acquisition in general, grammar is taught systematically in separate courses at all levels of the General Foundation Program.
In the Mathematics Component, students study Basic Mathematics and Pure or Applied Mathematics depending upon the students’ academic specializations. For the IT Component, students are required to study and pass the two courses, IT1 and IT2, which will prepare them for computer use in academic and business settings.