Advanced Graduate Certificate in TESOL (15 credits online)

This online certificate was approved by NYSED as of February 14, 2017.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the program for?

The program is designed for in-service teachers and other interested parties. It satisfies the NYS Requirements for English as a New Language Programs under Part 154. (See “Certified teacher trained in cultural competency, language development and the needs of ENL students”). The target audience for this advanced certificate will mainly be current content (7-12) and classroom (K-6) teachers.

Application requirements

(Rolling admission; however, program must be started in the fall semester)

-Must hold a valid NY State certificate in a classroom teaching title. Those with pending certification or certification from another state will not be admissible

-Must hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university

-Official transcripts

-3 Letters of recommendation

Note: The TESOL program requires three letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from a past professor (or someone who has worked with you in an academic setting and can evaluate your academic capability). The other two can come from individuals who have observed you in a professional context (paid or unpaid employment). All the recommendations should come from people who would be able to evaluate your capability for academic success (collaborating, working independently and effectively, managing diversity, etc.)

-Statement of goals

-GPA: A 3.0 or better (out of a 4.0) quality grade point average

As required by NYS ED students accepted in the program should have at least 12 semester hours or the equivalent of study of a language other than English before they graduate from the program. These 12 semester hours may include language courses in one or more languages, and courses related to the study of languages and cultures. Courses taken before entering into the program will count as well as courses taken while enrolled in the program.

Application fee: $75.00

Applications can be submitted online.

Course requirements (15 credits):

The courses will be offered fully online covering topics related to English pedagogic grammar and linguistics, teaching methods to support English Language Learners, including technology use.

ETAP 501 Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (3)
Design of lesson plans, construction of test items: analysis of contents to be taught, collection of resources used in teaching, analysis of linguistic development of students, techniques for developing and evaluating audiolingual, reading, and writing skills. Includes an "application module" with students learning English as a second language.

ETAP 550 Approaches to English Grammar (3)
This course is meant to introduce students to basic tools for the analysis and understanding of the grammatical structure of English. It provides students with the awareness of those aspects of the grammar of the English language that are fundamental for English language learners.

ETAP 631 Introduction to Language in Education (3)
The course explores linguistics, language use and language development as they relate to general issues in teaching and learning. It examines the ways in which linguistic knowledge can contribute to the development of new strategies for the actual process of teaching.

ETAP 635 Teaching Methodology for English Language Learners (3)
Advanced TESOL methods for students seeking NYS certification and students in related fields. NYS standards, assessments, incorporating content into language instruction. Students will gain expertise in state regulations, working with parents, school boards, mainstream teachers and administrators as well as in practical pedagogy for English Language Learners K-12.

ETAP 653 Language, Literacy and Technology (3)
This course explores the many and important roles electronic texts play in the development of contemporary readers and writers. How technologies affect language and literacy development in native, foreign, and second languages will be studied.


• Workshop Child Abuse Identification
• Workshop School Violence Intervention and Prevention
• Workshop Dignity For All Students Act

Recommended sequence of courses

Fall semester

ETAP 501
ETAP 631

Spring semester

ETAP 550
ETAP 635
ETAP 653

Field experience and student teaching

The Advance Certificate in TESOL program targets in-service teachers who already hold a teaching certificate and would like to pursue an additional certificate in the area of TESOL. In line with the regulatory requirement of NYS for teacher education programs, the program will include 50 hours of field experiences and a practicum with students learning English as a second language and in both elementary and secondary schools totaling at least 20 days. Under the guidance and supervision of the field experience coordinator, students will identify and propose potential teacher mentors from the school district he/she is associated with or another local district. The mentors proposed will be reviewed based on a set of criteria: being a highly effective TESOL teacher at an elementary/secondary school, with professional or permanent certification in NYS, and prior experience with mentoring. Our student teaching supervisor will work with the approved teacher mentor to guide each student through the field experience and teaching practicum. A suite of online tools (e.g. Google Drive, Discussion, and Hangout) will be used to support the interactions between students and their supervisors and mentors. Specifically, students will post their classroom observations and reflections, share their lesson plans with their supervisor and mentors for feedback, submit video recordings of their lessons, and engage in interactive discussions with their supervisors and mentors to improve their practices and understandings of teaching. This blended model will be used to support the field experience and teaching practicum of students from across NYS (and potentially out of state). Those who are currently teaching in local schools in the Capital Region will also follow this model for logistical (e.g. convenience and flexibility) and educational reasons (e.g. context-adaptive teaching targeting their school’s needs).       

Academic advising

Academic advising is available through the department.

Please contact Dr. Gretchen Oliver (  regarding programmatic issues.


Q: If I am teaching full time, can I complete my practicum requirement during breaks?
A: Yes, this scenario will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Q: I do not have 12 credit hours of a foreign language, which is one of the admission requirements. Am I still eligible to apply?
A: You may still be considered as a candidate for the program. However, when accepted with deficiency in the language requirement, you are expected to earn 12 credit hours of a foreign language by the time you complete the program.

Q: Do both undergraduate-level and graduate-level courses count towards the language requirement?
A: Yes.

Q: The proposed timeline for the TESOL AGC program is one year. Is it possible to take courses at my own pace (e.g., take one course per semester)?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I start the program in the Spring semester?
A: You may, but you will not be able to complete the program within one year as ETAP501 (Fall course) is a prerequisite for ETAP635 (Spring course).

Q: Does the university offer any financial aid for students?
A: We currently do not offer any financial aid options for the program.

Q: I am not a certified teacher in the New York State and I do not plan on teaching English in a K-12 context. However, I am interested in getting an online certificate in TESOL to teach English elsewhere. Can I still apply for the TESOL AGC program?
A: The TESOL AGC program is specifically designed for certified teachers in the New York State, and those who do not meet this admission requirement are not eligible to apply. If you are from the Capital Region, we encourage you to consider our EFL certificate of Graduate Studies (

Q: How can I apply for the program?
A: Please use the following link to submit your application

Q: Where can I find information about tuition costs?
A: Please visit the following link: