Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009
K-STATE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM RECEIVES ACCREDITATION
MANHATTAN -- The English Language Program at Kansas State University has received a four-year accreditation from the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.
The program had to meet many requirements to achieve the accreditation, according to Beverley Earles, associate director of the program.
A few of the requirements included an extensive documentation of policies and procedures, as well as an on-site visit in which students, faculty and university administrators were all interviewed. Earles said the program also had to ensure that it had student services set up to aid international students in a variety of ways, including orientation and one-on-one counselor interviews.
"Accreditation means that we have standards that are recognized by outside entities and we are expected to maintain those standards," Earles said.
The English Language Program currently serves around 480 students in the area of English preparatory courses. The program also offers three part-time English courses that aid students who are taking university classes but who still need some help in the areas of reading, writing or listening.
Most of the people in the program are international students who need help to improve their English for personal reasons or to meet university standards. Overall, students in the program are primarily degree-bound.
Mary Wood, director of K-State's English Language Program, said achieving accreditation is important to the program and the university.
"The CEA is the only agency that actually assesses programs on a standard set of criteria," Wood said. "There are a number of different English programs in the U.S. and around the world. Some are integrated into a university like we are. Some are loosely attached to a school and others are commercial programs. It's a way to make sure that students are getting what they pay for."
K-State's English Language Program is affiliated with other agencies that recognize high standards as well. These include the Consortium of University and College Intensive English Programs and the American Association of Intensive English Language Programs.
The benefits of accreditation include ensuring a quality education for the students within the English Language Program, standardizing working conditions for employees and guaranteeing that the program meets standards set by K-State as well as the profession in general, according to Wood.
"It makes you feel wonderful," she said. "It was such a team effort. It wasn't one or two people, and because of that, the team has learned more about the program, has invested their own input and has a sense of ownership."