A-Z Index Admission Bookstores Careers @ SMU Commencement Ceremonies Degrees & Programs Faculty/Staff Directory Giving Opportunities Institutes & Affiliates Library - Twin Cities Library - Winona News & Communication Offices & Services Performing & Fine Arts President's Office Student Services - Twin Cities Transcripts Military & Veterans Services Writing Center - Twin Cities
Inside Pages WebTools WebMail Blackboard IT Helpdesk

Graduate Certificate in English as a Second Language (ESL)

The English as a Second Language program qualifies candidates for K-12 ESL teacher licensure in Minnesota. The program prepares graduates to meet the English language and literacy needs of K-12 students for whom English is not their native language.

"The exciting innovation in this certificate program is that four of the ESL courses are shared with the K-12 Reading Teacher certificate. Our goal is to prepare ESL teachers to meet the literacy needs of their English learners AND to prepare K-12 Reading Teachers who will understand the language needs of their students who are English learners."
- Dr. Jane Anderson and Dr. Susan Moore, Co-Directors

Teachers: Qualify to teach English learners in grades K-12

  • Prepare to earn a Minnesota K-12 ESL license
  • 28 credits, nine courses, to prepare for licensure and earn the ESL graduate certificate
  • Program can be completed in six semesters
  • Four ESL courses are shared with the K-12 Reading Teacher Program
  • Completion of 10 additional credits also qualifies you to add the K-12 Reading Teacher license

College graduates: Become an ESL teacher

  • Prepare to earn a Minnesota K-12 teaching license with ESL as your content area
  • 28 credits of ESL coursework plus 24 credits for initial teacher licensure (52 credits total)
  • Program be completed in seven semesters
  • Any undergraduate major accepted (no pre-requisite courses)

Delivery and Schedule

The program courses are a mix of online and face-to-face sessions for cohorts of 10-15 learners. The program is designed to fit the schedule of employed persons who want to take classes on some Saturdays during the academic year and during the summer months.

Degree Requirements


Programs are offered at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses, plus off-site cohort locations throughout Minnesota upon request. Contact us to create a cohort in your school or district:

Denise Cichosz, Program Coordinator
1-800-635-5987 ext. 6629