Accreditation Overview

Accreditation is a process by which experts in a particular field determine common standards and choose to regulate themselves according to those standards. In order to become accredited, especially in the field of education, a program or institution participates in a voluntary process of peer review, designed to improve and assure the quality of the program or institution. Within the higher education community, oversight for education programs and institutions is the purview of accrediting agencies, state regulatory agencies, and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

The goals of accreditation in education include the following:

  • Advancing standards and promoting excellence
  • Publicly recognizing programs and institutions that meet accepted standards
  • Assuring the quality of programs and institutions to the public
  • Providing a means of ongoing self-assessment and continuing education for programs and institutions
  • Providing an objective means for reviewing the quality of education and education services

CEA Standards

The CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions form the basis for all CEA accreditation activities.

Learn more about CEA's Standards

Benefits of Accreditation

An English language program or institution, its administrative and teaching staff, and its students benefit directly from involvement in a comprehensive assessment of how effectively the program or institution meets its stated mission. By evaluating the quality of its programs and services with respect to the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions, which were drafted and approved by professionals in the field, the program or institution can gauge its effectiveness against benchmarks set by the profession. Through the on-going annual reporting and reaccreditation process, programs and institutions continue their commitment to high quality.