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 TESOL website at https://usm.maine.edu/tesol
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 Procedures and Required Materials
Application Deadline: Rolling
Applicants are required to provide the following materials:
- Application: Online Application
- Application fee: Waived for all applicants
- Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
- International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required.
- Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
- Essay: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.
- References: Names and contact information of three references who can speak to the applicant’s interest in pursuing graduate study.
- Recommendations: One letter 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.
- TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.
Where to send transcripts and application materials
Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412
Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to email@example.com.
For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation
In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:
- College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
- Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
- International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.
English Proficiency Test Scores
Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program.
Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the Literacy, Language, and Culture programs 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.