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ACCREDITED ESL SCHOOLS
Accreditation of any college or private language school offering ESL programs can occur at the regional, state, institutional or program levels. This means the program or school has met certain specific standards of quality.

Governmental and other agencies must first recognize the accrediting bodies. For instance, the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) grant power to associations that oversee accreditation at the regional, institutional or program level. Additionally, some types of schools-such as career colleges, which may include language institutes--require approval to operate at the state level. The Department of Homeland Security/Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/BCIS) requires that international students entering the country on an F-1 visa attend an accredited institution.

Regional: The US Department of Education recognizes 6 distinct higher educational regions, each of which is overseen by its own distinct accrediting body. This type of accreditation is voluntary and is for a college as a whole, not for individual programs.

Institutional: Different types of institutions (e.g., private, Christian, career college, etc.) may also be accredited by institute-type specific agencies. ESL programs in the USA are offered at a diverse range of institutions; therefore, a school offering ESL programs may be accredited by one or more of several accrediting organizations.

Specialized: Specialized accreditation focuses on specific areas of study and individual programs. This is sometimes called professional accreditation, because it means specific programs meet the national standards for that field of study. There are several accrediting agencies that offer specialized accreditation of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs that you can read about in more detail in this section. Follow the links in the right hand menu.

When assessing quality of ESL schools and programs, you can also look at whether the school or program is a member of any professional associations (such as the American Association of Intensive English Programs), which also maintain certain standards of quality, but is not the same as official accreditation.

Why Accreditation?
Accreditation of ESL schools and programs in the USA means you can rest assured that the education provided meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies have no legal control over institutions or programs; they promote certain standards and approve or renew membership of institutions that apply and meet the accreditation standards or criteria. The US Secretary of Education and CHEA each maintain and publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies, and most institutions attain eligibility for Federal funds by holding accredited or pre-accredited status with one of the recognized accrediting agencies. Accreditation is a good guide for choosing an ESL school or program, and will protect you from scams and substandard instruction.
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American English and Culture Program
Arizona State University American English and Culture Program (AECP) at Arizona State University (ASU) has offered specially-designed, high-quality intensive English language instruction since ...
 
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Take a Tour Campus e-tours allow students to view the facilities and student life at featured ESL Schools in the USA, giving you the opportunity to see what the institute looks like, as well as facts about the campus, courses, etc. Once you’ve completed your tour you can read the in-depth profile to get more detailed information, or click the Request FREE Info link to request specific information such as scholarships and financial aid directly from that institution.

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