by Michael J. Freedman
Associate Director of Public Relations and Manager of Online Content
Beginning this fall, Niagara University's College of Education will offer a new master's degree program for candidates seeking certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). In addition, NU will administer a Certificate of Advanced Study in TESOL for practicing teachers who hold initial teaching certification and wish to extend their certification to include TESOL.
Both programs are suitable for those teaching, or interested in teaching, pre-K through grade 12.
"As the number of English language learners has increased, so has the need for schools to recruit teachers with the skills necessary to engage all students," commented Dr. Debra Colley, dean of NU's College of Education. "An increasing demand for ESL teachers has created a multitude of career opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. Becoming an ESL teacher offers unique and satisfying opportunities to enrich the lives of children, youth and even adults."
Jeannette Molina, assistant professor of TESOL education, explained, "With the increasing linguistically and culturally diverse population trends in mind, the goal of Niagara University's TESOL program is to produce highly qualified teachers who are able to secure employment with school districts, colleges and universities, as well as other community, workplace and corporate settings - domestically and globally."
The master's program is designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree in education who hold initial certification in New York state, or individuals possessing a bachelor's degree who seek initial teacher certification in New York.
The university also offers an 18-credit hour certificate of advanced study program, which requires candidates seeking New York state certification in TESOL to enter with an initial teaching certification and to complete 12 credit hours of study in a language(s) other than English.
Nada Jawad, a rising senior from Iraq, is particularly excited about the university's new offerings.
"I came to the United States at age 11. I knew absolutely no English and was placed in an ESL class," she said. "I believe that the ESL setting allowed me the opportunity to learn the English language and the American culture. After the first four to six months, I was able to communicate well in English. Now, I want to share my experiences and the benefits of this type of program with ESL students by becoming a TESOL teacher. I feel that I am able to relate to these students and understand the challenging circumstances they might face."
Niagara University's College of Education offers nationally-recognized programs that are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Applications are currently being accepted for this new program, with courses beginning in the fall semester of 2012.