Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Susan P. Mullane

Second Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Third Committee Member

Brian Orefice

Fourth Committee Member

Don W. Stacks


Since the passage of the Accreditation Act of 2010, accreditation has been required in order for English language programs to enroll international students on student visas. There is one specialized accrediting agency in the U.S. authorized to accredit such programs: the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). That agency issues specialized/programmatic and institutional accreditation awards. Accreditation decisions by CEA were examined for possible relationships between three variables: accreditation type (programmatic or institutional), accreditation award length (1- or 5-year), and findings of compliance with a set of seven standards related to learning outcomes and assessments. Data were evaluated using log-linear models followed by odds ratio comparisons. Analysis demonstrated a significant interaction between accreditation type and length of award and between findings of compliance on standards related to learning outcomes and assessments and length of award. Awards of programmatic accreditation tended to be for longer periods of time than awards of institutional accreditation. Higher levels of compliance with standards were related to lengthier awards of accreditation. Results of the study indicate that whether the institution as a whole was evaluated for accreditation or a unit within an institution was under review, findings of compliance with standards related to learning outcomes and assessment were not significantly related. Results underscore the importance of learning outcomes and assessment of these outcomes as vital to the accreditation process and as markers of quality. The results of this study are useful to intensive English programs as administrators prepare to seek accreditation and meet the accreditation standards.


specialized accreditation; English language programs; intensive English programs; standards; learning outcomes; assessments