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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist and Leadership

Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Program

JKarin Sprow Forte
Penn State Harrisburg
W331 Olmsted Bldg
Middletown, PA 17057

The primary goal of the ESL Specialist and Leadership Certificate Program, a U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), National Professional Development grant-funded program, is to prepare mainstream PreK-12 teachers to work effectively with English Language Learners (ELLs), their families, and communities. The curriculum includes: (1) legal, historical, and socio-cultural background and history of ELLs in the U.S.; (2) linguistics; (3) language acquisition; (4) ESL curricular, instructional, and assessment strategies and best practices; and (5) ESL instructional leadership, action research, and advocacy with ELL populations. The curriculum focuses on helping PreK-12 teachers do the following: (1) become ESL instructional leaders by learning, understanding, and incorporating curricular, instructional, and assessment strategies specifically tailored for ELLs; (2) learn to develop and implement ESL action research projects within their own classrooms; and (3) develop cultural competence, engage in active outreach, and become advocates for ELLs. Candidates are required to take all five courses (15 credits) in sequence.


Applicants must apply for admission to the certificate program via the Graduate School application for admission. Admission requirements are stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. International applicants must satisfy the English proficiency requirement. A baccalaureate degree in education or education-related field of study from a regionally accredited U.S. institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA; official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended; Level I or II teaching certification in Pennsylvania; and a written statement describing the applicant's teaching situation, demographic information about the school district and English Language Learners (ELLs), and why the applicant is applying to obtain the ESL specialist certificate.


EDUC 466(3), EDUC 467(3), EDUC 468(3), EDUC 469(3), EDUC 475(3)

Effective Date: Summer 2017
Expiration Date: Spring 2022

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2017






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