Although options for graduate TESOL study in Idaho are not plentiful, there are programs providing some flexibility for working adults. In addition to traditional bricks-and-mortar classes, several institutions support distance learning and hybrid programs. Some of these universities and colleges have low residency requirements, scheduling in-person sessions for a few weekends per semester. Educators can also earn an ESL or bilingual endorsement on their credential via online delivery.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Idaho State Department of Education (IDE) maintains a Web page dedicated to Educator Certification, outlining state policies and practices for its K-12 teachers. It states that Idaho certified teachers can receive an English as a Second Language add-on endorsement on their current credential.
Alternative Certification Options
IDE’s Alternative Routes to Teaching Web page summarizes options for nontraditional licensure, such as:
- Provisional Authorization: This is an emergency authorization initiated by a school district when an administrator hires an unlicensed teacher with professional or academic expertise to fill a high-need area.
- Alternative Authorization: A school district can use this route to grant an already-certified teacher a new certificate or endorsement.
- Computer-Based Alternative Route to Teacher Certification (ABCT): An individual uses this option to meet IDE criteria for an Interim Certificate and works in a classroom while satisfying the requirements for permanent licensure.
- Post-Baccalaureate Alternate Route: People holding a bachelor’s degree or higher can submit a portfolio to prove their pedagogical and subject matter competency; complete a student teaching segment; and pass IDE-required exams to earn an Initial Certificate.
Master’s in ESL Programs
Boise State University is the only Idaho institution to make the Honor Roll of the National Council for Teacher Quality, and offers a M.Ed. in Bilingual Education (Spanish-English) and a M.Ed. in English as a New Language (ENL). University of Idaho offers the Teaching English as a Second Language, M.A. (TESL).