Two individuals with deep roots in the international education field founded BES in 2002. Perry Akins served as President of ELS for 30 years and helped it grow from operating two language centers to 82, making it the largest provider of English language training in the world. Sharif Ossayran was Director of International Development at ELS and founder of Scholastic Insurance Agencies. BES is headquartered in Canoga Park, California.
In 2008, BES introduced iTEP—International Test of English Proficiency—and it rapidly became popular with a wide variety of organizations. The English proficiency test, which sets a new standard for scheduling flexibility and results availability, is now accepted by the admissions offices of several hundred US colleges and universities. Many intensive English programs throughout the country also use iTEP for English language evaluation, placement, assessment, and exit testing, as the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI) and Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) recognize iTEP as an effective tool to validate intensive English programs.
Governments, businesses, and international organizations have also made iTEP their test of choice. In 2009-2010, the Colombian government selected iTEP as the required English proficiency test under a new countrywide initiative to attract foreign investment. The Saudi Arabian government chose iTEP for a 2011-2012 large scale testing initiative. Moreover, dozens of multinational companies have selected the iTEP Business exams to be their language assessment tool used in recruiting, hiring, and promoting.
In 2010, BES launched iTEP SLATE—Secondary Level Assessment Test of English—an exam for middle school and early high school students that is used by a growing number of US high schools. It is also popular with secondary schools abroad. For instance, in May of 2011, three private Chinese high schools began using iTEP SLATE for placement purposes and as a course exit exam.
In the beginning of 2014, BES launched its newest exam, iTEP Hospitality. The online 30 minute iTEP Hospitality test will contain listening and speaking skill evaluations with the test content, questions, and vocabulary specifically tailored to the hospitality industry. The ultimate goal of the iTEP Hospitality test is to provide hospitality organizations the data necessary to calibrate the various English levels required to perform at each level of the organization. This will ultimately help organizations evaluate and perfect the English language assessment aspect of their recruiting, placement, and internal promotion activities.
BES is committed to actively engaging with the international education community through memberships and affiliations with the National Postdoctoral Association, NAFSA, and TABS. Our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest standard of academic rigor while using innovation to facilitate the way English proficiency tests are administered and evaluated in a modern world.