Scope of Accreditation

4. Scope of Accreditation

4.1. Types of Accreditation

4.    Scope of accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary process undertaken as a comprehensive assessment of a program or institution’s purpose, of the structures that support that purpose, and of whether a program or institution meets predetermined standards established by the profession. Each program and institution is evaluated on the basis of its own mission with respect to accepted standards in the field to affirm quality educational offerings and administrative practices which serve the best interests of students.

4.1.    Types of Accreditation

CEA offers three types of accreditation: programmatic, institutional, and general accreditation.


4.1.1.    Programmatic accreditation

Within the United States, CEA offers programmatic accreditation for intensive English programs (IEPs) and English language units with a direct reporting line within the administration of universities and colleges which are accredited by a regional or national institutional accrediting body.  Such programs and units may be part of academic departments (such as ESL, English, linguistics, education), non-instructional units (such as student affairs or international student affairs departments), continuing education units, or other units.  Sites seeking programmatic accreditation may apply to add accreditation of other regularly offered non-degree English or language teaching and learning programs within the unit that offers the IEP; additional accreditation of such programs is contingent upon the accreditation of the IEP or the English language unit.  Additionally, CEA offers programmatic accreditation to IEPs within government agencies.

4.1.2.    Institutional accreditation

Within the United States, CEA offers institutional accreditation for independent English language schools/institutions that offer an intensive English program.  Such institutions may offer ESL/EFL teacher training, foreign language courses, or other programs in addition to an IEP.  However, all educational programs offered must be within CEA’s scope of English or language teaching and learning, and all programs offered must be included in the accreditation review.  The forms of ownership and governance of such institutions and the organizational structures in which they exist can vary greatly.  Such institutions may be governed by individual proprietors, governing boards, or corporate managers and may exist as stand-alone single-owner schools, not-for-profit organizations governed by boards, or units that are part of larger, multi-site systems.  Such institutions may also conduct classes on a university or college campus by contractual agreements.

4.1.3.    General accreditation
Outside the United States, CEA offers general accreditation for English language programs in a variety of settings that meet CEA’s eligibility requirements.

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Policy Key and History
SUBJECT: Scope of Accreditation
LAST REVIEWED: January 2017