• 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.

    View Our Standards
  • 1
  • Learn more about the accreditation process and CEA standards, view fees and upcoming workshops, and download application forms.
  • 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 December 2009 Meeting

October, 2009, marked the 10th anniversary of CEA’s incorporation as an independent organization for the accreditation of English language programs and institutions.  As of the end of 2009, the Commission has accredited 80 programs and institutions, of which three are outside the US.  Interest in CEA accreditation continues to grow with over 35 new applicants (13 of which are outside the U.S.) currently at some stage of the pre-accreditation process. 

New CEA commissioners

CEA welcomes three newly elected commissioners to begin their 3-year terms of service to CEA:  Frank Bacheller, Utah State University, Karen Decker, International Center for Language Studies (Washington DC), and Nancy Storer, University of Denver.  CEA also welcomes a newly appointed public member, G. Daniel Howard from Arkansas State University.  These new members will serve CEA through 2013. 

This is also a time to say goodbye and thank you to commissioners who ended their terms of service to CEA at the end of 2009:  Alan Broomhead (2009 Chair), Northeastern University, Tom Riedmiller, University of Northern Iowa, Susan Maria Rumann, College of Santa Fe, and Public Member, Carl Herrin, Herrin Associates.  

Expansion of eligibility requirements

At the recommendation of the Expansion Committee, the Commission approved accepting 12-credit hour programs for eligibility, as described by immigration requirements for F-1 students. This new policy will enable community college programs that meet all other eligibility requirements to apply for CEA accreditation.   CEA offers the following three types of accreditation: 

  1. Within the U.S., programmatic accreditation for university and college intensive English programs (IEPs) that offer at least 18 hours/week of instruction to meet the needs of F-1 visa holders and community college English language programs (ELPs) that offer at least 12 credit hours of language instruction to meet the needs of F-1 visa holders and that are accredited by a regional or other institutional accrediting agency.  CEA also offers programmatic accreditation for IEPs within government agencies.
  2. Within the U.S., institutional accreditation for independent English language schools/institutions that offer an intensive English program.  Such institutions may offer ESL/EFL teacher training and foreign languages in addition to an IEP.
  3. Outside the U.S., general accreditation for English language programs in a variety of settings which meet CEA’s eligibility requirements.  

Task Force on Accreditation Procedures

The Commission has charged a new task force to review all CEA procedures and materials and to determine whether they can be made more effective and efficient, while promoting consistency in the application of the standards.  Task force members will also consider how resource materials can be enhanced to help ensure greater success by sites seeking accreditation.  The work of the task force will eventually support CEA’s continuing move towards a more electronic process.  At the same time, CEA staff is working with vendors to create a new database and materials management system to be implemented by the end of 2010.

CEA 2010 workshops

CEA will hold both an Accreditation Workshop and a Review Training Workshop on Monday and Tuesday, March 22 & 23, prior to the TESOL Convention in Boston, MA, and July 15-16 and October 14-15 at its office in Alexandria, VA.  To attend an Accreditation Workshop, a site must first submit an Application for Eligibility.  Those wanting to be trained as CEA site reviewers must submit an application prior to being invited to a workshop.  The Application for Eligibility and the reviewer application requirements and forms are on the CEA web site. 

CEA also offers customized on-site workshops for sites seeking accreditation.   These 2-day workshops are designed to meet the needs of the particular program and can be scheduled at any time. 

Accreditation Decisions

The following are decisions the Commission may make at it's December 2009 meeting:

  • For initial accreditation, the Commission may grant 5-year accreditation to programs in compliance with the CEA Standards or one-year accreditation to programs that substantially meet the standards but need to address minor standards-related deficiencies.
  • Programs granted one-year initial accreditation are granted 4-year continued accreditation if the deficiencies are corrected.
  • For re-accreditation, the Commission may grant 10-year re-accreditation to programs that fully meet the standards or one-year re-accreditation to programs that have standards-related deficiencies that may be met in one year.
  • Programs granted one-year re-accreditation may be granted 9-year continued accreditation if the deficiencies are corrected.

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 decisions made by the Commission at its December meeting.

Granted one-year re-accreditation
Showa Boston Institute

Granted five-year initial accreditation
Intensive English Program, Colorado State University
Language Center, Al Akhwayn University, Morocco
Open Hearts International College, Miami, Florida

Granted one-year initial accreditation
Converse International School of Languages, San Diego, California
International Academy of English, San Diego, California
Maryland English Institute, University of Maryland

Granted 4-year continued accreditation
New England School of English, Boston
Intensive ESL Program, University of California, Irvine

Denied accreditation
Approach International Student Center, Allston, MA

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 April 2010 meeting.

The following sites will be reviewed for initial accreditation:

  • Center for Global Languages, Valencia Community College, Orlando, FLA
  • English Language Center, Central Missouri University, Warrensburg
  • English as a Second Language Program, College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Foundation English Program, Qatar University, Doha
  • International Center for Language Studies, Washington, D.C.
  • Internexus/Interglobal, Salt Lake City, UT

The following sites will be reviewed for re-accreditation:

  • Language and Culture Center, University of Houston, TX

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

  • 2017 Call for Nominations >

    The Read More
  • 2016 Constituent Council Meeting >

    Annual Read More
  • April 2016 News from CEA >

    It Read More
  • December 2016 News from CEA >

    The Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3