Multiple-site programs and institutions, additional programs, and international sites

6. Multiple- site programs and institutions, additional programs, and international sites

6.1. Multiple-site programs and institutions
6.2. Additional programs
6.3. International sites

6. Multiple-site programs and institutions, additional programs, and international sites

Any site which has special characteristics will be asked to meet with CEA staff at the end of the accreditation workshop. These special characteristics are usually identified during the eligibility process or through questions from the site about how to manage certain aspects of the accreditation process. Common topics for post-workshop clarifications include management of multisite reviews and international reviews, and specific programming or administrative design questions, including how to account for one-on-one tutorial programs within the self-study, how to include additional programs along with the IEP in a university-based program review, and how to report partnership programs in the self-study.

6.1. Multiple-site programs and institutions

CEA accredits individual programs or language institutions rather than accrediting whole organizations. CEA does not require a campus or organization with multiple IEP branches to submit all branches to CEA for accreditation. Each instructional branch within the organization pursuing accreditation must complete each step in the accreditation process. However, where there is significant overlap between branches in the content required by CEA, CEA’s procedures provide for efficiencies as stated further below.

CEA makes distinctions between locations based on the instructional and/or administrative functions provided at the location. A location may be a main branch, administrative headquarters, branch, or auxiliary. Only a main branch or a branch may undergo accreditation. Although their standards-related practices will be included in the site review, administrative headquarters and auxiliary locations are not separately accredited.

During the initial eligibility application process, CEA staff will consult with the applicant to determine whether a particular location should be considered a main branch, administrative headquarters, branch, or auxiliary.

6.1.1. Location Types

a. Main branch

A main branch is a location that delivers an eligible IEP and also provides centralized administrative, executive, or management oversight for certain functions of the multisite organization. In cases where such administrative functions are distributed to more than one branch of the multisite organization and the organization does not specify a main branch, CEA will designate one branch of a multisite as the main branch.

b. Administrative headquarters

In cases where principal administrative, executive, and management oversight responsibilities of the multisite organization are conducted at a location that does not deliver an eligible IEP, that location is designated an administrative headquarters.

c. Instructional locations

An instructional location within a multisite may be either a branch or an auxiliary. Upon review of submitted materials, CEA will determine whether the additional location is a branch or an auxiliary.

d. Branch locations

A branch is a full-service instructional site that

i. is under the same supervision (in the case of a university or college program) or ownership (in the case of an administrative headquarters or the main branch) as the administrative headquarters or main branch

ii. is geographically separate from the administrative headquarters or main branch

iii. offers a full instructional program

iv. has its own faculty

v. offers an array of student services, including but not limited to orientation, advising, and student activities

e. Auxiliary locations

An auxiliary location is a classroom-only site in sufficiently close proximity to an administrative headquarters, main campus, or branch that students can receive student services and faculty or staff have access to administrative functions provided by the main site.

An auxiliary

i. operates under the same authority and administrative control of an administrative headquarters, main campus, or branch
ii. may be permanent or temporary
iii. may offer a full or partial instructional program
iv. demonstrates its reliance on the administrative headquarters or main branch by

1. having faculty that teach at other locations of the organization,
2. providing no or limited student services, or
3. having no or limited administrative staff

An auxiliary location undergoes review as part of the main branch or branch with which it is associated. The auxiliary is included within the grant of accreditation of the main branch or branch. An administrative headquarters cannot have auxiliary locations.

Auxiliary locations must be reported to CEA following the policy on reporting substantive change. The site’s status as an auxiliary will be re-evaluated as needed and will be re-evaluated at the time of application for reaccreditation. If it is determined that an auxiliary functions as a branch, the site will be required to undergo the process of becoming accredited as a branch location. An auxiliary site’s student enrollment is included in calculation of sustaining fees.

6.1.2. Multi-site accreditation process

The following procedures apply to multi-site programs and institutions:

a. An application for eligibility must be submitted for a main branch and each additional location. The application must identify the applicant site’s administrative headquarters and auxiliary locations, if any, but the administrative headquarters and auxiliary locations do not submit separate applications.

b. A representative from each site seeking accreditation must attend an accreditation workshop.

c. If more than one site in the multisite organization is undergoing accreditation, each site may submit a separate plan for the self-study or the sites may submit one plan for the self-study. The plan(s) must demonstrate that the administrative headquarters or main branch and each location will be included in the self-study process.

d. Each branch must submit a complete self-study report. Where applicable, each report should incorporate information about any standards-related activities conducted by an administrative headquarters.

e. The administrative headquarters or the main campus will receive the first site visit, followed by visits to each site. To provide consistency, CEA will make every effort to identify reviewers who are able to visit more than one site in the system, including the administrative headquarters or main campus.

f. Fees must be paid for applications, the plan for the self-study, site visits, and sustaining fees according to the CEA fee schedule.
The Commission will consider each branch of a multi-site program or institution separately in making accreditation decisions. Once accredited, each branch must follow the requirements for maintaining accredited status, including submitting an annual report and annual sustaining fees, responding to accreditation reporting requirements, and applying for reaccreditation.

6.2. Additional programs

To be eligible for CEA accreditation, a language institution must deliver an intensive English program; the institution may also offer other educational programs. In such cases, the other educational programs must be within CEA’s scope, and all educational programs offered by the institution must be included in the CEA review.

To be eligible for CEA accreditation, a program must deliver an intensive English program. Additional educational programs administered by the IEP or by the unit that administers the IEP may optionally be included in the CEA review provided they are within CEA’s scope.

The scope of review for the program or language institution is established at the time of the eligibility determination. Complete information about eligibility requirements is provided in Section 5: Accreditation Process.
Within either programmatic or institutional settings, typical additional programs include ESL/EFL teacher training programs, foreign language courses or programs, and youth programs, or other educational offerings. Special eligibility, self-study, and on-site visit requirements pertain to these additional programs.

6.2.1. Eligibility review

A program or language institution that offers ESL/EFL teacher training courses, foreign language courses, youth courses, or other educational offerings must submit additional materials that describe these courses when applying for eligibility. These materials include a description of the courses, a schedule of courses (including the names of the classes and how many of each were offered in the past year), and the average numbers of students enrolled in the courses per term over the past year. Depending on the submission, CEA may ask for additional information in order to confirm eligibility.

6.2.2. Self-study for programs and language institutions that offer additional programs

Once eligibility has been approved, the program or language institution may proceed with the next steps, which include sending a representative to a workshop and starting the self-study process. In addition to carrying out the self-study of the institution as a whole, the institution must respond to certain standards specifically in terms of ESL/EFL teacher training, foreign language, youth courses, or other courses included in the eligibility determination. The accreditation workshop will outline the supplemental report process and CEA’s Accreditation Handbook contains guidelines that focus on the additional materials that must be submitted.

6.2.3. Verification activities during the on-site visit

Verification activities will take place at the time of the institution’s regular site visit. CEA will make an effort to assign a member of the review team who is familiar with teacher training certificate courses or programs, foreign language courses or programs, and/or youth courses or programs, as applicable. If it is deemed that an additional reviewer needs to accompany the team on the visit, the institution will pay any direct costs related to the appointment of each additional reviewer. Information about review of additional programs will be included in the review team’s report.

6.2.4. Accreditation decision

For language institutions, all of the institution’s educational offerings will be considered in the accreditation decision; however, the intensive English program forms the basis of the institution’s eligibility and must achieve accreditation in order for accreditation to be granted to
the institution. For programs, the intensive English program must be granted accreditation for any additional programs to be accredited; additional programs themselves may or may not be accredited. See Section 7: The accreditation decision, for more information.

6.3. International sites

CEA reviews performed outside the United States mirror the process in the United States. International sites wishing to pursue accreditation with CEA are subject to the same CEA Standards as programs and language institutions within the United States.

CEA will ensure that international reviews reflect best practice in the field of accreditation in keeping with the CEA Standards, while taking any cultural and unique circumstances into account. The Commission has determined that as a matter of policy, all costs pertaining to accreditation activities outside the U.S. be met or exceeded by pertinent fees.

6.3.1. Eligibility Review

International sites that are approved as eligible will go through the accreditation process in the same way as U.S. domestic sites. However, an additional review of the site’s circumstances will be undertaken by staff at the time of the workshop, to clarify and document any special issues related to the self-study and site visit.

6.3.2. Standards

CEA does not have separate “international standards” and all sites must respond to the published CEA Standards. However, occasionally a standard may not apply in the international setting. For example, in a country with universal government-provided health care, the Student Services standard requiring discussion of the risks of going without health insurance may not apply. In discussion with the site, CEA staff will establish and document which standards, if any, the site may not have to respond to in the self-study report.

6.3.3. Site Visit

The site visit is the same length for international sites as for U.S. visits; however, the review team is provided with a rest day after travel before the visit begins.

6.3.4. Fees

Per CEA’s published fee structure, international site visits pay a base rate plus direct expenses for the site visit. CEA staff will review the expected costs with the international site.


Print This Policy


Print Complete Policy Book

Policy Key and History
SUBJECT: Multiple-site programs and institutions, additional programs, and international sites
LAST REVIEWED: January 2017