The ESL Program Specialist (PK-12) Certification curriculum includes 5 courses (16 credits), 20 hours of fieldwork, and 40 hours of internship. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates for this certification will apply for the teaching credential "ESL Program Specialist" through Pennsylvania Department of Education's Teacher Information Management System. 


To qualify for obtaining the ESL Program Specialist (PK-12) certificate in Pennsylvania, a candidate should:

  • Complete the 16-credit coursework. Please note that up to 6 graduate credits from another university may be transferred
  • Earn a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Hold a valid PA Instructional I/II or out-of-state ESL certificate


The coursework is offered in two formats: on campus and online. Take advantage of a rolling admissions process and apply now! You can start the program on March 12, 2020. 



MED 574, Foundations of English as a Second Language (3 credits, 10 fieldwork hours)

Learn about various types of English learners and the policies, regulations, and processes which pertain to the provision of inclusive and equitable education to English learners in PK-12.

MED 576, Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)

Advance your knowledge of the English language, typical difficulties of English learners, and effective instructional strategies to teach the American English phonology and grammar. 

MED 578, Culture and Life Experiences of English Language Learners (3 credits, 5 fieldwork hours)

Understand the role that culture plays in educational contexts. Learn the evidence-based practices of culturally responsive teaching and effective engagement of culturally diverse parents.

MED 682, Second Language Acquisition (3 credits, 5 fieldwork hours)

Examine the key factors that impact learning English as a second language. Learn how to optimize the conditions of English language development in your classroom. 

 MED 684, Assessment and Instruction of English Language Learners (4 credits, 40 internship hours, capstone

Learn effective strategies of teaching English and content to English learners, monitoring their English language development, and assessing their progress in academic achievement. Practice carrying out the responsibilities of an ESL program specialist in authentic educational contexts. Create a professional portfolio. 


Prior to the beginning of a course with fieldwork and/or internship hours, candidates are required to submit their clearances including PA Criminal Record check (Act 34), PA Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151), FBI Clearance (Act 114), and TB Screening. Read more about clearances here


Please view course descriptions in the Graduate Catalog

ESL Program Specialist (PK-12) Certification
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