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 effectively respond to the changing needs in the field of English language teaching and administration.

Elected CEA commissioners are identified on the basis of their professional experience and integrity. They have experience, training, and interest in English language programs and institutions, as well as in program evaluation. They have strong leadership ability, a commitment to quality English language education for international students, and an understanding that their role is to ensure CEA’s standing as a respected, impartial, specialized accreditor and well-governed non-profit organization.


Who are they?

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

  • 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; representation from both CEA-accredited and non-accredited programs and institutions; 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 three-year terms. They are volunteers who are reimbursed for expenses only. Commissioners are expected to:

  • attend three Commission meetings each year (held in April, August, and December in-person) and participate in occasional virtual meetings
  • 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
  • monitor the field for new developments and serve as an ambassador for CEA
  • serve the goals of CEA as a specialized accreditor for the field, not "represent" their own program, institution, or sector
  • adhere to CEA policies regarding conflict of interest and confidentiality
  • assure that CEA is in sound fiscal health
  • ensure compliance with requirements of the U.S. Department of Education.


How are they chosen?

Commissioners are elected by the Constituent Council, which comprises representatives of CEA-accredited programs and institutions. CEA publishes a call for nominations for commissioners each spring. The nomination deadline is July 1. 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 in April.

Once the call for nominations is closed, Nominating Committee members conduct interviews with qualified applicants, conduct interviews with references, then propose a slate of 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 programmatic, institutional, as well as administrative and academic, with diverse 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.


For more information about the Commission, see Governance.

For more information about current commissioners, see current commissioners.