June 2, 2012

U.S. Officials Fail to Allay Concerns Over Accreditation Rules for Language Programs

From http://chronicle.com/article/US-Officials-Fail-to-Allay/132058

U.S. Officials Fail to Allay Concerns Over Accreditation Rules for Language Programs
By Karin Fischer
May 31, 2012

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials, speaking at an international-education conference here, did little on Thursday to clarify the confusion surrounding new requirements for the accreditation of university-run English-language programs.

Indeed, they even suggested that the department's unexpected demand that campus programs produce evidence of accreditation during certification reviews or lose their ability to enroll foreign students was "nothing to get upset about."

Judging by the reaction of the program directors who crowded an auditorium for an early-morning session at the annual meeting of Nafsa: Association for International Educators, that's unlikely.

The controversy arose two weeks ago, when the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or SEVP, the arm of the department that oversees and enforces the student-visa system, sent a memorandum to colleges and language schools, notifying them that they must show proof of accreditation during spot certification checks.

The bulletin took university-run language institutes by surprise because they believed they were exempt from a 2010 law requiring accreditation since they are parts of institutions in good standing with accreditors. Many worried that they would have to obtain separate accreditation, as independent language schools do.

Read the full article at http://chronicle.com/article/US-Officials-Fail-to-Allay/132058

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