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ILI Earns Highest Ranking from National Accreditation Authority

NORTHAMPTON — The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) has certified the International Language Institute (ILI) of Massachusetts through 2021.

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

“We are proud to earn ACCET’s highest accreditation,” said Eric Wirth, ILI board president. “It underscores the extraordinary creativity and dedication of our teachers and administrative staff. And ACCET accreditation helps assure prospective students from around the world and right here in Western Massachusetts that they will receive top-notch service.”

Operating for 32 years, ILI is a nonprofit language school in Northampton that partners with 12 colleges and universities (locally, Bay Path University, Elms College, Greenfield Community College, Springfield College, Western New England University, Westfield State University, and UMass Amherst graduate school) to teach academic English skills to international students planning on enrolling at these schools.

The school also trains instructors in effective ways to teach English to non-English speakers in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, ILI offers French, German, Italian, 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 are especially proud of our free English classes for refugees and immigrants,” she 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.”

ACCET personnel paid a site visit to ILI in July and completed extensive research as part of the accreditation process. 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 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.

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