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ESL Program Specialist Certification with Potential to Earn Master of Education

The fastest growing population in US schools is students in K-12 grades with English Language Learners (ELL). There are not enough well-trained ESL teachers to meet the demand. Graduates of this program will have a significant competitive advantage for jobs in almost any school district.

Teachers with TESOL (ESL) certifications are in high-demand, especially in Pennsylvania. Credits you earn during your certification can be applied towards your TESOL Master of Education. 

For new teachers, earning an ESL endorsement is a great way to meet their Level II requirements that demand 24 continuing-education credits of employed teachers within their first six years. For experienced teachers, earning an ESL endorsement is a great way to meet their ACT 48 requirements while developing skills in an education concentration.

ESL teachers typically work in a classroom environment in which students have Limited English Proficiency. They may choose to privately tutor, or work with small groups and classes for additional income and work experience.

DeSales University offers the ESL Certification and the TESOL Master of Education. Certification credits can be applied to the TESOL Master’s degree.


ESL Certification

This 16-18 credit program is designed to impart the knowledge and skills to teach English language learners, designed for those teachers who do not wish to pursue the full TESOL Master's degree.

TESOL Master of Education (ESL Master)

This 34-36 credit Master's program prepares graduates for a thorough understanding of English perceived as a second language, ESL teaching and learning strategies, and an awareness of thriving in a multicultural classroom environment.

The TESOL Master’s degree includes courses required for ESL Program Specialist by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education, qualifying certified teachers to serve as ESL teachers.

Earning an advanced degree meets the necessary requirements for ongoing education, and can lead to better and more varied career opportunities and higher income.


Concentrations and areas of study include:

  • Early Childhood Elementary Education Pre K-4 Master’s and Certification
  • ESL Program Specialist Certification and/or TESOL Master’s and Certification
  • Instructional Technology Master’s
  • Integrative STEM Endorsement Program and ASR—STEM Track Master’s and Certification
  • Secondary Education Master’s and Certification
  • Special Education Master’s and Certification
  • Teacher Intern Program in Secondary Education Certification

What’s Different About DeSales?

  • Our faculty are working professionals. You’ll be taught by clinically-active, advanced practice faculty who connect textbook theory with real-world application of tools, processes, and methodologies.
  • Hybrid/Blended courses combine on-campus, real classroom interaction with the convenience of online lectures that can be completed anywhere on your time.
  • You can choose from the flexibility of online or hybrid course options and attend full- or part-time.  You can choose the program that will best fit into your life.
  • We offer three start dates per year, so your education doesn’t have to wait.
  • Your employer may reimburse your tuition costs when you pursue an advanced Education degree.
  • You may qualify for tuition equivalent to the “state rate.” 
  • Apprenticeship Courses are a unique opportunity for small groups to interact with and learn from their mentor teachers.