Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions
Mission Standard 1: The program or language institution has a written statement of its mission and goals,
which guides activities, policies, and allocation of resources. This statement is communicated to faculty,
students, and staff, as well as to prospective students, student sponsors, and the public, and is evaluated
Curriculum Standard 1: The curriculum is consistent with the mission of the program or language institution,
appropriate to achieve the organization’s goals and meet assessed student needs, and available in writing.
Curriculum Standard 2: Course goals, course objectives, and student learning outcomes are written,
appropriate for the curriculum, and aligned with each other. The student learning outcomes within the
curriculum represent significant progress or accomplishment.
Curriculum Standard 3: The instructional materials and methodologies are appropriate and supportive of
Faculty Standard 1: Faculty members have education and training commensurate with their teaching
Faculty Standard 2: Faculty have experience relevant to teaching students at the postsecondary level in their
areas of assignment and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to professional development.
Faculty Standard 3: Faculty who teach English demonstrate excellent proficiency in English. In language
institutions where languages other than English are taught, faculty demonstrate excellent proficiency in the
languages they teach.
Faculty Standard 4: Teachers in training are appropriately selected, trained, and supervised for the
instructional situations in which they are placed.
Faculty Standard 5: Faculty members each receive a job description and all the terms and conditions of
employment in writing at the time they are hired and any time their duties or employment conditions change.
Faculty Standard 6: The program or language institution has an adequate number of faculty, whose duties are
structured to permit timely and effective completion.
Faculty Standard 7: The program or language institution describes to faculty clearly and in writing the
performance criteria and procedures for evaluation at the onset of the evaluation period; conducts faculty
performance evaluations that are systematic, regular, fair, objective, and relevant to achieving program or
institutional goals; and conveys evaluation results to faculty in writing in a timely manner.
Facilities, Equipment, and Supplies
Facilities, Equipment, and Supplies Standard 1: The program or language institution has facilities, equipment,
and supplies that support the achievement of its educational and service goals; are adequate in number,
condition, and availability; and are accessible to students, faculty, and administrators.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 1: The program or language institution clearly defines and
provides a rationale for formal linkages with other entities.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 2: The program or language institution has an administrative
structure and a governance system that are effective in helping it achieve its mission and the mission of the
host institution, if applicable. Administrator and staff positions within that structure are adequate in number
and staffed with individuals who have appropriate education, training, and experience.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 3: Administrators and staff members each receive a written job
description in writing at the time they are hired and any time their duties or employment conditions change.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 4: The program or language institution defines, encourages, and
supports appropriate professional development activities for faculty, administrators, and staff.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 5: The program or language institution describes to administrators
and staff clearly and in writing the performance criteria and procedures for evaluation at the onset of the
evaluation period; conducts administrator and staff performance evaluations that are systematic, regular, fair,
objective, and relevant to achieving program goals; and conveys evaluation results to administrators and staff
in writing in a timely manner.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 6: Administrators ensure that policies and procedures relating to
program or language institution operations are in place, accessible to all who are affected by them, reviewed
regularly, and implemented in a timely, fair, systematic, and ethical manner.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 7: Administrators ensure that there are means for the exchange
of information among those who need it.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 8: The program or language institution documents that it is in
compliance with all local, state, and federal laws, as well as with any applicable institutional regulations.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 9: Financial, student, personnel, program, governmental, and
contractual records are maintained and kept current, accessible, complete, accurate and, when appropriate,
secure. Reporting is done ethically and in compliance with the law.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 10: Contracts are in compliance with the law and in keeping with
policies of the larger institution, where applicable. Contracts are drafted with appropriate guidance, undergo
appropriate review, and are authorized by the appropriate individual(s).
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 11: Financial supervision is conducted by qualified individuals,
who implement appropriate policies and procedures and follow accepted accounting practices to ensure the
integrity of program or institutional finances.
Administrative and Fiscal Capacity Standard 12: Financial reserves are adequate and available to meet
obligations to students, staff, and any contractual parties.
Student Services Standard 1: Admissions policies are consistent with program objectives and with the mission
of the program or language institution (and with the host institution if applicable), and are implemented by
properly trained and authorized individuals. The admissions process ensures that the student is qualified to
enroll in and benefit from the instructional program. Both the policies and the personnel who implement them
adhere to ethical practices.
Student Services Standard 2: The program or language institution provides academic and personal advising
and counseling, as well as assistance in understanding immigration regulations. Such advice and assistance are
provided in a timely and accurate manner by qualified individuals.
Student Services Standard 3: The program or language institution provides pre-arrival and ongoing orientation
(1) to support students in their adjustment to the program or institution (and to the host institution if
applicable) and to the surrounding culture and community and (2) to help them understand immigration
regulations and procedures, as well as health and safety issues.
Student Services Standard 4: The program or language institution seeks to ensure that students understand
policies regarding enrollment, registration, attendance, repeating levels or courses, and progression through
the program of study.
Student Services Standard 5: Students have access to health insurance if required and, in all cases, students
are informed about the need for adequate health insurance coverage.
Student Services Standard 6: Students have access to social and recreational activities that provide a cultural
context for their language acquisition and other studies, as appropriate.
Student Services Standard 7: The program or language institution clearly states and fulfills its responsibilities
regarding student housing.
Student Services Standard 8: The program or language institution clearly states and consistently provides the
extent of student services described in any written, electronic, or oral promotional information or in
Recruiting Standard 1: All program or language institution personnel follow ethical practices for recruiting
students and promoting programs, and they ensure that the program or language institution’s policies and
procedures are made clear to prospective students and/or student sponsors. In any recruitment transaction,
the students’ interests and well-being are paramount.
Recruiting Standard 2: All written, electronic, and oral information used to describe or promote the program or
language institution to students and other relevant parties is accurate and complete.
Recruiting Standard 3: If a program or language institution has recruiting agreements or contracts with a third
party, the program or institution ensures that it has complete information about the third party, assumes
responsibility for monitoring the third party, and terminates the agreement if necessary.
Length and Structure of Program of Study
Length and Structure of Program of Study Standard 1: The calendar states the number of terms per year, the
number of weeks per term and the number of hours of instruction per week. The calendar is consistent with
and supportive of the program or language institution’s stated mission and goals.
Length and Structure of Program of Study Standard 2: The program or language institution’s curricular design
clearly indicates the levels of instruction and specifies how students progress through a full program of study.
Student Achievement Standard 1: The program or language institution has a placement system that is
consistent with its admission requirements and allows valid and reliable placement of students into levels.
Student Achievement Standard 2: The program or language institution documents in writing whether students
are ready to progress to the next level or to exit the program of study, using instruments or procedures that
appropriately assess the achievement of student learning outcomes for courses taken within the curriculum.
Student Achievement Standard 3: The program or language institution maintains and provides students with
written reports that clearly indicate the level and language outcomes attained as a result of instruction.
Student Achievement Standard 4: The program or language institution informs students of the assessment
procedures used to determine placement, progression from level to level, and completion of the program, as
well as their individual results.
Student Complaints Standard 1: The program or language institution makes available to students, in writing,
procedures by which they may lodge formal complaints. The program or language institution documents and
maintains records of formal student complaints, as well as the resolution of any such complaints.
Program Development, Planning, and Review
Program Development, Planning, and Review Standard 1: The program or language institution has a plan, in
writing, for development of the program or language institution as a whole, including planning,
implementation, and evaluation.
Program Development, Planning, and Review Standard 2: The program or language institution regularly
reviews and revises its program components and has plans, in writing, to guide the review of curricular
elements, student assessment practices, and student services policies and activities. The plans are
Filing a Complaint against a CEA Accredited Program
A program or institution that is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program
Accreditation must continue to meet the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions
throughout its period of accreditation. To ensure such compliance, CEA provides the public the
opportunity to report any evidence that the standards are not being met.
Why to file:
• An accredited program must continue to meet the CEA Standards. Complaints may be filed for noncompliance.
• An accredited program must report any substantive change that affects its eligibility for
accreditation. Complaints may be filed for failure to report substantive change.
Who may file:
Students, faculty members, staff members, and others outside the program who may have knowledge
of an alleged failure by an accredited program to maintain the CEA Standards, may file.
How to file:
An accredited site must have a copy of the CEA Standards available for public view. If you have a
concern, ask the site for a copy. The CEA Standards are also available at www.cea-accredit.org.
• Complaints for non-compliance with the CEA Standards must be written and signed, must refer to a
specific standard, and must document the nature of the non-compliance.
• Complaints for failure to report a substantive change must be written and signed and should explain
how, in process or content, the program has substantively changed from when it was accredited.
Adjudication of complaints:
CEA sends a copy of the complaint to the program for response. The complaint is adjudicated by the
CEA Standards Compliance Committee, which reviews the complaint and the program’s response.
Complaints must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the complainant on a separate
page and should be mailed to the address below. If you have questions, please contact CEA.
Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 665-3400 http://www.cea-accredit.org