TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

TESOL FAQ

What programs/degrees are offered?
How long does my program take?
How do I apply?
Can I get my initial teacher certification with this program?
Where do I have to go to take courses?
Can I take classes before I apply/enroll?
Is the program accredited and what does that mean?
What opportunities for graduate assistantships and scholarships are available?
What jobs can I get after I finish?
What is the difference between receiving a state endorsement in English as a Second Language and getting a MSEd in TESOL?

What programs/degrees are offered?
The TESOL program offers three degrees/certificates.  Click on each to read more, or click here for an overview of all three.

How long does my program take?
All programs can be completed in one year if you start in the summer or fall and plan carefully. Check out our sample course sequence here:  MSEd in TESOL Course Sequence.

Candidates have five years upon acceptance into the program to complete all requirements. Students are also required to maintain continuous enrollment upon acceptance in the program. Therefore, a student must take at least six credit hours per academic year to remain on active status. Individuals should speak to a program advisor if a problem arises.

How do I apply?
Candidates should submit all application materials following the instructions on the Office of Graduate Admissions website. Admission applications are submitted online. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis with the following priority deadlines: October 1 for spring semester, March 1 for summer semester, and May 1 for fall semester. Full details and instructions can be found within the Degrees and Certificates link.

Can I get my initial teacher certification with this program?
None of these programs will lead to an initial teacher certification. They are primarily intended for classroom teachers, and other experienced educators interested in ESL. Depending on program choice you may earn an English as a second language endorsement from the state. Consulting with an advisor early in the program is critical to be sure licensure requirements are met.

Where do I have to go to take courses?
All courses are offered online.  Some of them are also available on campus, in Portland or Gorham, Maine.

Can I take classes before I apply/enroll?
Yes.  Non-matriculated students may take two courses for credit before they apply to the program.  Two additional programs may be taken after applying but before matriculating.

Is the program accredited and what does that mean?
Our university is fully accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  The literacy program is an accredited program and courses meet the standards set by the International Reading Association. The accrediting institution for the School of Education and Human Development is TEAC (Teacher Education Accreditation Council ). TEAC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the organization to oversee colleges and universities to ensure that qualified, competent people leave our institution. The University goes under a complete external review every five years.

What opportunities for graduate assistantships and scholarships are available?
There are multiple scholarships available to our students, and graduate assistantship opportunities are available to students who are matriculated in the master’s or CAS programs. To find out what is available, visit the School of Education and Human Development financial aid webpage here: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd/financial-aid

What jobs can I get after I finish?
Students completing the program can put their knowledge to work in the regular classroom, in non-profits, and overseas as educational technicians, adult educators, school administrators, international teachers, and teaching English abroad. With state licensure, an individual can be hired as an ESL teacher.

What is the difference between receiving a state endorsement in English as a Second Language and getting a MSEd in TESOL?
Licensed teachers can take five (5) state required courses and obtain state endorsement for teaching students whose first language is other than English. This route of endorsement does not require matriculation into one of our literacy degree programs and it does not result in a master’s degree. Licensed teachers may earn state endorsement through the Certificate of Graduate Study in English as a Second Language. Students wanting an advanced degree in Teaching English as as Second Language should apply to the master's program and complete the coursework for the TESOL.