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.
With the December accreditation decisions, CEA now accredits 342 programs and institutions. The full range of accreditation decision types are regularly represented on the Commission’s agenda, including initial, reaccreditation, continued accreditations, accreditation of additional branches, and other actions, all of which are listed in CEA’s online Directory of Accredited Sites. Also listed there are expirations and withdrawals, including closures. As CEA now accredits such a wide range of sites in a wide range of situations, some of these actions are a typical part of a large population of sites; one factor in some of these actions is the continued enrollment contraction our field is experiencing. Reflective of countervailing forces, however, initial applications continue to be strong 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 2018 the SRC focused on the Mission, Faculty, Facilities/Equipment/Supplies, and Student Complaints 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 2018 standards showing the edits, along with the 2019 CEA Standards, will shortly be available on the CEA website. CEA reviews a subset of the standards every year and conducts a large-scale review of the standards as a whole at least every 10 years. This full review process, including published surveys as well as data analysis, will begin in 2019 and conclude in 2020.
CEA Policies and Procedures updates
The CEA Policies and Procedures undergoes regular review. One policy amendment was made in 2018. Section 15: Complaints was updated after review by CEA’s legal counsel. The amendment clarified the timelines and certain conditions that apply to processing formal complaints. As announced in 2017, 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 policies, adopted in 2017, have been methodically implemented in 2018.
2019 Fees – no changes
The Finance Committee, following close analysis of CEA’s fee structure and financial position, established that no fees would change in 2019. The 2019 Fee Schedule is available on CEA’s website.
2018 Constituent Council support activities
CEA is committed to developing events and resources to support accredited sites, as called for by the CEA Strategic Plan. Accreditation workshops, both as regularly scheduled and in as customized for on-site delivery, continue to have robust attendance. A package of webinars is now regularly delivered to support sites in each step of the accreditation and maintenance of accreditation process, including webinars on completing the multiple parts of the Annual Report and on-line Sustaining Fees form, self-study submission, site visit preparation, Interim Report submission, as well as reviewer and advanced reviewer sessions. CEA also now regularly conducts custom consultations with sites, both voluntary and those required by the Commission. In all, there were 785 attendees at CEA training and support events, with evaluations reflecting a 91% approval rate. In October 2018, CEA conducted a needs analysis of Constituent Council members. The results will inform development of additional webinars and resources in 2018, which will be announced once schedules are established.
2019 Constituent Council meeting June 14, 2019
The 2018 Constituent Council meeting, CEA’s annual business meeting, was held in June virtually for the 2nd time, with 114 attendees. The virtual format allows better participation than in-person meetings and the Commission has therefore determined that the 2019 meeting will again be held virtually. The 2019 meeting will be June 14, 2019, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The time and agenda will be formally issued in March/April, as required by the CEA Policies and Procedures.
CEA’s officers are elected from among current Commission members. The Commission has elected Susan Carkin as 2019 chair-elect (and to subsequently serve as 2020 chair), and Connie Lee as 2019 treasurer. They will join Richard McDorman, CEA’s 2019 chair, and Mary Reeves, CEA’s executive director who serves as secretary from year to year, to comprise CEA’s 2019 Executive Committee.
New Commissioners elected for 2019
We welcome four new commissioners to serve 2019 – 2021 terms. Three Commissioners were elected by the Constituent Council: Alan Broomhead, Ian Collins, and Andy Halvorsen. One commissioner was appointed as a public member: Paul Primak. 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 a mix of 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 2019 Call for Nominations for commissioner applicants will be published March 1, 2019.
Commission Professional Development
At each Commission meeting, professional development sessions are included on the agenda to enhance commissioners’ knowledge related to their Commission responsibilities and thus build depth of expertise related to accreditation, non-profit association governance, and other matters relevant to CEA’s environment. In 2018, special sessions and invited guests included CEA’s attorneys regarding association law; executives and principals from TESOL, EnglishUSA, DEDAK (the Turkish quality assurance agency), and Eaquals (the European English program accreditor); and an organizational sustainability consultant, who provided research-based perspectives on effective governance and future planning for a mature association.
Recognizing CEA’s 20th anniversary
CEA was formed in the early 1990’s and made the first accreditation decisions in 1999. Thus, 2019 marks CEA’s 20th anniversary! A number of recognition activities to honor this important milestone are planned, to include an editorial series on CEA’s history and values, a signature research publication on the value of CEA accreditation, testimonials from accredited sites, and three reception/open house events. Details will be formally announced in the coming month.