2014-15 Catalogs

Certificate of Advanced Study in English as a Second Language

The Post-Master's Certificate of Advanced Study in English as a Second Language (ESL) is designed to meet the needs of classroom teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to pursue advanced graduate study in ESL and related areas. The CAS requires thirty credit hours of graduate coursework beyond the master's degree, including a capstone experience. Students may design a program to suit their needs for advanced study. The program will vary depending on the master's degree focus and the goals of the student. Participants will have considerable choice in designing coursework and projects and will work closely with a faculty advisor.  Maine endorsement as an ESL teacher, K-12, may be earned through the CAS with careful program of study planning.  Please consult your advisor upon admission for details.

Total Credits: 30

Electives (27 credits): With advisor consultation, students may select graduate courses in education or other disciplines that relate to their focus in ESL and contribute to their overall plan of study.

Required (3 credits): EDU 665 CAS Directed Study (capstone project)

For specific requirements please see the  Literacy Education website at http://usm.maine.edu/literacy-education/student-resources

For course descriptions, please click here: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd

Minimum Requirements: Criteria for admission include successful completion of a master's degree, strong recommendations, documentation of excellent written communication skills, and clarity and strength of professional goals. Applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited college or university. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are up to the discretion of the admitting program.

Application Deadline

May 1 for fall matriculation, October 1 for spring matriculation, and March 1 for summer matriculation.

Candidates should submit all application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.

Application must include:
  • A submitted online graduate admission application;
  • The application fee of $65.00;
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine system. A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Graduate Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript.

  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study. Recommendations are submitted using our online application form. You will need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation.

  • Essay (see below);
  • Certification of finances (international students only);
  • Submission of official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language); and
  • Current resume.
Special Essay Question

A brief essay (500-750 words) which includes the applicant's reason(s) for pursuing advanced graduate study; the proposed focus of the applicant's program, including specific courses if known; and an explanation of how the proposed program fits the applicant's personal and professional goals.

Testing Requirement

Submit official TOEFL scores of 550 or higher on the paper-based test, 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher if the applicant is an international student whose first language is not English. International students who have received their undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution may apply for a waiver of this requirement.

Transfer Policies

Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the Literacy Education program if credits for the courses were earned no more than five years prior to matriculation, with grades of B or better.

For previous work completed through the University of Maine System, up to twelve credits may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. Up to six graduate credits completed at institutions outside of the University of Maine System may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study.  A syllabus for each course submitted for transfer credit from outside the University of Maine System must be provided upon application.

Transfer of more than twelve University of Maine System credits or six non-University of Maine System credits may be approved by the program coordinator and faculty. These credits may include certificate of graduate study program courses and professional development in-service graduate courses. Requests for the transfer of credits taken more than five years prior to matriculation may also be evaluated and approved by the program coordinator and faculty.