Excellence in Academics

School of Record

The University of New Haven (UNH) of West Haven, Connecticut acts as CEA’s official School of Record. The School of Record agreement follows the highest standards of good practice in education abroad and fulfills the requirements of NEASC’s Policy on Contractual Arrangements Involving Courses and Programs.
Together, UNH and CEA have developed academic protocols that guide School of Record operations. Under this comprehensive agreement, UNH:
  • reviews and approves CEA Study Center courses, academic appointments, staff, and faculty;
  • conducts regular site visits to each CEA Study Center;
  • issues course transcripts; and
  • requires CEA’s internal academic controls to be administered by academic leaders with qualifications comparable to those of academic administrators on UNH’s own campus.
Courses are designed and taught by qualified instructors consistent with the level of education at U.S. universities; all CEA instructors hold a master’s degree and more than 40% hold a terminal degree or doctorate. Consistency in academic standards and transcripts from an accredited U.S. institution help ease the credit approval and transfer process when students return home from their study abroad experience.

About the University of New Haven

Founded in 1920, the University of New Haven is a private, top-tier, comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH is continuously recognized as one of the finest comprehensive universities in the Northeast and has earned numerous awards and accolades.

Assessments and Evaluations

CEA actively conducts assessment and evaluation to enhance our academic programs.

Instructional Assessment

CEA has developed an internal process for assessing and evaluating faculty performance and curriculum quality. Students provide mid-term and end-of-semester feedback for all CEA Study Center courses and faculty. We use this information to assess academic quality and promote continuous improvement.

Student Program Evaluations

Obtaining student feedback through program evaluations provides CEA with valuable information used to evaluate each program and monitor programs for continuous improvement. By summarizing results and utilizing comparative analysis across all CEA locations, we establish best practices and ensure consistency in student experiences world-wide.

Academic Performance Reviews

All CEA Study Centers are evaluated through a comprehensive Academic Performance Review which consists of a CEA self-study report, UNH site visit, UNH site visit report, and CEA’s response to the site visit report on meeting the standards for education abroad. All Study Centers undergo an initial review and a subsequent review every seven years.

Continuous Assessment

CEA captures assessment and evaluation information from a number of additional sources, including:
  • Meetings with students and international academic staff
  • Custom program student and faculty evaluations
  • Mid-and End-of-term faculty and course observations
  • Alumni Ambassador meetings and surveys
  • UNH academic performance reviews
  • UNH annual report
  • Faculty observations by Academic Directors
  • QUIP Recognition assessment by The Forum on Education Abroad

Experiential & Active Learning

Experiential learning is an enhanced instructional method by which a student expands their knowledge through the transformation of an experience. A student will actively participate in the experience by researching, performing the activity, reflecting on their observations, processing the experience, and generalizing the experience to apply the knowledge into real-world situations.

Our curriculum integrates a blend of learning approaches and active experiences, so students can apply what they learn in class to the real world and vice-versa, taking learning to the next level by:

  • Researching a social issue and impacting change in our service learning programs
  • Hands-on learning through our international internship programs
  • Engaged learning through our Academic Integrated Cultural Activities Program (AICAP), in which cultural activities are integrated into course objectives and academically assessed

CEA provides the following active learning opportunities:

  • Guest lectures by local experts
  • Language exchanges
  • Volunteering
  • Academic and extra-curricular activities
  • Career & Re-Entry workshops
  • Global Competency Development Certificate (GCDC)

Credit Transfer

The transfer of academic credit is decided by each university. CEA helps by providing detailed course descriptions, contact hours, syllabi, and recommended credits for courses. CEA has worked with more than 1,000 colleges and universities to successfully transfer study abroad credit.

Credit Approval

We recommend that students meet with their advisor prior to departure to have their course selections pre-approved. We strongly recommend approving multiple alternate courses due to course availability.

Credit Overview

All courses taken at a CEA Study Center follow the standard U.S. credit hour ratio: 15 contact hours is equivalent to 1 semester credit. Courses offered at CEA Study Centers typically meet for 45 contact hours, worth 3 U.S. semester credits. Courses offered at partner institutions vary depending on how credit is awarded. CEA provides credit conversions for courses taken at overseas partner institutions.

Depending on program enrollment, students will enroll into the following 3 options:

  1. CEA Study Center Program: For students taking courses at a CEA Study Center only, a transcript will be issued by CEA's School of Record, UNH (a U.S. regionally accredited university, accredited by NEASC).
  2. Hybrid Program: Transcript(s) will be issued by CEA's School of Record, UNH and the partner institution.
  3. Full Partner Program: Transcript(s) will be issued from the partner institution.

We highly encourage students to obtain a pre-approval of course(s) prior to departure to ensure their home university will accept overseas credits. CEA will provide supplemental information including an English translation template and foreign grading scale (if applicable).

ECTS Credits

A number of CEA's European partner institutions issue credits using the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS incorporates “course units” that describe the student workload required to complete academic work and achieve learning outcomes.

One ECTS credit corresponds to 25–30 hours of total student work; 60 credits represents one academic year worth of work, 30 credits represents a semester, and 20 credits represents a trimester. There’s not a universal formula for converting ECTS to U.S. credits, but many U.S. universities consider ECTS as a 2:1 ratio (2 ECTS credits = 1 U.S. credit).

CEA provides syllabi and recommended credits for each course offered at our partner institutions that issue ECTS credits. Ultimately, each university will determine how ECTS credits will transfer into a student’s degree program.


Official transcripts will be mailed directly to the home university designated on a student’s admission application within 90 days after program completion. If a student wishes to have their official transcript(s) mailed to a different destination other than their home university, the student will need to submit a Transcript Release Form.


Competence and Efficiency
Working with CEA has been a pleasure for students, faculty, and administrators at Illinois State University. All logistic and programmatic matters, both in the U.S. and abroad, are handled by CEA staff with efficiency, competence, and friendliness. We couldn’t be happier and greatly appreciate CEA’s superb service.

Rachel L. Shively , Associate Professor of Spanish & Applied Linguistics
Illinois State University

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