Whether you seek a a traditional graduate program on campus or a concentrated summer intensive awarding initial coursework toward a master’s degree or a graduate certificate, D.C. institutions have options for you. Other TESOL-related degrees can involve dual-teacher certification, evening classes with low out-of-state tuition, distance-education courses or endorsements, and preparation for international work in the Peace Corps or as an EFL teacher.
ESL Teacher Certification
Washington, D.C.’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) manages policy regarding educator certification for K-12 public schools. According to OSSE’s online guide to Teacher Licensure, the credentials issued to classroom educators include:
- Regular I (2 years, non-renewable)
- Regular II (4 years, renewable)
- Transitional (1 year, renewable)
Its Obtaining Teaching Endorsement Licensure Web page describes three possible routes for earning an ESL endorsement. Only teachers with valid DC Standard, Professional, or Regular II licenses can apply for an endorsement, which entails:
- Passing scores on the Praxis II Content Exam
- Providing proof of subject area expertise (typically a major, minor, or equivalent)
- Requesting a Pedagogy Testing Waiver by proving sufficient professional experience
Alternative Certification Options
- DC Teaching Fellows recruits subject-area experts who are recent college graduates or career-changing professionals. They provide intensive training and place participants in paid positions in public schools, particularly in the areas of early childhood education, elementary education, secondary science, secondary math, Spanish (all grade levels), and special education (all grade levels).
- The D.C. Region branch of Teach for America works like DC Teaching Fellows, placing recent college graduates in an intensive pre-service training institute. Graduates also receive ongoing online support and professional development while working in paid teaching positions in D.C. public schools.
Master’s in ESL Programs
American University has a graduate program for every area of focus imaginable in TESOL, with five different degree options. There are additional degrees for students interested in pursuing bilingual education. The degrees are: the Master of Arts in TESOL; the Master of Arts in TEFL; the Master of Arts in Teaching in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); the TESOL Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree (this five-and-a-half-year course of study results in dual undergraduate and graduate degrees); and the Master’s International Program. American University and the Peace Corps administer this program as preparation for TESOL educators preparing to work as English language educators as part of a Peace Corps assignment. George Washington University ranks among the country’s 10 best online graduate education programs as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. The school offers a Master of Education in Secondary Education. This program has classes at the Graduate Education Center in Arlington, Virginia. Students can incorporate classes to earn ESL licensure and can opt for a 24-month course of study or an accelerated 13.5-month option.