Culture and Intensive English Program

About Us


About the CIEP

The Culture and Intensive English Program, or the CIEP, was founded at UNI by Dr. Stephen Gaies and Dr. Cala Shields in 1982. It began as a summer program for students who were already attending the university academically; it consisted of six instruction hours per day and other field trips and activities outside the class. In August of 1984, the program expanded into a year-round English language program including five eight-week sessions. Reading, speaking, and writing classes were offered to non-native speakers. The CIEP has now been incorporated into the Office of International Programs, the UCIEP, and the AAIEP. 

The CIEP has serviced a wide range of students since its creation. We have hosted exchange programs, small trips, and pairings with American students. Our participants have represented almost every continent and country in the world. Students with many different backgrounds and education have joined us throughout the years and we continue to offer opportunities to various students from all over the globe. 


What do we do?

The primary goal of the UNI CIEP is to improve our students’ ability to communicate in English. We do this through speaking and listening practice in all classes, not just listening/speaking classes. We also work with students to improve specific skills in grammar, writing, listening, speaking, and reading. The CIEP does this by teaching students the skills and strategies that will help them use English both academically and socially. There are many opportunities for students to practice these skills outside of the classroom with roommates, conversation partners, other university students, and community members. 

Another important part of the CIEP is learning about American academic culture and popular culture. We closely relate English language instruction with American cultural experiences because you cannot use a language well if you do not understand the society and culture in which it is used. It is also difficult to study and work in the United States if you are not proficient in the English language. The CIEP works very closely with students to find the best opportunities for them to learn about the English language and American culture.

The CIEP is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) under the authority of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. The CEA regularly reviews and regulates standards for intensive English programs wishing to be accredited.


For more information about CIEP, follow the links below:


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UNI Culture & Intensive English Program

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