The Commission

The Commission, which governs CEA and makes accreditation decisions, is a body of elected and appointed members. It is responsible for setting CEA policy, for making accreditation decisions, and for fostering the continued development of CEA so that it can continue to respond to the changing needs in the field of English language teaching and administration.

Who are they?

Commission members represent the broad-based field of teaching English to speakers of other languages. They:

  • academically qualified, having earned graduate degrees in disciplines related to language instruction and educational administration;
  • knowledgeable professionals who have gained the respect of their peers through their involvement in professional activities;
  • experts who have one or more domains of expertise related to program or institution operations;
  • experienced evaluators having conducted self-studies, reviewed educational programs, or served with other accreditation programs;
  • effective communicators who possess demonstrated skills in team building and written and oral communication; and
  • respectful professionals who demonstrate a capacity to act without bias, maintain confidentiality, and exercise balanced judgement.

The composition of the commission is maintained in such a way to ensure a range of program and institutional perspectives; a range of domains of experience, as determined by the commission from year-to-year; and both administrative and academic professionals. In addition, there are two public members who come from outside the field of English language teaching and are appointed by the Commission.

What do they do?

Commissioners serve for a three-year term. They are volunteers who are reimbursed for expenses only. Commissioners are expected to:

  • make accreditation decisions based on documents submitted by the candidate program or institution and the review team
  • review, assess, and revise Commission policies if necessary
  • serve on Commission subgroups
  • attend CEA training workshops in the first year of service
  • assure that the Commission is in sound fiscal health
  • monitor the field for new developments and serve as an advocate for CEA
  • ensure compliance with requirements of the U.S. Department of Education
  • adhere to CEA policies regarding conflict of interest and confidentiality
  • attend up to three annual Commission meetings (usually held in April, August, and December)

How are they chosen?

Commissioners are elected by the Constituent Council, which comprises representatives of CEA-accredited programs and institutions. CEA conducts a call for nominations for commissioners each spring. Nominations are followed by an election in the fall. New commissioners begin their three-year term in January and go through an orientation program before the first commission meeting.

During the call for nominations, applicants are invited to submit the following materials to the CEA office:

  • Cover letter stating experience and training, as well as involvement in program evaluation, and a statement of reasons for seeking to serve
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Signed "Letter of Understanding and Agreement to Serve"
  • Name, email, and telephone number of two references

The nomination deadline is typically July 15.

Once the call for nominations is closed, Nominating Committee members conduct telephone interviews with references, then select candidates for the ballot. In addition to meeting the required qualifications, final candidates are chosen to ensure a balance of perspectives on the commission, including program and institutional, administrative and academic, and various areas of expertise. CEA has a single slate ballot.

Please send any questions about the nomination and selection process to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.