Tennessee offers many high quality options for its graduate students, including top-ranked MA in TESOL programs with or without ESL endorsement tracks, online graduate certificate and MA degree options, and urban education programs that place paid interns in high-need ESL classrooms. Tennessee also offers teachers and other working adults the option to earn licenses and ESL endorsements through flexible evening, weekend, and summer programs.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Department of Education awards the ESL assignment code to teachers who already have valid credentials and who have completed TESOL course requirements. The Regents Online Campus Collaborative indicates that these requirements total at least 18 semester hours and include ESL Assessment, Multicultural Education, Linguistics, English Grammar, ESL Practicum, and Methods for Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL. Participants in some programs also have the opportunity to take a class in Computer-Assisted Language Learning.
Alternative Certification Options
The Department of Education’s Alternative License webpage lists different nontraditional tracks toward state licensure. However, most of these alternative paths are being phased out. The only current alternative license awarded is the Transitional License. Criteria for obtaining this certificate include holding a bachelor’s degree and having a job offer from a Tennessee public, charter, or private school. The license is valid for one year, but can be renewed twice while the candidate completes Department of Education requirements. Candidates can also participate in supervised ESL teaching, professional development in ESL, or an ESL endorsement program to ultimately earn an ESL endorsement code on their Tennessee teaching license.
Tennessee Master’s in TESOL Programs
Also placing on the National Council on Teacher Quality Dean’s List for offering multiple well-regarded programs, Lipscomb University has weekend, evening, and online classes to accommodate working adults. It offers a Master of Education in English Language Learning. Vanderbilt University Peabody College‘s English Language Learners (M.Ed.) Non-Licensure program is ranked high on the Dean’s List of the National Council on Teacher Quality and by U.S. News & World Report. Program tracks include teaching ELLs in the United States or teaching EFL internationally.