Education news and notes


BRATTLEBORO >> The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training has certified the International Language Institute 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.

Operating for 32 years, ILI is a non-profit language school in Northampton that partners with 12 local colleges and universities — including Marlboro College and the SIT Graduate Institute — to teach academic English for students planning to enroll at these schools. The school also offers an SIT TESOL Certificate, training instructors in effective ways to teach English to non-English speakers in the United States and abroad. And 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.

Joan Perreault of SIT Graduate Institute Admissions noted that she was pleased to learn of ILI's high-level accreditation. "We congratulate ILI on this achievement. It reinforces our belief in ILI's contributions to our programs."

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 ILI Board President Eric Wirth. "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."

Visit for more information about the school and its programs.

Oak Meadow hosts open house

BRATTLEBORO >> Oak Meadow will host an open house on Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can learn about Oak Meadow's flexible, creative home-schooling curriculum and distance learning school for grades K to 12. Speak with teachers, browse curriculum materials, meet other families. Crafts, music, and more for the kids. Local Vermont treats. Following open house at 1:30, come and hear Martin LeBlanc, a leading voice in the movement to reconnect children and nature, speak in the Brooks House Atrium.

Free and open to anyone who's interested in learning more about homeschooling, distance learning, children and nature. For more info, visit

Get past 'bad training'

BRATTLEBORO >> Most of us have had that trainer. The one who stands in front of the room reading their slides word-for-word in one giant monologue that leaves no space for the ideas or questions of participants.

"That's not how people learn." Andy Robinson said.

Robinson is a non-profit consultant based out Plainfield. After 35 years in the field he's become nationally recognized for his work training nonprofit boards to be more effective fundraisers. Through his work as a trainer and leading more than 50 presentations and workshops every year Robinson has become finely attuned to what works in a presentation and what doesn't.

On Sept. 30 Robinson will lead a half-day workshop at the Marlboro College Graduate Center about how to avoid presentation pitfalls, called "Beyond Bad Training."

According to Robinson, part of the problem is that people giving presentations or training others often just shrug and say, "Well I'm not a teacher." He seeks to shift that mentality so that his participants recognize and take ownership of the spaces in which they are teaching.

Robinson designed the workshop to be hands-on and directly applicable to the work participants are already engaged in. He says this stems both from a desire to be practical and give people tools that they can use, but also because it's good teaching. People, particularly adults, remember only a small fraction of what they're told, but they remember most of what they do. In keeping, participants will be encouraged to take the content of what they plan to present and shape it into activities.

The workshop is open to people from every industry across nonprofit, for-profit and government sectors.

For more information or to register for Beyond Bad Training, contact Julie van der Horst at Jansen at or visit


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