The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) has certified the International Language Institute (ILI) of Massachusetts through August 30, 2026. This five-year accreditation is the highest level bestowed by ACCET, which since 1978 has been officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority regarding the quality of education and training provided by the institutions ACCET accredits.

“We are proud to earn ACCET’s highest accreditation,” said ILI board president Markus Jones. “It underscores the extraordinary creativity and dedication of our teachers and administrative staff in meeting COVID pandemic challenges. It allows ILI to bring international students to the U.S. on student visas issued by the U.S. Department of State. And it helps assure prospective students from around the world and in western Massachusetts that they will receive top-notch service.”

Operating for 37 years, ILI is a non-profit language school in Northampton, MA, that partners with 12 local colleges and universities to teach academic English skills to speakers of other languages. The school also trains instructors in effective ways to teach English to non-English speakers in the United States and abroad. And, ILI offers French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish courses for English speakers who travel for pleasure and business or “who simply want to learn another language,” said ILI executive director Caroline Gear. “We also teach individually tailored language courses for employers and their employees who want to communicate better with each other and their customers.”

“We are especially proud of our free English classes for refugees and immigrants,” Gear added. “For more than 30 years, these classes have helped change lives thanks to support from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the generosity of hundreds of local businesses and individual donors.”

This year marked the first time ACCET accredited a completely different model–all online classes–that ILI instigated in early 2020 in response to the onset of the pandemic. “We are very pleased that ACCET personnel in their virtual site visit to ILI and after completing extensive research as part of the accreditation process found our online teaching and learning worthy of top accreditation.”

Among the strengths pointed out in the ACCET assessment are ILI’s professional relationships within the Northampton community; the school’s short- and long-term business plans; the extensive tenure of ILI faculty and staff, which results in a collaborative environment that supports out-of-the box thinking; student-centered classes, including the free English classes for refugees and immigrants; the school’s exemplary teaching and the teachers’ qualifications that exceed ACCET requirements; and the fact that students enjoy their time at ILI and are making significant progress in language development.

ACCET first accredited ILI in 1984, and has continued its recognition of the school’s excellence since then.

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