The first regional Southeast TESOL conferences took place in the 1980s. This effort was conceptualized and led by the English language centers at several universities throughout the Southeast. In an effort to bring greater cohesion to these annual conferences, an Accord was written in 1990 and approved by representatives from the following affiliates: Alabama/Mississippi TESOL, Carolina TESOL, Florida TESOL (i.e., Sunshine State TESOL), Georgia TESOL, Gulf TESOL, Kentucky TESOL, Louisiana TESOL, and Tennessee TESOL. Based on this accord, a Southeast Regional TESOL conference would be held each Fall under the collective sponsorship of the member affiliates with the purpose of having “a conference of regional scope, attendance and grandeur, serving the greatest number of affiliate members at a reasonable cost to them.”
This Accord also called for a Regional Council “to provide links among the individual affiliates and serve as an advisory board for the regional conference.” Conference chairs were asked to communicate and coordinate conference information with the affiliate representatives on the Regional SETESOL council. This Regional Council would meet twice a year. These SETESOL Regional council meetings would take place in spring at the international TESOL convention and in fall at the regional SETESOL conference.
Since 1990, regional SETESOL conferences have been held each year (except for a one-year gap). This annual conference rotates annually to a different state as determined by a pre-established calendar. In 2004, the SETESOL Regional Council began the process of updating the Accord with two goals: to represent changes in practices that had been in effect and to include TESOL affiliates that had joined since the 1990 Accord. After a two-year process, a constitution was approved on December 1, 2006 at the Regional SETESOL Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. By that time, the Regional SETESOL Council included the following TESOL affiliates: Alabama/Mississippi TESOL, Arkansas TESOL, Carolina TESOL, Georgia TESOL, Kentucky TESOL, Louisiana TESOL, Sunshine TESOL (Florida), Tennessee TESOL, and Virginia TESOL.
In 2015, the Regional SETESOL Council determined that it was again time to update its governing document. Because this Regional Council is a grouping of affiliates and not a separate affiliate, the term “constitution” was deemed as not appropriate. Council members decided to use “Accord” which was the term used for the SETESOL Council’s original document. The SETESOL Regional Council approved SETESOL’s 2016 Accord on April 6, 2016 at the International TESOL Convention in Baltimore.