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The ESL Program Specialist Certification Program prepares PK-12 educators to effectively teach  linguistically and culturally diverse students. The program's comprehensive and rigorous coursework is grounded in teachers' needs and emphasizes practical applications in classroom contexts.

The program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


TESOL Program Mission

Guided by the Alvernia University’s principles of rigor, care and inclusiveness, we strive to prepare educators who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively and ethically teach English learning students. We aim to develop reflective practitioners committed to ongoing professional development who serve as agents of change in their educational contexts in order to empower diverse families and communities.


The program starts on Jan. 17, March 9 and July 10 in 2023. 

The program is designed for busy teachers.

  • Flexible program format enables students to set their own pace:
    • on campus in the blended format (once a week class on main campus is combined with online learning)
    • fully online classes
  • 5 courses and field hours in PK-12 classrooms
  • Capstone course includes a 40-hour internship

This post-baccalaureate professional program leads to the certificate of English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist PK-12 in Pennsylvania (Program Specialist - English as a second language PK-12, Subject Code 4499). The certificate enables licensed teachers to provide ESL services, teach ESL or embed ESL instruction at the PK-12 grade level. A successful completion of the program is the sole requirement for obtaining the ESL certification in Pennsylvania.

Is this program only for Pennsylvania teachers? Not at all. If your goal is teaching ESL in the education agencies that don't require a PA Instructional I/II certificate with ESL Specialist credential, this program is for you! The program can also be extended to a M.Ed. in TESOL degree.

    Read more about:


    Questions? Contact:

    Kelly Burr, M.Ed.

    Associate Director of Graduate Admissions

    610.796.8296 (phone),  610-796-8367 (fax)


    Elena Lawrick, Ph.D.

    Chair, Education Department


    ESL Program Specialist (PK-12) Certification

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