Earning an ESL endorsement on an existing credential, completing a master’s degree in English with an emphasis in TESOL, studying part-time on campus and part-time online, and earning a master’s degree online – these are all viable options in Missouri. In addition, Missouri has a graduate education program that has earned a high ranking from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) in 2013.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) administers all policy concerning teacher licensure for Missouri’s K-12 public school districts through its Educator Certification System. Its guide to the Certification Requirements for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (Grades K-12) states that teachers must already hold a valid Missouri permanent or professional license. They must then meet the following professional requirements through coursework:
- Education of the Exceptional Child
- Basic Reading Techniques for Secondary Teachers
- Language and Culture or Sociolinguistics
- Second Language Acquisition
- TESOL Methods
- TESOL Materials
- ESOL Practicum
Some teaching assignments might require elective coursework in bilingual education, early childhood education, English language structures, reading, composition, or advanced teaching methods for second language acquisition.
Alternative Certification Options
DESE’s webpage dedicated to Alternative Teacher Certification highlights the pathways for earning licensure and the state institutions that host approved alternative certification programs. Different programs offer different routes to licensure, but they typically require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in the area in which they want to teach.
Master’s in TESOL Programs
The NCTQ gives high marks in 2013 to the teacher preparation and graduate education programs at Missouri State University, which offers a Master of Arts in English with an emphasis in TESOL. This unique degree is a joint effort of the English and TESOL education departments. Graduate students in English can choose to focus on TESOL coursework and may even opt to pursue Missouri K-12 TESOL certification. The University of Missouri‘s flexible online Master of Education in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with an emphasis in learning and instruction and a focus in TESOL program is a viable option for working adults, but the TESOL focus does not show up on your degree. Teachers holding valid Missouri licenses can use this program to earn a state ESOL endorsement.