iTEP International Receives Presidential Award For Exports

From left to right: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, iTEP International CEO Sharif Ossayran, iTEP International President Jemal Idris

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented iTEP International with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 21. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“iTEP International has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” said Secretary Ross in his congratulatory letter to the company announcing its selection. “The ‘E’ Award Committee was very impressed with iTEP International’s innovative marketing and sales strategies customized to individual markets. The company’s use of partnerships to develop sales in 51 countries was also particularly notable. iTEP International’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

 iTEP International is the creator of the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) suite of internet-based language assessment tools. iTEP exams are used by educational institutions, companies, and governments across 50 countries for admissions, placement, hiring, and progress tracking of non-native English speakers.

“Since launching in 2008, iTEP has continually sought to expand what an English assessment tool allows for by creating a better user experience and richer data set,” says iTEP International President Jemal Idris. “In doing so, we have expanded the market for English assessment tools as a whole, and we are honored to receive the “E” Award as a result of this work.”

While many education entities have been honored over the years, iTEP International is the first English assessment company to receive the President’s “E” Award since it was established in 1961 by President Kennedy. In total, Secretary Ross honored 43 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with the President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity outside of our borders.

The award is based on four years of successive export growth in one or more international markets. iTEP International’s largest international market is China with more than 100 test centers and partnerships with some of the largest educational organizations in the country. Other key markets for iTEP include Mexico, Colombia, Japan, and South Korea.

U.S. exports totaled $2.33 trillion in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs nationwide in 2016, according to the most recent statistics from the International Trade Administration.

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit www.export.go

iTEP Adds International Education Industry Veterans to Executive Team

From left to right: Cindy Ochoa, Rupert Johnstone, Tom Shandorf

As iTEP continues to grow across the world and provide English testing for a wide variety of purposes within the education field and beyond, we are proud to announce the following additions to our team.

  • Cindy Ochoa, Director for Institutional Relations
  • Rupert Johnstone, Vice President Distribution, ANZ
  • Tom Shandorf, Executive Director, Europe

Cindy Ochoa has had many years of experience with intensive English language programs in the US. Cindy has also served in a number of leadership positions with NAFSA, EnglishUSA and the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA), one of two accrediting agencies for English language programs. She currently serves as the 2018 CEA Commission Chair. She is a well known and respected ESL/EFL professional who has spent many hours reviewing and evaluating English language assessment exams available on the market. During this process, she adopted iTEP products, and became acquainted with our team and our mission to provide affordable, accurate and convenient English language assessment exams. Cindy will provide support in introducing iTEP exams to English language and pathway programs in the US and to colleges and universities for use in their admissions process.

Rupert Johnstone joins iTEP with a wealth of 30 years of education management experience in every corner of the globe. For the last 5 years, Rupert has been delivering business transformation services to Australia’s leading ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students), vocational and higher education providers, including post-acquisition restructures. Prior to that, Rupert’s 20-plus years with ELS took him all over the world, mainly establishing ELS’s recruitment infrastructure in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as opening and managing ELS Centers in Brisbane, London, Seoul, Shanghai, and Vancouver. Rupert is the Founder of a pioneering Sydney-based B2B education consultancy Global Education Connections, which includes the Global Education Leaders Forum and Global Employment Connections.

Tom Shandorf is the owner and director of the American Language Center (Istituto Americano) in Florence, Italy, which has offered English language programs since 1959. He also owns and manages Via Lingua International, an organization devoted to the development of qualified and certified teachers of English as a foreign language. Tom has also held various management positions with ELS Language Centers, as well. Tom has worked closely with iTEP International for years, both using iTEP exams in his businesses as well as providing invaluable advice and guidance to our leaders. Following the success of iTEP’s first international office established in Mexico in 2016, there is incredible potential for iTEP to grow in Europe under Tom’s leadership.

“We are so very fortunate to have these acclaimed international educators as members of the senior iTEP team,” says iTEP International Chairman Perry Akins. “Each of these individuals greatly expands the knowledge base and reach of our organization.”

iTEP Inks $8.9 Million Partnership to Revolutionize English Assessment in China

iTEP International has partnered with Zhejiang Liang Yi Cultural Development Company Ltd (ZL) in a major initiative to improve the availability and use of reliable English assessment in the country. Valued at $8.9 million, the agreement will bring the iTEP Academic and iTEP SLATE exams into the Chinese mainstream through ZL’s relationships with Zhejiang Tsinghua Yangtze River Delta Research Institute, and English Weekly Press, a major English education media company.

Kenny Li, Perry Akins, Shi Chuanbao, & Sahrif Ossayran

ZL is a main supplier of paperless teaching systems, touring online systems and homestay management to elementary and secondary schools in China, and will incorporate iTEP exams into its materials. “There is an increased focus in China on forming proficient English speakers, rather than merely paying lip service to English education and going through the motions of classroom instruction,” says iTEP Chairman Perry Akins. “We are thrilled that this partnership will integrate coursework and assessment to help educators achieve measurable results.”

English Weekly Press will leverage its targeted circulation of 16 million through 40,000 schools to promote iTEP to teachers and students. “Our publication brings trends and innovations in the education field into the spotlight,” says Mr. Shi Chuanbao, Vice of Editor of the awarding winning English Weekly Press. Secretary of General of China Foreign Language and Education Research Center. “We are thrilled to bring widespread awareness to a more efficient, cost-effective, and technology enabled English test such as iTEP.”

Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University, Zhejiang, is co-founded by Zhejiang Provincial Government and Tsinghua University. The Institute is actively involved in technology innovation services and training, and spurring growth in the tech sector in order to fulfill Tsinghua University’s social service commitment to shaping the future of economic development. “We are thrilled to engage in revolutionizing the English assessment space in China through our partnership iTEP,” says Dr., Wu, Yunda Vice secretary of Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University Zhejiang.

The partnership is the most significant to date for iTEP International which already has more than 100 test centers established in China and more than 700 around the world. “In such a large and populous country, it takes truly influential partners to make an impact, and we are honored to be part of such an elite group,” says iTEP President Jemal Idris. “The People’s Republic of China offers tremendous growth opportunities for the iTEP exams and we are looking forward to a successful and long term relationship with ZL.”