Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

M.S.Ed. TESOL with Initial NYS Teacher Certification

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English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), pre-k-12 - All Grades

Initial Certification

This program is committed to the preparation of professional educators whose expertise provides broad and rich support to the education of students from language backgrounds other than English. The program faculty recognizes the tremendous diversity of languages, cultures, learning styles and preferences, and forms of knowledge which English Language Learners bring to their educational experiences. We celebrate that diversity as a resource to all learners. While the primary responsibility of the ESOL educator is to help students achieve full proficiency in English, the Nazareth TESOL programs also strive to prepare ESOL educators who:

  • Develop deep understanding of their students, and combine this understanding with knowledge about language and language acquisition;
  • Design and implement learning experiences which promote both the development of English language proficiency and mastery of the concepts and skills necessary for academic success, as well as the fulfillment of personal potential;
  • Address not only language, but also the academic, socio-cultural, and self-advocacy needs of diverse English Language Learners.

To accomplish these goals, ESOL educators must be grounded in a broad knowledge of the curriculum, and must especially attend to the development of literacy. Learners from language backgrounds other than English use their knowledge of their first language to achieve proficiency in additional languages; therefore ESOL educators must be prepared to assist students in exploring the connections between their native language and literacy and English.

Through coursework and experiences in the field, ESOL educators acquire a vast repertoire of teaching strategies appropriate to English Language Learners of different ages, first language backgrounds, and prior school experiences. Those strategies apply both general principles of teaching and learning and principles of second language acquisition. ESOL educators use an array of resources, from texts and other written materials to a variety of technologies, to create engaging and appropriate learning experiences for English Language Learners. They understand the principles and practices of differentiation and are prepared to offer learning experiences which address the needs of all their students. ESOL educators are familiar with the many models which exist for the effective education of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and are prepared to collaborate with schools, parents and community to select and operate within the models most likely to lead to successful learning by their students. ESOL educators must also understand the theoretical, historical, and political dimensions of the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and must use this knowledge to position themselves as active professionals in a dynamic and ever-changing field.

Course Blocks
Courses will be scheduled to allow students to move through the program at either a part-time rate (3-6 credit hours per semester) or full-time rate (9-12 credit hours per semester). Variance from advised sequence of coursework may slow a student’s progress in future semesters since not all courses will be offered each semester. Please refer to the course description section for specific prerequisite and corequisite requirements for courses.

Program Director
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certification Programs
Rui Cheng, Ph.D.
(585) 389-2441


Entry Requirements 

Link to online application

  1. Completed Online Application
  2. Completion of the professional statement as described on the application
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  4. Applicants must have completed, or will be completing, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative index of 3.0 and a “B” average in the major field by the start date of the desired term. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is expected. Applicants who do not meet these requirements must address each of the following in their professional statement:
    • Explain why grades were below Nazareth’s minimum expectations
    • Explain potential to positively contribute to the teaching profession
    • Describe relevant experiences and/or activities that demonstrate ability to successfully complete graduate work at Nazareth University
    • Outline specific procedures that will be followed to successfully navigate and meet the rigorous requirements of graduate study
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Twelve (12) credit hours of a language other than English, with at least six credits in the same language
    • A minimum of six (6) credits must be completed for entry to graduate study; the remaining six (6) credits are expected to be completed by the end of the first year of graduate study.
  7. ​​​Resume

Application Deadlines:
March 1 for Summer Term
April 1 for Fall Term
October 1 for Spring Term
Applications received after the stated deadline will be processed on a space-available basis.

Certification required for admission: None

Program leads to: Initial certification in ESOL 

New York State Teacher Certification Requirements (undergraduate liberal arts requirements)
As required by the New York State Education Department, the following are undergraduate liberal arts requirements for initial certification in ESOL. A complete transcript review of previous studies will be conducted to ascertain that each applicant meets these requirements. Official transcript(s) must be on file in the Registration and Records Office.

  • Applicants to initial certification programs must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, including the following Liberal Arts and Sciences coursework:
    • 6 credit hours in each of two content areas: English and social sciences
    • Total of 9 credit hours consisting of 3-6 total credit hours in each of two content areas: mathematics and science (must complete 3 credit hours in each area, plus 3 additional credits hours in mathematics or science)
    • 12 credit hours in a Language other than English, with at least six credits in the same language
  • All liberal arts prerequisites must be successfully completed with a grade of C or higher and a minimum total cumulative grade point average of 2.7.

Applying for Teacher Certification through New York State - Initial Certification
Teacher candidates use the NYS TEACH system to apply for Initial and Professional certifications and need to pay the fees in effect at the time they apply. New York requires all teacher candidates to have a fingerprint/background check on file with TEACH, pass all appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations and have the appropriate years of teaching experience. New York State Education Department maintains a website with certification requirements: www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/

All teacher candidates in a first time certification program requiring student teaching must successfully complete the following requirements to obtain New York State Teacher Certification:

  1. Educating All Students Test (EAS)
  2. Content Specialty Test(s) (CST); and
  3. Nazareth Student Teaching and Reflection (NSTAR)

Teacher candidates adding an additional certification will need to take the appropriate Content Specialty Test in their new area of certification only.

During a teacher candidate’s final semester, information on the certification application process will be sent via email. Additional support may be obtained by contacting Nazareth University Teacher Certification Office at (585) 389-2051 or by email tcert@naz.edu, or go.naz.edu/cert

Technology Requirement (3 credits)

TESOL Capstone Seminar Sequence (3 credits)


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