North Carolina is famous for having the highest concentration of Ph.D.s in the country, but it also has impressive choices for master’s degree candidates in TESOL. Flexibility is the key word, with universities offering online, hybrid, and on-campus programs, as well as low-residency, summer semester, and evening-only options.
ESL Teacher Certification
The State Board of Education’s Department of Instruction (DPI) oversees all policies regarding state licensure, which it publishes on its Public Schools of North Carolina website. DPI issues the following categories of teaching certificates:
- Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s Licenses
- Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator’s Licenses
Certified teachers approved to work in North Carolina’s K-12 classrooms must complete additional coursework to earn the add-on ESL license.
Alternative Certification Options
Teach4NC is the educator recruitment arm of North Carolina’s Department of Instruction (DPI). The program targets qualified candidates who hold bachelor’s degrees as well as new teachers, career-changers, retirees, businesspeople, and former military personnel. Nontraditional candidates enter the school system via DPI’s Lateral Entry Teachers alternative licensure program.
Other alternative certification initiatives and programs in North Carolina include:
TESOL Master’s Programs
Meredith College offers a Master of Education. Designed for K-12 educators already licensed to teach in North Carolina public schools, this graduate program allows students to specialize in English as a Second Language and earn an endorsement on their existing valid credential. It also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching. This program awards a master’s degree in teaching concurrently with an initial North Carolina teaching license in ESL, grades K-12. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only North Carolina education program to earn a spot on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Honor Roll in 2013. However, its Master of Arts in Teaching, Grades K-12 ESL program was discontinued in 2013. Instead, it now offers a Master’s for Experienced Teachers program in ESL. This program not only prepares educators to become ESL certified, but it also supports ESL teachers in becoming instructional leaders and mentors at their schools and districts.