UCM’s Intensive English Program Gains International Accreditation
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 1, 2010) –The University of Central Missouri’s Intensive English Program, housed in the English Language Center in UCM’s International Center, has gained international recognition with recent accreditation by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.
UCM’s IEP program is the first such program accredited by the CEA Commission in Missouri, making it a member of a select group of more than 80 such programs around the world to achieve the recognition.
According to Rachel Herman, director of the English Language Center, the accreditation is the result of two and one-half years of work by representatives of constituencies from across the campus. The accreditation process included a review of all aspects of the UCM program to identify strengths and weaknesses.
“We formed a steering committee and found that we were doing much of what was required,” Herman said. “There are 52 standards for accreditation in 10 general areas. We then began to develop the documentation of our compliance while identifying areas needing development. We found our strengths and also identified the areas where we need to do better.”
Faculty and staff in the UCM International Center worked together to develop and compile the necessary information for CEA. The IEP received campus-wide assistance from the Teaching English as a Second Language program; University Housing; Student Financial Services; Accounts Payable; the Office of the Registrar; Information Services; Facilities, Planning and Operations and Access Control.
“We examined all aspects of the international student’s experience on our campus, and identified the ways in which we provided the unique services and assistance they require,” Herman said. “It also gave us an opportunity to see what we needed to do better.”
A three-member team from the CEA Commission visited the UCM campus for three days in November 2009. Working from temporary offices in the Ward Edwards Building, the team supplemented written materials with interviews and on-site review of programs and strategies. The UCM IEP program was notified that the CEA Commission had granted the English Language Center IEP a one-year accreditation with reporting requirements during it April 23-25 meeting.
“We wish to thank the university faculty, staff and students who met with the working committees and with the accreditation team during their visit on campus,” said Joy Stevenson, director of UCM’s International Center. “Our goal is to achieve a five-year accreditation recognition and ultimately a ten-year accreditation. With excellent leadership by Rache Hremanl and Val Heming, assistant director of the English Language Center, I know we will reach that goal”
The Intensive English Program in the English Language Center at UCM offers international students attending UCM an opportunity to improve their English language skills for academic purposes. The program offers eight week sessions of intensive study twice per semester with the goal of bringing all students enrolled up to the required level of English proficiency in less than one year.
The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation was founded in 1999 by English language professionals as a specialized accrediting agency to provide a means for improving the quality of English language instruction through accepted standards.
In September 2003 CEA was recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions. With this recognition, CEA became the only specialized accrediting agency for university-level English language programs in the United States. The commission expanded its mission to include the accreditation of English language programs and schools outside the U.S. in 2005.
Learn more about the English Language Center and the Intensive English Program at UCM at www.ucmo.edu/iep.