CELCIS one of six programs worldwide to reach accreditation milestone

Contact: Margaret von Steinen
Photo of CELCIS students in class.

CELCIS students take a break from class.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's internationally recognized center for English language instruction is one of just six programs worldwide to already have achieved a second reaccreditation by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

CEA reaccredited WMU's Center for English Language and Culture for International Students—CELCIS—for a 10-year period through 2025 following a comprehensive self-study and site visit in April.

CELCIS has been providing intensive English language instruction at WMU since 1975. The WMU program was initially accredited by CEA in 2000. It was one of the first programs in the Midwest to earn the designation and was reaccredited for an additional 10 years in 2005.

"CELCIS is one of the few programs in the U.S. to receive accreditation from CEA three times," says Tom Marks, CELCIS director. "CEA is the accepted accrediting body for intensive English programs—not only in the U.S. but all over the world. It is the gold standard recognized by students, faculty and instructors, and our international partners, recruiters and agents. This accreditation sets our program apart from other language schools and inspires the excellence we are dedicated to maintaining."

About the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

CEA was founded in 1999 by English language professionals as a specialized accrediting agency to provide a means for improving the quality of English language teaching and administration through accepted standards. The commission conducts accreditation reviews in the U.S. and internationally.

Specific standards are evaluated during the accreditation process, including standards pertaining to mission, curriculum, faculty, facilities, equipment and supplies, administrative and fiscal capacity, student services, recruiting, length and structure of the program of study, student achievement, student complaints and program development.


Since 1975, CELCIS has provided instruction in English as a second language for non-native speakers who will use English to study at an American college or university or in their workplaces. Students travel from around the world to study in CELCIS, with the top five countries of origin being Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, Japan and Iraq. About 500 students study in the program each year, with the average enrollment being 200 students each semester.

CELCIS offers several types of programming: language instruction and cultural orientation in a year-round intensive English language program; English as a Second Language bridge courses offered through WMU's College of Arts and Sciences; short-term programs with a business focus; and training and consultation programs for international teaching assistants and faculty through WMU's Graduate College and Office of the Provost.

CELCIS offers five levels of instruction in Speaking and Listening, Grammar and Communication, and Reading and Writing. Courses are taught by 14 full-time and more than 15 part-time faculty members. The program also aids students in advancing their understanding of U.S. culture by offering each semester a broad range of experiential day trips and activities, as well as recreational and volunteer opportunities. In addition, a unique program for language practice brings CELCIS and WMU students together in conversation circles to practice conversational English.

For more information, visit the CELCIS website at wmich.edu/celcis.

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