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ELS Educational Services celebrates its 55th anniversary

July 15, 2016


The year 2016 marks the 55th anniversary of ELS Educational Services. Since the company’s inception in 1961, ELS has helped more than 1.2 million international students from 143 countries learn English effectively, allowing them to achieve their higher education goals and creating world citizens in the process.

A history of milestones:

  • The first ELS Language Center was opened in 1961 in Washington, D.C. By the end of the 1970s, the company had become the first independent English language school to be granted accreditation by the Continuing Education Council (CEC), which later became ACCET.
  • In the 1980s, ELS established the University Admissions Services department, Special Programs Division to offer Youth Camps, Skills for University Success, Pre-MBA, Super-Intensive English and English for Executives.
  • ELS developed the ELS Masters course in the 1990s, extending the curriculum by three sessions to ensure student success.
  • In the face of global upheaval in the early 2000s, ELS’s management team focused on strategic partnerships with public colleges, research institutions and graduate schools – increasing opportunities for academic-bound international students.
  • By the end of the decade, ELS had become the largest official testing organization for the TOEFL® and IELTSTM in North America, had opened recruitment offices in Shanghai and key cities in China, Vietnam, Turkey, and acquired two Centers in Canada, and shortly after expanded to both Australia and India.

Today, ELS is the largest network of campus-based English language instruction centers in the world, over 60 of which are affiliated with university campuses. We are doubling our efforts to invest in programs and locations that assist international students succeed and our university partners recruit qualified well prepared students that will enrich the campus experience through their diversity.