Bilingual Education


Next start date is March 7th (approx. date). Applications are due February 21st.

The Bilingual Education Program at Edgewood College provides a range of professional development opportunities designed to meet individual career goals for educators. Whether you are seeking a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Bilingual Education license or a Master's of Arts in Bilingual Education, we have a program that meets your needs.

To accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals, coursework in the Bilingual Licensing sequence is available in blended online formats as well as traditional settings. Face-to-face sessions are offered on evenings or Saturdays. 

Program Highlights

  • 18 credit license completion program
  • Start either Fall or Spring semesters
  • Licensure courses offered either blended online or in the classroom
  • Tuition discount on licensing sequence courses
  • Courses can be applied to a Master’s Degree by completing 15 additional credits

License and Degree Requirements

The Bilingual Education Program is designed to meet your professional development goals by offering program options that can either stand alone or build upon one another towards a Masters of Arts in Bilingual Education. View the Bilingual Education Course Map for a schedule showing when courses are offered, online or in-the-classroom.

Bilingual License Sequence

The 18-credit licensing program leads to a Wisconsin DPI license certification in Bilingual Education (WDPI 023). The program is designed for experienced teachers who wish to add this certification. All courses are 3-credits each and may be applied towards completion of the MA-Education in Bilingual Education. Bilingual Licensure courses are available either blended online or in the classroom. Each online course begins with a single mandatory face-to-face orientation meeting. That meeting is held on a weeknight or Saturday at the Monroe Street Campus as designated by the professor.

  • ED 604A: Second Language Acquisition in Content Areas
  • ED 604G: Bilingual Curriculum Design & Assessment
  • ED 605B: Paradigms in Bilingual/Bicultural Education
  • ED 605D: Biliteracy Development (Spanish proficiency required)
  • ED 605K: Language Analysis and Bilingualism
  • ED 694A: Bilingual Field Mentoring 

Master of Arts in Education – Bilingual Education

Completing the Master of Arts in Education degree will give you the skills and knowledge to become a leader of Bilingual Education in your school or district. The Master of Arts in Education: Bilingual Education requires completion of the 18 credits listed in the License Sequence, plus the 5 three-credit courses listed below. 33 credits total.

  • ED 605C ESL/Bilingual Program Development and Advocacy (Ethics requirement)
  • ED 639 Language Focused Instruction and Practice
  • ED 603 Introduction to Education Research
  • ED 692 Applied Research Thesis (Studies in Change requirement)
  • One 3-credit elective course. Choose from ED 689, ED 604F, or ED 686

Tuition and Financial Aid

Edgewood College is committed to making a life-changing education more affordable and accessible to more people than ever before. As part of the Graduate Affordability Promise, courses in the Bilingual Education licensure program are now $569 per credit.

In response to a critical need in Wisconsin schools, Edgewood College has redesigned our tuition structure, allowing for a significant reduction in graduate tuition for our Bilingual Education license certification program. This cost reduction offers you one of the most competitively priced ways to complete these licenses in the state.

At just $569 per credit, you can now complete your entire Bilingual Education 023 license certification at Edgewood College for $10,362. Only 5 additional classes would be required to obtain your Master’s Degree.

Graduate tuition for the 2019-20 year (beginning Summer 2019) is $997 per credit. Courses in the Bilingual License Sequence are offered at the discounted tuition rates shown below. (Effective Summer, 2019).

Each course is 3 credits, and can be applied towards a Master of Arts in Education with a Bilingual concentration. 

Bilingual License Sequence:

Course Title

Cost per credit:

Course cost:

ED 605B Paradigms of ESL/Bilingual Education



ED 604A Language Acquisition in Content Areas



ED 605D Biliteracy Development



ED 605K Language Analysis and Bilingualism



ED 604G Bilingual Curriculum Design and Assessment



ED 694A Bilingual Field Experience



Total Tuition Cost - Bilingual License Sequence ($10,362)

Master of Arts in Education: Bilingual Education (additional coursework required for the Master’s)

Course Title

Cost per credit:

Course cost:

ED 605C ESL/Bilingual Program Development and Advocacy



ED 639Language Focused Instruction



ED 603 Intro to Educational Research



ED692 Applied Research Thesis



An approved 3 credit elective in Education

cost varies

cost varies

Total Tuition Cost - MA in Education: Bilingual Education ($25,422 plus 3 elective credits)
*$997/credit is the 2019-20 graduate rate (beginning Summer 2019). Costs are expected to increase each year.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more about Stafford Loans, including eligibility requirements and application instructions.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Our admissions and financial aid counselors have worked with thousands of students who have questioned how they could afford to complete their graduate education. They will use their experience to suggest creative solutions for financing your education. We work with students and organizations to manage tuition reimbursement plans, extend tuition discounts to various corporate partners in the region, offer third party billing and monthly payment plans, and work with veterans to maximize their available aid.

Teach Grant

Bilingual-license seeking students may qualify for the TEACH grant; a federal grant which, “provides grants of up to $4000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements.” These funds do not need to be repaid if you “serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight years after you complete or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program for which you received the TEACH grant.”

Please review carefully the TEACH grant website to review the program stipulations and obligations upon program completion. From this site, you can also find a link which lists current eligible schools and districts that serve low-income students.

To apply for the TEACH grant through Edgewood College, you must first notify your Bilingual program advisor about your intent to apply. Your advisor will then verify your eligibility with the Financial Aid office and put you in touch with a Financial Aid officer to complete the TEACH grant enrollment process.

Admission Requirements

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a United States regionally accredited or equivalent postsecondary institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for regular admission status. The cumulative grade point average is computed on the highest degree held at the time of application to the Edgewood College graduate program.
  2. Complete and submit graduate application (including $30 fee). This application is for graduate students who want to pursue a Master’s degree, license or certificate, or take courses as a non-degree student.
  3. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits received from each post-secondary institutions that you have attended be sent directly to Edgewood College Graduate and Professional Studies.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from college or university professors, supervisors and/or professional colleagues who can focus on the candidate’s probability of success in graduate school. Letter of Recommendation Guidelines
  5. Submit a written statement listing the reasons that you will be successful in graduate school: cite how specific background experiences will aid in your success as a student.
  6. Provide evidence of a WDPI initial educator, professional educator, or master educator license (or the equivalent).
  7. International students must contact Graduate and Professional Studies for additional admission requirements. Learn more.

Priority application deadlines for the Bilingual Education program are: 
                August 10 for admission in Fall semester
                January 1 for admission in Spring semester
                May 10 for admission in the Summer session. 

All required application materials should be submitted by deadlines. Applications received after deadlines will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Transfer Credits

You may submit up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit for consideration of transfer to Edgewood College for application to a degree program. Approval of the respective department is required. To be considered for application to a degree program, a course must have been taken within the past five years. For more information about transfer credits, please contact your admissions counselor.

Meet Your Faculty

Sharon Besser

Sharon Besser, Ph.D.
Sharon Besser is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education specializing in literacy and language development. She teaches graduate courses in the Reading Program and undergraduate classes in literacy methodology. Her teaching explores ways to integrate language learning and literacy development.  This focus grew out of her teaching both in the US and overseas.  She taught middle school in San Francisco and third grade in Hong Kong.  She earned her Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of California at Berkeley.  Prior to coming to Edgewood, Dr. Besser was an instructor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education where she taught Hong Kong teachers how to teach English literacy development in a foreign language context.  Her research is grounded in sociocultural theory and systemic functional linguistics.  Particular areas of interests are boys' literacy development and applications of genre pedagogy in the elementary classroom

Nichole Berg
Nichole Berg graduated with honors in her major from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a BA in Spanish Literature and Culture and Certificate in Chican@ Studies.  She earned her Masters degree in Bilingual Education from Edgewood College.  A committed advocate for bilingual learners, she has worked in various bilingual capacities in the Madison Metropolitan School District, from para-professional to her current role as Assistant Principal of Velma Hamilton Middle School.  She has also served as a Family Services Worker for migrant families and blogger for the publication Teaching Tolerance.  Nichole's academic interests include critical race theory, bilingual education, immigration, law, and transformative education leadership.

Amy Christianson

Amy Christianson, Ed.D.
Amy Christianson has been in the field of education for 22 years working in K-12, Institutions of Higher Education, and early childhood settings. She received her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and English as a Second Language (ESL) from UW-Milwaukee. She also obtained her Master’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University and Doctoral Degree from Edgewood College in field of Educational Leadership. Amy’s teaching licenses are early childhood education and ESL, and her administrative licenses are principal, director of instruction, and superintendent. She currently is the Director of Satellite Family Child Care System, a program at Reach Dane in Madison, WI.

Pam Dorn
Pam Dorn is a lifelong learner who has been an educator for 29 years. She has served as an elementary classroom teacher, Bilingual Resource Teacher, ESL classroom teacher, interventionist, and coach. She has taught in urban and suburban public school districts in Tampa, Sauk Prairie, and Madison. She holds a BS in Elementary Education as well as ESL & Bilingual Certification from UW Madison, a MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of South Florida, and a Literacy Coach Certificate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Pam finds her passion in exploring the classroom experience and working with teachers to develop reflective practices.

Emily Evans Fanaeian, Ph.D.
Emily Evans Fanaeian earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018, focusing on Teacher Education and ESL. She is certified to teach K-6, Spanish K-12, and English as a Second Language (K-12 and Adults). After teaching language learners for several years in PA and VA, she began working in the field of educational research, first at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington DC and later with WIDA in Madison Wisconsin. Dr. Evans Fanaeian has taught and supervised teacher candidates in multiple states, at both the Elementary and Secondary level, as well as offered mentoring and coaching to experienced educators taking graduate coursework or professional development offerings. Her research focuses on the intersection of language policies and teacher education, particularly with regards to the preparation of mainstream classroom teachers to serve ELs. Additional areas of interest include: language assessment, practice-based research, and issues related to clinical practice.

Caroline Hesse
Caroline has worked in some form of bilingual education for much of her career. In part thanks to her family's globe-trotting, over the years she has lived, studied, and/or taught in Spain, Ecuador, Germany, and North Carolina. Caroline has degrees and certifications from Viterbo University, Universidad de Salamanca, and Duke University, among others. She is experienced and licensed in several k-12 areas, including emergent literacy, middle school math, gifted education, and bilingual education. Caroline's favorite subjects to teach include Spanish for Spanish Speakers, Spanish sociolinguistics, 8th grade math, and she finds dual language setting a favorite work environment. Inspired by the work of Dr. Kim Potowski , Dr. Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade, Dr. Deborah Palmer, and many others, she is pursuing a doctorate with a focus on bilingual education

Sara Huse

Sara Huse
Sara Huse has a strong passion for bringing practical strategies to educators in the TESOL licensure program. She began her career as a third-grade bilingual teacher and has taught extensively at the elementary and middle school level. She is currently a Professional Development Teacher Leader in the Madison Metropolitan School District, focusing primarily on coaching teachers serving English Learners.

Emily Kintzer

Emily Kintzer
Emily Kintzer has been teaching bilingual students for ten years, starting when she lived abroad in Monterrey, Mexico, and now in Madison Metropolitan School District.  Emily has led the course Paradigms of Bilingual Education which is a great fit because she loves language, culture, history, and people. Emily has played an integral role in supporting students from First Nations communities.  Emily is passionate about helping teachers improve their ability to support bilingual students!

Ron Lott

Ron Lott
Ron Lott has served as a teacher, building principal, and centralized support of schools across his 36 years in public education.  Until retiring from the Madison Metropolitan School District last year, he had committed the last two decades to supporting principals and instructional coaches, providing professional development and individualized coaching to many leaders.  Along with Kelly Jones, he has developed an Instructional Coaching Credential Program through Edgewood College Professional Development that will start its fourth year this fall.  Ron has focused much of his career on coaching based on the research and principles behind coaching and believes the practice is an essential means to influence teacher thinking and improve instructional choices.

Audrey Lesondak

Audrey Lesondak
Audrey Lesondak is an Education Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction where she implements programming for multilingual learners including managing grants for Title III, Immigrant Children and Youth, and bilingual education. Audrey has also worked on programs and policies centered on English learner assessments and language-related accommodations. Prior to her work as a K-12 Wisconsin educator for a decade, Ms. Lesondak engaged with diverse populations in Chicago, advocating in the areas of housing, homelessness, and cultural understanding. Audrey received her BA with a concentration in German and her MA in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as her post-Baccalaureate teaching licensure from Concordia University.

Gerardo Mancilla

Gerardo Mancilla, Ph.D.
Gerardo Mancilla is the Director of Education Administration and Leadership in the School of Education. Prior to working at Edgewood College, Gerardo was working for the Madison Metropolitan School District where he was a Dual Language Immersion teacher at Cherokee Heights Middle School.  Gerardo teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses at Edgewood College. Gerardo’s research interests include Critical Race Theory, LatCrit, the school-to-prison pipeline, bilingual education, and immigration.  Gerardo has also been active in the Madison community for many years.

Mercedes Martin
Mercedes graduated from Edgewood College in 2007 with an M.A. in Educational Administration and is currently serving as Interim Principal and ESL teacher at Westside Elementary School in Sun Prairie. She is highly involved in the field of TESOL, served as President of WITESOL in 2007 and is co-creator/facilitator of Edgewood's Networking mini-conferences for ESL teachers.

Daniella Molle

Daniella Molle
Dr. Daniella Molle conducts qualitative research that can inform professional learning initiatives specifically designed for teachers of multilingual students. She is interested in designing and exploring different approaches to working with educators to support the academic success of multilingual students. She is involved in investigations of what educators learn during professional development, how they put that knowledge into practice, and how their practice facilitates the academic literacy development of multilingual students.

Alexis Nass
Alexis Nass has been working with and on behalf of English Learners for the past 14 years and currently serves as the Elementary English Learner Coordinator for the Verona Area School District.  A recipient of  the Wisconsin Association for Bilingual Education (WIABE) Educator of the Year award, Alexis has served as an instructional coach, has attended and led numerous workshops and conferences, and has been involved in various community partnerships with the purpose to increase educational opportunities for bilingual learners.  She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education & ESL from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a M.A. in Education from Viterbo University.  

Wendy Samaca
Wendy Samaca has been a bilingual teacher for eleven years. She is a graduate from Edgewood College’s 316 Reading Teacher program and has continued to study and explore a functional model of language since. She received a Masters’ degree in reading and literacy from Walden University and holds an early childhood generalist National Board certification. Currently, she teaches first grade at Nuestro Mundo, a 90/10 dual immersion school. She is a strong proponent of classroom action research as a method to increase teacher autonomy and student-centered learning.

Hallie Savage Martinez
Hallie Savage Martinez has been working with students since 1999. She holds her educator's license in the areas of elementary education, ESL, bilingual education and Spanish as a World Language. She has a Master's Degree from UW-Madison from Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS), which a focus on Latin American literature and theater. She is passionate about teaching children to love themselves and others. Her pedagogical approach centers on adjusting to students' needs and teaching them until they are successful - every child can learn. She loves to read, write, travel and dream.

Emily Zoeller

Erin Teksten, ESL/Bilingual Program Support and Advisor
DeRicci Hall 226
(608) 663-2249

Donna Vukelich-Selva, Ph.D.
DeRicci Hall 227A
(608) 663-3235
Donna Vukelich-Selva received her Ph.D in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.  She also holds a Master of Arts in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies from UW-Madison.  Before coming to Edgewood College in 2008, she taught at a K-12 bilingual school in Managua, Nicaragua, where she also founded and ran a study abroad program for US college students.  Vukelich-Selva teaches both undergraduate courses in the School of Education, as well as graduate courses in the CTELL/TESOL program.  She also teaches in Edgewood’s COR program for freshman students, and piloted a course on the history of immigration in the United States that is cross-listed with Ethnic Studies.  Among her college responsibilities, Donna serves on the advisory board for Edgewood’s Center for Multicultural Education.  Donna’s research interests include critical race theory, education and immigration, bilingual education and restorative justice.  She has been active in the Madison community for many years.

Emily Zoeller

Emily Zoeller, Director of ESL/Bilingual Education
DeRicci Hall 226
Emily Zoeller is passionate about leading for equity by developing teachers of language learners at Edgewood College.   Emily earned a B.A. from University of Notre Dame, an M.A. from University of San Diego, and is working on her doctorate at Edgewood College. Prior to her role at Edgewood, Emily worked as an instructional coach at Nuestro Mundo Community School, and promoted collaboration and reflective practice.  Emily developed expertise in emergent literacy through her work in Descubriendo la Lectura/Reading Recovery in Madison Schools, where she trained reading specialists throughout the school district.  Her current research interests include biliteracy development, educational leadership, and teacher preparation. A fluent Spanish speaker, Emily is happy to be raising her three daughters bilingually in Madison, Wisconsin.

  • Betsy Berry
    My bilingual courses taught me not only the mechanics of how to work with bilingual students, but crucially, we deeply explored why our work matters in terms of equity and justice through critical conversations and activities. As a result, I am an educator who applies a strong social justice lens to my work, and continues to seek personal and professional growth and impact on equity.
    Betsy Berry, Olson Elementary, MMSD
Joann Eastman

Joann Eastman