S. 1338: A bill to require the accreditation of English language training programs, and for other purposes

S. 1338

A bill to require the accreditation of English language training programs, and for other purposes

Sen. Thomas R. Carper

December 1, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

S. 1338 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, December 1, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  The legislation was introduced on June 24, 2009, by Senator Carper (D-DE). The Senate passed S. 1338 on September 27, 2010, without amendment by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

S. 1338 would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to require that a nonimmigrant foreign student seeking to enter the United States to study at a language training program enroll at a language program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.


According to the Republican staff on House Judiciary Committee, S.1338 would help to prevent immigration fraud by closing a loophole that can lead to foreign nationals coming to the United States on a student visa but not actually fulfilling the requirements of the visa. 


Currently all Intensive English Program (IEPs) must be officially recognized, but that sometimes means there is just a check to see that the building in which the IEP is supposedly located, actually exists, as opposed to ensuring that the school is teaching the English classes and is not simply a front for a student visa scam.  Accreditation is an intensive process that helps ensure the legitimacy of education programs.  Under this bill, IEPs can meet the accreditation requirement in one of two ways:

1.     An IEP can be under the governance of a university or college that has been accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; or

2.     An IEP can be individually accredited by The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) or the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). 


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not produced a cost estimate for this bill as of press time.