CEA Executive Director Reeves to Retire

Reeves 2017 2

In the nearly 30 years since CEA’s formative meetings, many accomplished professionals have played essential roles in CEA’s success, making CEA a strong specialized accreditation agency with well-developed roots in the field.  Among those engaged with CEA from its inception is Dr. Mary Reeves. Dr. Reeves served on the 1992 TESOL Task Force that examined the feasibility of an accreditation agency for English language programs and institutions before becoming a commissioner in 2001 and eventually Commission chair in 2004.  She subsequently moved to the staff side, becoming Associate Director in 2011.  In 2014, Dr. Reeves became CEA’s second Executive Director following the retirement of Terry O’Donnell, CEA’s founding Executive Director.

The Commission now announces Dr. Reeves’s retirement as Executive Director at the end of 2019.  According to Richard McDorman, 2019 Commission Chair, “while we are naturally disappointed to see Mary end her tenure as Executive Director, we wish her the best as she moves on to a very well-deserved retirement. Mary has made innumerable contributions not only to CEA but also to the broader field of English language teaching, administration and accreditation. On behalf of the CEA Commission, I would like to thank Mary for all she has done for CEA and our profession over her long and distinguished career.”

“CEA was an idea 30 years ago that has now come to impressive fruition through the work of many, many thoughtful, hard-working, principled professionals in our field,” Dr. Reeves said.  “I am proud of CEA – now a large, mature, stable accreditation agency that serves to improve our field – and am grateful to have played a role in accomplishing this for a field I love, working alongside colleagues I deeply respect.” 

In her many years in the field of English language teaching and international education, Dr. Reeves has led both private and public intensive English programs and has served in multiple leadership service roles. Among other positions, she is a past president of EnglishUSA (formerly AAIEP) and a former vice president for education and professional development on the NAFSA Board of Directors. Dr. Reeves is also active in the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). She frequently speaks and writes about English language teaching and programming, quality assurance, and international education topics, and will continue to strongly support initiatives in these areas. In closing, McDorman noted that “Mary leaves with CEA in a very robust and stable position as a highly respected specialized accreditor as CEA moves into its third decade, and for that we are grateful. I’m confident that, during her retirement, Mary will continue to contribute to the growth and professionalism of our field.”


CEA Executive Director Position Posting

August 2019 News from CEA

Message from Richard McDorman, 2019 Commission Chair

CEA and its Commission continue to be very active, with 2019 meetings held in April, May, and August.  Accreditation decisions are announced on the CEA website under “Recent Decisions” within 30 days of each meeting. In addition, below I’ve provided an update on several other 2019 Commission actions and matters. Please contact Mary Reeves, CEA’s Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions you may have about the announcements, activities, and Commission actions I’ve described below.

Richard McDorman
2019 Commission Chair

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December 2018 News from CEA

Message from Cindy Ochoa, 2018 Commission Chair
It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as 2018 Commission Chair. I have been fortunate to serve on the CEA commission twice. My first term was in the early 2000’s, and it has been extremely gratifying to return to this mature agency which has made such an important impact on the field of English Language Teaching and Learning. Many programs have now been through the reaccreditation process and seeing the high quality and adherence to CEA’s high standards across a wide range of private language institutes, including multisite organizations, and university based IEPs is a testament to the work of hundreds of professionals in the field for more than 20 years. I want to thank the CEA staff for their exemplary work. I also thank my fellow commissioners, each and every one who contributed their expertise, time, and great care to fulfill their commission responsibilities. I look forward to seeing many of you at one or more of CEA’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations in 2019.

The Commission held its final 2018 meeting on November 30th – December 2nd. Throughout the year CEA has continued to conduct accreditation actions premised on the CEA Standards and governed by CEA’s Policies and Procedures. An overview of the Commission’s recent activities follows. Please contact Mary Reeves, CEA’s executive director, should you have questions about these or any other CEA matters.

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December 2017 News from CEA

The Commission held its final 2017 meeting on December 1st – 3rd. Throughout the year CEA has continued to conduct accreditation actions premised on the CEA Standards and governed by CEA’s Policies and Procedures. An overview of the Commission’s recent activities follows. Please contact Mary Reeves, CEA’s executive director, should you have questions about these or any other CEA matters.

Accreditation actions
CEA now accredits 335 programs and institutions. The full range of accreditation decision types are now regularly represented on the Commission’s agenda, including initial, reaccreditation, and continued accreditations; accreditation of additional branches; results of appeals; expirations; and voluntary withdrawals, including closures. As we are now 5 years from the 2013 Accreditation Act peak and initial accreditation actions are for a total of 5 years, the number of accredited sites undergoing reaccreditation is similarly beginning to grow. Despite the enrollment contraction our field is experiencing, initial applications continue apace and reflect a broad range of applicant types.

Standards review and modifications
The Standards Review Committee (SRC) is charged with regular, data-driven review of the CEA Standards. Throughout 2017 the SRC focused on the Administrative and Fiscal Capacity, Student Services, Recruiting, and Program Development, Planning, and Review standards. After analysis of site comments, reviewer comments, Commission findings, and compliance rates with these standards, the SRC proposed clarifying edits to the context and/or discussion sections of several standards. It is important to note that no changes to standards themselves were proposed or approved, and the edits adopted did not change the intent of any standard. The redline version of the 2017 standards showing the edits, along with the 2018 CEA Standards, will shortly be available on the CEA website.

CEA Policies and Procedures updates
The CEA Policies and Procedures (available at http://cea-accredit.org/about-cea/policies-and-procedures) undergoes a full review annually; the next review will take place in early 2018. At its August and December 2017 meetings, the Commission approved changes to three sections of the document. Section 7.6 regarding notifications related to voluntary withdrawals was modified to allow for the CEA executive committee to take action to accept the notification if it occurs between Commission meetings, so that required notifications to other agencies and the field can be made within 30 days of the effective date of the notification. Section 8.6 regarding how Interim Reports are processed was modified to account for changes in the required structure of the report, state when invoices would be issued, and to remove language describing internal processing which was too specific for inclusion in a Policies and Procedures document. Section 12 regarding the implementation of compliance actions and adverse actions was revised to state the conditions under which an extension of time to come into adequate compliance with standards will be granted for good cause. These changes will be reflected in the 2018 CEA Policies and Procedures to be posted online in late January.

2017 Constituent Council support activities
CEA is committed to developing events and resources to support accredited sites, as called for by the CEA Strategic Plan, and in 2017 implemented several initiatives focused on this priority. Following needs analysis in each case, four new webinars were conducted (related to completing the multiple parts of the Annual Report including the new on-line Sustaining Fees form, preparing to submit the self-study report, and preparing to undergo a site visit.) In June, CEA conducted the annual Constituent Council meeting in a virtual format for the first time, with 134 attendees. CEA conducted 3 regular accreditation workshops, 6 custom workshops, and 7 custom consultations; over 400 individual participants attended, including individuals working at all levels within IEPs and thus extending information about CEA to a wide range of administrators and instructional personnel throughout our field. All events have garnered 90%+ approval evaluations. Additional initiatives will be announced in 2018.

2018 Constituent Council meeting June 8, 2018
Given the overwhelmingly positive evaluations of the 2017 Constituent Council meeting virtual format, the Commission has established that the 2018 meeting will also be conducted virtually. The 2018 Constituent Council meeting will be held on Friday, June 8, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. The time and agenda will be formally issued in March/April, as required by the CEA Policies and Procedures.

2018 Officers
It’s my pleasure to announce that from among its current members, the Commission has elected Richard McDorman as 2018 chair-elect (and to subsequently serve as 2019 chair), and Sheryl Meyer as 2018 treasurer. They will join Cindy Ochoa, CEA’s 2018 chair, on the CEA executive committee.

New Commissioners elected for 2018
We welcome four new commissioners to serve 2018 – 2020 terms. Three Commissioners were elected by the Constituent Council: Doreen Ewert, Louise Gobron, and Stacy Sabraw. One commissioner was appointed as a public member: Sherif Barsoum. The CEA Nominating Committee is charged with ensuring that the Commission profile maintains a balance of domains of expertise, types of experiences, and range of perspectives, as well as including administrators and academics/educators/practitioners, from year to year. The Nominating Committee conducts a detailed process of soliciting applications, interviewing candidates and references, and determining the slate each year. The Call for Nominations for 2018 commissioner applicants will be published March 1, 2018.

On a personal note
I also would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Commissioners for their professionalism, commitment and acumen and the CEA Staff for their expertise, efficiency and prudence for making my term a memorable one. CEA has continued to be a premier accreditation agency that serves programs, institutions, people – and above all the profession. I personally feel privileged to be a part of this organization. Accordingly, I encourage each and every professional in our field to actively seek ways to engage with CEA, to strengthen one’s knowledge and skills and contribute to the field.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Engin Ayvaz
2017 Chair