• Leading by Advancing Standards

    Leading by Advancing Standards

    CEA’s mission is to promote excellence in the field of English language teaching and administration, as well as to protect the interests of students, through accreditation of English language programs and institutions worldwide. CEA achieves its mission by advancing widely-held standards to foster continuous program development through a rigorous process of regular self-assessment and peer evaluation.

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  • The decision to study English in the United States is a big one, and with that decision come many questions.
  • Programs and institutions accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

CEA August 2010 Meeting

News from CEA and accreditation activities.

Standards review project

CEA is in the process of carrying out a comprehensive review of the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. While the Standards Review Committee reviews the standards on an on-going basis according to CEA’s plan for review, this is the first comprehensive review of the complete document, which was initially drafted in the late 1990s. While the intent of the standards is being maintained, suggested changes will improve clarity and conciseness, remove repetition, and bring the document up to date.

The Commission approved the proposed revisions to individual standards at its August meeting. The next step is to submit the proposed revisions for public input, as required by CEA policy. Accredited programs and institutions and those in process of seeking accreditation, members of AAIEP and UCIEP, and others will receive a call for public input in October.

Update on the new on-line database and materials management system

As reported in the last News from CEA, CEA is working with Solutions Developers, an IT consulting firm, to develop a new on-line database and materials management system. The company is using CEA as a pilot to develop a “lite” version of its ARMATURE accreditation platform, which is used by several large accrediting and membership associations, including the American Psychological Association. Under the new system, self-study reports will be submitted on line. Programs that apply for accreditation in 2011 and attend the January and March Accreditation Workshops will use the revised standards materials and new template for the self-study report. The on-line submission system will most likely be ready for use in late 2011.

Accreditation Actions

In accordance with Section 602.26 of the U.S. Secretary of Education's Recognition of Accrediting Agencies (effective July 1, 2000), notice is hereby given of the following acredition actions.

Granted 10-year re-accreditation
OISE Boston

Granted 4-year continued accreditation
Studies in American Language, San Jose State
St. Giles, San Francisco
Language and Culture Center, Virginia Tech National Capital Region
Center for English as a Second Language, Southern Illinois/Carbondale
USC Language Academy, University of Southern California
Columbia School of English, Portland OR

Granted 5-year initial accreditation
English Language Institute, Missouri State University
English Language Institute, American University of Cairo
Denied accreditation
Goal Training Educational Center, IL

Accreditation withdrawn
Foundation English, Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi

Notice of Upcoming Accreditation Reviews
In accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Education, CEA must provide an opportunity for input from the community of interest prior to making final decisions on any candidate program or institution. Voluntary comments may support or question a site’s compliance with the CEA Standards for English Language Program Accreditation. Comments, which should be signed and mailed to the address below, will be reviewed by the Commission at its August 2010 meeting.

The following sites will be reviewed:

  • English Language Institute, University of California San Diego
  • Converse International School of Languages, San Francisco (re-accreditation)
  • LAL Fort Lauderdale (re-accreditation)

Pathways programs and CEA scope of accreditation

An article in Inside Higher Education (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/04/pathways) reported on the growing numbers of universities that are contracting with third-parties such as Study Group, Navitas, Kaplan, and INTO University Partners “pathways” programs through which international students study English and may begin taking university courses. When such agreements take place, an English language program accredited by CEA may not be the same as when it was accredited since several areas of the CEA Standards, such as recruiting, student services, and administration may be affected. Such a substantive change must be reported to CEA prior to the change taking place. Related to such a substantive change is CEA’s scope of accreditation. It is not clear whether an English language program that is part of pathways programs meets the requirement s for either programmatic or institutional accreditation. To determine how best to serve the needs of its constituency, the Commission has sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education requesting clarification on the issue of CEA’s scope of accreditation under these circumstances.

Policy update

Programs and institutions granted re-accreditation must submit an Interim Report in the 5th year of accreditation. In the past, when reviewing those reports, the Commission had the option of continuing accreditation with or without reporting requirements or withdrawing accreditation if standards-related deficiencies were substantial. At the August meeting, the Commission voted to also allow for probation following the review of an Interim Report.

Review of fees

The CEA Finance Committee is reviewing CEA fees for multiple-site locations as a result of a concern that CEA fees are seen as very costly for programs and schools that have multiple sites. A fee proposal will be submitted to the Commission at the December meeting for discussion.

If you have any questions about CEA or about this notice, please contact Terry O’Donnell, Executive Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

News Archive

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