Spring 2011 E-Newsletter (March 23, 2011)
UCIEP: YOUR CONNECTION TO THE BEST ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAMS IN THE U.S.
UCIEP, Inc. is a consortium of intensive English programs governed by universities and colleges in the U.S. Formed in 1967 to establish standards for best practice where none had previously existed, UCIEP has, for the past forty-three years, remained true to its mission to promote excellence in intensive English program administration, curriculum, and instruction; encourage and sponsor professional development; and advocate on behalf of member organizations and the field of English as a second language as a whole. Accredited IEPs continue to appreicate the value of being a UCIEP consortium member. This year, UCIEP received over 8 inquiries, and is now reviewing 6 applications for UCIEP membership. We are pleased to welcome a new member, Califórnia State University, Fullerton.
UCIEP 14th ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND BUSINESS MEETING AT BANDERA
In early February, more than 50 directors of UCIEP programs participated in the annual conference and business meeting in Bandera, Texas. During this two-and-a-half-day retreat, we discussed a wide variety of issues related to our programs, our international students, and our commitment to the mission of UCIEP. Highlights this year included discussions about the Common European Framework of Reference, enrollment management, advocacy issues, developing bridge programs, implications of the passage of the bill to require accreditation of IEPs, and managing additional programs in IEPs. In addition, discussion was held on UCIEP’s ongoing member-program site visit plans and the welcoming of new members. Planning meetings also took place for the UCIEP sponsored activities at the national NAFSA conference, this May in Vancouver, Canada.
While at Bandera, program directors participated in a conference call with a representative from the US Department of State regarding student visa issues. Topics included updates on procedures regarding students from countries considered to be security threats, recent instances of fraudulent/scam applications from "consulting firms' allegedly representing groups of students, as well as recent events regarding multiple fraudulent students at a possibly fraudulent US west coast university. The DOS representative was also referred to an extremely effective cable from former SecState Rice that not only reminded consular officers that studying English in the US is a legitimate use of the F and J visa, but also pointed out that young prospective students, like their American counterparts, may not, in the course of their visa interview, always be able to articulate a clear plan for their future beyond studying English, since those plans have not yet been fully formed in their youthful desire to explore the world and discover themselves. The DOS representative promised to look into copying our membership (or the UCIEP Executive Board) on this spring’s cable from SecState to consular officers. In addition, UCIEP was fortunate to have the Director of SEVP and the Chief of SEVP Policy, Department of Homeland Security, join the conference for a half-day to discuss student and exchange visitor program updates. The Director and the Chief of SEVP Policy congratulated UCIEP, TESOL, and AAIEP advocacy efforts which were highlighted on Dec. 14, 2010 when President Barack Obama signed an “Act to require the accreditation of English language training programs,” now known as Public Law 111-306. The law amends section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, specifying that English Language training programs must be “accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.” The law is effective December, 2011. See NAFSA’s Resource Library site, http://www.nafsa.org/resourcelibrary/default.aspx?id=23563, “Accreditation Requirement Becomes Law For Intensive Language Training Programs Who Enroll F-1 Students.” for more details. We hope passage of this bill will continue to ensure the quality of ESL programs in the United States. Finally, UCIEP continues to take an active role in advocating for international students and encourages your support.
NEW MEMBER PROFILE FORMAT
Last year at NAFSA, we brought a small number of UCIEP Member Profile Books in CD format in order to see if they would meet the needs of those who depend upon our Profile Books. We discovered that the vast majority of people would prefer the Profile Book in CD format. We are pleased to announce that at NAFSA 2011 we will be providing all Member Profiles in CD format. The Profile CD will also be available for download on our website. Of course, printed versions of the Member Profiles can still be mailed upon request. Be sure to stop by the UCIEP booth, 548, to pick up your new UCIEP Member Profile CD.
NAFSA 2011 IN VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA
Remember to mark your calendars for NAFSA 2011, which will be held in Vancouver B.C., Canada the week of May 30th. This year, many UCIEP institutions will be represented in Vancouver, and UCIEP will again host a booth in the exhibit area (booth #548). We will have copies of our new member profile CDs available and, as always, we will be raffling off a wide variety of T-shirts from member institutions throughout the days of the conference. We all look forward to this wonderful opportunity to get together, renew old acquaintances, and make new friends. We hope to see many of you there!
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS
Please send any comments or questions you might have for UCIEP to either of the co-editors of this electronic newsletter: Marlin Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cindy Kieffer (email@example.com). Also, feel free to send any information you would like to be shared with the UCIEP list to us at one of these Email addresses. Please check our website regularly for any additional information or updates that might be posted at www.uciep.org.