September 2012 News

Message from the 2012 Commission Chair
Ann Frentzen

CEA entered a new and exciting growth period with the passage of PL 111 requiring that intensive English programs be accredited. And, while most of this growth is coming from institutions needing accreditation to operate, we continue to receive a heartening number of applications from university/college programs and from those outside the US. As of mid-August 2012, CEA had 109 accredited sites and over 210 new applicants in various stages of the accreditation process.

This rapid growth has had a number of implications for the Commission. Of particular importance is the workload this growth has created, and will continue to create, for staff. They must not only continue to shepherd new applicants through the accreditation process, but they will also need to manage an organization potentially three times its current size. This on-going management includes, processing annual site reports, substantive changes, interim reports, and re-accreditation.

In addition, staff regularly communicates with federal and state agencies, ensures that CEA is in compliance with the requirements of its recognition by the U.S. Department of Education, and interacts with other accreditation bodies. They also support commissioners in their work and decision-making, and they respond on a daily basis to sites' inquiries and requests for guidance. To deal with this significantly increasing workload, CEA has filled the following office positions:

  • A full-time Associate Director
  • A full-time Accreditation Review Manager
  • A full-time Office Manager
  • A part time Assistant to the Executive Director
  • A part-time IT consultant

This is in addition to the appointment of several CEA Specialists to serve as CEA representatives on site visits and to assist commissioners in reviewing, for example, reporting requirements, substantive change reports, and interim reports.
As staff increases, the need for additional equipment and space must be addressed and CEA is doing so. Staff is compiling a list of equipment that must be purchased and the Executive Director is exploring the possibility of renting additional space in the building CEA currently occupies.

The days of a two person central office are obviously over. By making the changes described above, CEA is ensuring that it will continue to fulfill its mission, meet its responsibilities as a specialized accrediting agency, and provide an important service to the field.


Message from the 2012 Commission Treasurer
Frank Bachellor

CEA is going through a period of unprecedented growth. In addition to the need for additional staff and space, this growth is impacting CEA in the area of its finances. Operating costs have obviously increased and the Commission has carefully examined the level of revenue needed to 1) cover the cost of services, 2) build required reserves, and 3) maintain the financial viability required for continued recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The examination also included the rise in costs caused by inflation. Just in the first quarter of 2012, for example, domestic airfare has risen by 6% and hotel rooms by 5%. (Reference: )

To address these issues, the CEA Commission voted at its August, 2012, meeting to increase several of its fees. These are the first major increases since 2010 and they will take effect as indicated in the table* below. They will apply to all programs and institutions that are currently accredited, to those whose applications have been accepted and are in various stages of the accreditation process, and to all new applicants.

Fee 2009 Fee New Fee Effective Date
Eligibility application $200 $400 1/1/13
Plan for the Self Study $2000 $2500 1/1/13
Site visit $5,000 $6,500 1/1/13
Sustaining fee cap $7,600 $9,000 1/1/13
Interim report $1,200 $1,500 1/1/13



New full-time staff at CEA

CEA is pleased to announce the addition of two new staff members at the CEA office in Alexandria VA.  

  • Gina Spears came on board as Office Manager in August.  Gina comes to us with a BA in accounting.  In addition to helping with the ever increasing workflow and record -keeping required, Gina will take over some of the accounting functions now outsourced to CEA’s accounting firm, Halt, Buzas, and Powell, which will continue to provide oversight of CEA financial matters.
  • Rebecca Smith-Murdock, PhD, has joined staff as Accreditation Review Manager.  A former Chair of the CEA Commission and a CEA Representative on site visits, Rebecca will manage the site visit process and support the Commission and other staff in the review of the growing numbers of reports (reporting requirements, substantive change, annual reports, etc.) that are now generated.

CEA is fortunate to have such qualified professionals at this time of great expansion of CEA services.

August 2012 Grants of Accreditation

The Commission announces the following decisions at its August 3-5 meeting

5-year initial accreditation
English Language Center, Royal Commission at Yanbu Al Sinaiyah, Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia 

1-year initial accreditation
Intensive English Institute at Ball State University
Intensive English Program at Arkansas State University

1-year accreditation for a new branch
LCI Houston
Texas Intensive English Program at Lamar University

Extension of 1-year accreditation through December 2012
St. Giles New York

Granted 4-year continued accreditation
Intensive English Program, Xavier University
English Language Institute, University of Hawaii at Hilo

Denied accreditation
Atlanta English Institute
Millersville International House

Expansions of scope approved
CESL, University of Arizona: Evening Program, Teen English & TTC Programs-
English Language Center, Michigan State University: English for Academic Purposes Program

Removal of administrative probation
English Language Institute, Eastern Washington University

Commission reviews for December 2012


The following programs and institutions will be reviewed at the December 2012 meeting of the Commission.  You are invited to submit comments on any of the programs or language institutions coming up for review.

Initial Accreditation
Optimus Language School, CA
English Language and Culture institute, OR
English Language Institute, Sacred Heart University, CT
Learning English for Academic Purposes, Weber 
State University, UT

English language Institute, University of Texas, Arlington

St Giles New York City
Florida English Language Institute, FL  
English Plus Program, Spanish American Institute, NY, NY
Academic Language Institute, HI

4-year continued accreditation
International Education Center at Diablo Valley College
Department of English Language and Translation, King Saud University, SA

Intensive English Program, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee