Program Goals

The primary goals of the program are:

  • To broaden PreK-12 educators' knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of cultural and linguistic differences, language acquisition, literacy development, and reflective teaching practices within the ESL classroom
  • To enhance PreK-12 educators' abilities to develop and use curricular, instructional, and assessment strategies and materials that raise the achievement levels and increase the academic success of English language learners

Candidate learning outcomes are aligned with PDE and TESOL standards, and fulfill the PDE academic requirements for the ESL Specialist and Leadership Certificate.

Who Should Enroll

Enrollment in the 15-credit, graduate-level ESL Specialist and Leadership Certificate program is open to all PreK-12 educators and to candidates in the Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum program.

  • Upon successful completion of the five, 3-credit courses (EDUC 466, 467, 468, 469, and 475), candidates will have satisfied the requirements for the PSU post-baccalaureate ESL Program Specialist and Leadership certificate. 
  • Candidates with Level I or Level II teacher certification in Pennsylvania who wish to receive their ESL Program Specialist Certificate from PDE must complete an additional 1-credit field experience internship in the final semester, for a total of 16 credit hours. Upon successful completion of the 16 credit hours, candidates are recommended by Penn State Harrisburg and, with the written approval of their school districts or intermediate units, may apply to PDE for the ESL Program Specialist Certificate.

Potential candidates must apply online as a graduate student in the ESL post-baccalaureate program or be admitted as graduate students into the Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum Program at Penn State Harrisburg.

For students interested in receiving ACT 48 credit for your ESL coursework, please consult the Registrar’s Office  at Penn State University, University Park.