College of

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist Certification

Start today on your ESL Program Specialist Certification!
Start today on your ESL Program Specialist Certification!

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist Certification is a six-course add-on certificate for K-12 educators who are already certified or those who are in the process of getting their certification. This Pennsylvania Department of Education approved 16-18 credit program will take 1.5 - 2 years to complete on a part-time basis. Courses are offered every fall, spring, and summer in both face-to-face and online formats.

The ESL Program Specialist Certification will advance educators’ knowledge and use of evidence-based instructional practices to support the learning and second language development of English learners (ELs) in K-12 schools.  With the understanding that ELs often have inequitable learning opportunities, this certificate seeks to assist educators in being agents of social change in their schools and districts. To that end, the certificate strives to enhance educators’ knowledge of linguistics and second language instructional practices, while fostering their development as teacher-advocates.

With an ESL certification, K-12 educators can:

  • Teach ESL and English language development (ELD) classes
  • Become linguistically and culturally responsive general educators
  • Lead and coordinate their district's ESL/EDL departments


EDUC 391 Educational Linguistics 3
EDUC 419 Second Language Acquisition 3
EDUC 420 Contemporary Issues in English Language Learner Education 3
EDUC 422 Pedagogy for Second Language Learning 3
EDUC 423 Curriculum and Materials Design for English Language Learners 3
EDUC 424 Practicum in Second Language Teaching 1-3

Course descriptions can be found in the course catalog.

"ELs constitute 10% (or 4.8 million) of all students enrolled in U.S. public schools."

Institute of Education Sciences' National Center for Education Statistics, 2017

Application Requirements & Deadlines