COMPETENCY-BASED CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS, NON-CREDIT
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Certificate
The English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Certificate program is an innovative, competency-based certificate program that prepares educators to be culturally and linguistically responsive teachers of Multilingual Learners (MLLs). The program is available to teachers working in partnering school districts. The program is approved by the Rhode Department of Education as an educator preparation program for the following certification area: All-Grades (PK-12) English to Speakers of Other Languages.
All content in the program is aligned with the national Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) standards. The program engages teachers over a 12-month period, starting in June. Teachers participate in online coursework in late June and a Summer Intensive in July. Most of the program occurs during the school year when the teachers directly apply what they are learning in their classrooms with students. During the school year, each teacher is paired with an instructional coach called a “Learning Guide” (LG). Each LG provides feedback and support to tailor the learner experiences to meet the needs of their individual ESL teacher candidates. Over the course of the year, ESL teacher candidates come together as a full cohort and in smaller Communities of Reflective Practice (CORPs). Teachers engage in readings, lectures, virtual learning activities, workshops, written key assessments, analyses of videos of their own teaching practice, and a range of meetings. Assignments are designed to develop proficiency in the TESOL standards, be practical, and highly associated with student learning.
All teachers must participate in all program requirements and submit evidence of meeting the TESOL competencies. Upon demonstrating evidence of meeting the program competencies and completing all program requirements, teachers are eligible to apply for ESL Teacher Certification through the Rhode Island Department of Education*.
Application and Admissions
Application opens in the spring semester. Applicants must submit:
- Copy of Valid RI teaching certificate
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Undergraduate or Graduate Transcript with GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Application Essay
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- Asynchronous Pre-Summer Intensive Coursework
- Synchronous Summer Intensive
- Work in a partnering district
- Teach in a classroom with MLLs (or obtain access to classroom with MLLs)
- Meet with Learning Guide on a consistent basis to plan and assess progress
- Ongoing readings, required learning experiences, and assessments as assigned
- Analyze videos of practice
- Teacher Work Samples
- Practicum hours with an ESL certified Teacher
- Practicum hours with MLLs at different grade levels
- Plan an MLL Family Engagement Event
- Lead a session in the annual RWU Edcamp
- Demonstrate evidence of meeting each of the TESOL competencies through completion of all program requirements, formative assignments, key assessments, and submitting relevant evidence
*Note: The Rhode Island Department of Education also requires teachers seeking an English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher Certification to pass the English to Speakers of Other Languages Praxis Test (5362).
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ESL Certificate Program Withdrawal and Administrative Withdrawal Policies
Upon submission of the signed RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program Withdrawal Form, candidates will be responsible for charges on a sliding scale, as defined by the schedule below.
The last day of attendance in the program will be determined by the date of receipt of the signed withdrawal form by University College.
The initial deposit paid upon enrollment is non-refundable.
- Prior to July 1: 100% of tuition
- Within July 1 - July 31: 75% of tuition
- Within August 1 - August 31: 50% of tuition
- Within September 1 - September 30: 25% tuition
- After September 30: No refund.
Candidates that have not attended regularly scheduled meetings, have not made contact with their Learning Guide or their Program Director, or who have not been active in the online learning platform for at least 30 days, may be withdrawn from this program by the University. Candidates that are at risk of being administratively withdrawn will receive a warning letter from the University stating they are at risk of being withdrawn and the reason(s) why they may be withdrawn. If the candidate does not reengage with the program within 30 days from the date of the warning letter, the candidate will be administratively withdrawn from the RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program.
The following “Administrative Withdrawal” policy may apply to any candidate who
- During the withdrawal period outlined above, never engages in any program components (online or face-to-face).
- During the withdrawal period outlined above, ceases to engage in online or face-to-face program components for at least 30 days.
- After the withdrawal period outlined above, ceases to engage in online or face-to-face program components for at least 30 days.
Candidates who are administratively withdrawn from the program after the withdrawal period are responsible for all outstanding tuition payments.
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Academic Policies and Procedures
All program requirements are mandatory. In addition to the policies and procedures outlined in the RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program Handbook, all Candidates must adhere to all Academic Policies and Procedures outlined by Roger Williams University. More information can be found at: https://www.rwu.edu/academics/academic-affairs/academic-standards
If a candidate’s actions demonstrate a breach in any of these policies, the candidate may be administratively withdrawn or dismissed due to non-compliance with the Academic Policies and Procedures. Candidates who are administratively withdrawn or dismissed from the program due to non-compliance with the Academic Policies and Procedures are responsible for all outstanding tuition payments, regardless of when the administrative withdrawal or dismissal occurs.
Candidates who withdraw, are administratively withdrawn, or are dismissed from the RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program have the right to appeal based on the Academic Standards Petition Policy. The Academic Standards Petition form can be found at: https://www.rwu.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/registrar/blank-asp.pdf
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ESL Certificate Program Reenrollment Policy
This policy explains the process in which a candidate may reenroll in the ESL Teacher Certification Program for a second and final year.
Eligibility for Reenrollment: To be eligible to reenroll in the program for one additional year, candidates will need to demonstrate the need to extend the program due to not meeting all the TESOL competencies during their initial cohort year.
Any candidate who was dismissed from the program due to “non-compliance” is not eligible for reenrollment.
Any candidate who is eligible to extend the program for one year, must reenroll in the subsequent cohort year. Candidates may not reenroll for more than one additional year.
Applying for Reenrollment: Eligible candidates must complete and submit the reenrollment form via email to email@example.com no later than June 30th.
Reenrollment Tuition Policy: Candidates will reenroll for the first half of the year, with the intent to complete the program by January 31st. If a candidate is unable to complete the program by January 31st, they may maintain enrollment for the second half of the year. If a candidate maintains enrollment for the second half of the year, they must complete the program by the ESL Teacher Certification Program graduation in June.
The payment schedule for candidates who reenroll is as follows:
- 50% of the full tuition is due no later than September 1st. To reenroll for the first half of the year. (September 1 - January 31)
- 50% of the full tuition is due no later than February 1st, if the candidate does not complete the program in the first half of the year, and elects to maintain enrollment for the second half of the year (February 1st - Graduation in June)
Withdrawal Policy for Candidates Who Reenroll: The timeline outlined in the RWU ESL Teacher Certification Program Withdrawal/Refund Policy applies to candidates who reenroll, based on the tuition policy described above, with a start date of July 1.
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