CEA Announces Revised Mission and New Strategic Plan

CEA is pleased to announce its new 2016 - 2020 Strategic Plan. The plan defines CEA’s priorities for the next five years and will guide CEA’s initiatives as it continues to grow, effectively serve accredited programs and institutions, and identify new ways to contribute to the field. The new Strategic Plan is the culmination of extensive Commission discussion and review throughout 2015, supported by a professional organizational change consultant and including interviews, environment scans, and data review.

CEA has operated within the discipline of a strategic plan since 2008, when the Commission adopted the previous plan. Although aspects of that plan were disrupted by the impact of the Accreditation Act (P.L. 111-306) on CEA’s intentional development, its primary goals were nonetheless achieved.

An important aspect of any strategic planning process is a careful review of foundational principles, and CEA’s Mission and Values were thus thoroughly reviewed. The CEA Values remain unchanged, but CEA’s Mission has been amended to ensure that it addresses CEA’s commitment to students. This commitment has always been present in the CEA Policies and Procedures, other publications, and training events, but the mission statement did not expressly address students. The amended CEA Mission now specifies this important focus of CEA’s work, that CEA accreditation “protects the interests of students.”

The 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan focuses CEA’s work on four priorities. The priorities are to

  • Maintain CEA’s stature as a well-respected specialized accrediting agency that leads the field to adopt and maintain standards of good practice.
  • Strengthen accredited programs and institutions through service and outreach to sites and robust support for their continuous improvement.
  • Expand and diversify activities and services where CEA has expertise to do so or where required by changes in the field.
  • Ensure that CEA continues to operate as a highly effective organization both as a USDE-recognized specialized accrediting agency and as a non-profit organization.

Within each priority, the plan commits to multiple goals; examples include providing new web-based resources to accredited sites, conducting new events to support sites and their compliance with standards, and analysis of data collected by CEA accompanied by contributions to research. The plan will guide outreach to organizations in our field both domestically and internationally, and as relates to both the ESL field and the accreditation and quality assurance field. Importantly, priorities and goals are devoted to ensuring that CEA will continue to be a high-quality accreditation agency as well as a soundly managed nonprofit agency.

The Commission will monitor implementation of the 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan and will refresh it annually. The CEA website will carry regular News from CEA articles highlighting progress on implementing the plan and the CEA Constituent Council will receive a complete report at CEA’s annual business meeting. The plan document is available under the Resources tab at www.cea-accredit.org. Comments regarding the new Strategic Plan are welcome; please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Subject: Strategic Plan.