Creation of the Center resulted from recommendations made by the Virginia 2020 Commission on International Activities and the Committee on the Future of ESL at the University of Virginia. CAELC is funded through the Office of the Vice President and Provost and is housed in the Office of Summer and Special Academic Programs. CAELC is advised by a faculty council comprised of representatives from across the University. The Director of CAELC reports to the Vice Provost for Academic Programs.

CAELC partners include the Department of Anthropology, the Department of English, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, the Curry School of Education, the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Law, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, the Teaching Resource Center, the Speech-Language-Hearing Center, the International Studies Office, the International Center, the Summer Language Institute, and the U.Va. Medical Center.

The Center for American English Language and Culture endorses the NAFSA Principles of International Educational Exchange and the TESOL Standards for Post Secondary Programs.