Accreditation by a reliable, authoritative entity is essential for independent, non-profit language learning centers such as the International Language Institute of Massachusetts. We recognize the importance of accreditation as assurance for students, supporters and staff that the school is doing what it is supposed to do—delivering excellent language instruction and teacher training.
To this end, we have worked with the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) since our founding 37 years ago in 1984. ACCET is a U.S. national organization, recognized since 1978 by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority on educational quality. As their website explains, “ACCET strives to identify, evaluate, and enhance the delivery of continuing education and training through an independent peer-evaluation process. With a global reach, ACCET’s expansive scope is designed to support a diverse array of non-traditional post-secondary educational providers.”
In the last evaluation process (2016), ACCET awarded ILI a five-year accreditation, the highest level possible, which set up the next appraisal for 2021. After six months of intensive data collection, written narratives, Q&A sessions and a two-day virtual site visit, ACCET delivered its preliminary report, with the final due later this summer.
Here are some highlights from the preliminary report.
• The stated principles in the institution’s mission are robust, are well-documented, and regularly evaluated to determine if the institution is meeting its mission.
• The institution has a mission and goals that are compatible with the mission, scope, and standards of ACCET and has an effective planning process to enhance and improve the institution and its education, training, and services.
• The institution has a clearly identified and accountable governance structure, which delineates authority for the approval of institutional policies and responsibility for the overall direction and effectiveness of the institution. This management structure ensures the integrity and capability of the institution and its compliance with statutory, regulatory, and accreditation requirements.
• The prescribed [instructional] methodology is effective in eliciting student response and is practiced consistently across faculty. Additionally, as many of the faculty are graduates of the institution’s TESOL program, the accuracy and implementation of a standardized methodology can be seen easily.
• ILI goes above and beyond in their practice of maintaining professional relationships. Currently staff members hold membership and/or are involved in 29 local, state, federal, and international groups related to international education.
• The institute’s Fiscal Policies and Procedures Manual is comprehensive, simple, and clear.
• Scholarships made available to FEEP students [immigrants and refugees in ILI’s free English classes] to attend the institution’s Intensive English Program are highly beneficial to the student body. It is also notable that the funds for this scholarship come from local sources (Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee) – 47 awards granted to 19 students).
When the final review is in, we will share more highlights with readers of ILI NEWS.
In the meantime, kudos to ILI staff, who worked many long hours in the midst of the pandemic to complete the required tasks for the accreditation process!