English as a Second Language (ESL) License

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The ESL Education Program at Edgewood College prepares educators for the important and meaningful work of teaching multilingual learners in a setting where students are learning the English language. This program is designed to meet your professional goals by offering program options that can either stand alone or build upon one another toward a Master of Arts in Education: ESL.

  • Curriculum embraces an anti-racist, strength-based approach to teaching multilingual learners
  • Instruction is transferable to ESL teacher practice
  • Emphasis is placed on collaboration and building a professional community
  • Individual advising and support are offered throughout the program
  • Flexible course meetings accommodate working schedules


Degree Programs


Quick ESL Education Program Facts

  • Stand-alone program or apply credits to a Master of Arts in Education: ESL
  • Admissions accepted for 5 entry points (Fall Session I & II, Spring Session I & II, Summer)
  • Blend of industry-relevant, in-person and online courses
  • Options for financial aid, tuition discounts, and grants

Language and Literacy Graduate Education Info Session

Learn more about our Language and Literacy graduate program at Edgewood College. Program Coordinator, Emily Zoeller, along with co-coordinators Tamara Mouw (Reading) and Paulina Bravo Valenzuela (ESL/Bilingual Ed), will discuss details of the English language learners program. There will be a chance for attendees to ask questions about courses, cost, how to apply, and more

Monday, November 14, 2022 at 4:30 PM until 5:30 PM Central Standard Time

*Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed

English Language Learner Program Highlights

  • 12 months of licensure coursework plus student teaching (18 credits)
  • Start in Fall, Spring or Summer semesters
  • 8-week accelerated courses accommodate traditional work schedules
  • Courses include 3 synchronous sessions with online learning in between
  • Courses can be applied to a master’s degree by completing 15 additional credits (33 total)

License and Degree Requirements

The ESL Program is designed to meet your professional development goals by offering program options that can either stand alone or build upon one another toward a Master of Arts in Education: ESL. Courses are blended — online and in the classroom.

ESL License Sequence

The 18-credit licensing program leads to a Wisconsin DPI license certification in ESL (WDPI 395). The second language learning 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 M.A. in Education: ESL.

  • ED 605B Paradigms in Bilingual/Bicultural Education
  • ED 604A Second Language Acquisition in the Content Areas
  • ED 605A Language for Teachers I
  • ED 686 Language for Teachers II
  • ED 604F ESL Curriculum Design and Assessment
  • ED 693A: ESL Supervised Field Teaching

Master of Arts in Education – ESL

Completing the Master of Arts in Education will give you the English language skills and knowledge to become a leader of ESL education in your school or district. The Master of Arts in Education: ESL requires completion of the 18 credits listed in the License Sequence, plus five 3-credit courses listed below and an additional three degree-related credits (courses approved by advisor). 33 credits total.

  • ED 605C ESL/Bilingual Program Development and Advocacy
  • ED 689 Coaching, Mentoring and Teacher Leadership
  • ED 603 Introduction to Education Research
  • ED 692 Research Capstone Project
  • One 3-credit elective course

Tuition and Financial Aid

Edgewood College is committed to making a life-changing education more affordable and accessible to more people than ever before. 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 ESL license certification program.

Courses (18 credits) in the ESL License Sequence are offered at the discounted tuition rate of $611 per credit. Licensure courses can be applied toward a Master of Arts in Education with an ESL concentration. Master completion courses (15 credits) are at the tuition rate of $1,072 per credit.

Tuition is based on the 2022/2023 academic year.

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 at 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.


Teachers are encouraged to inquire about the Teach Grant

ESL 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 carefully review the TEACH grant website to understand stipulations and obligations upon program completion. From this site, you can also find a link that 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 ESL instruction 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

Apply Today!  Complete and submit the graduate application. This application is for graduate students who want to pursue a master’s program, license, or take a course as a non-degree student.

New students may start their teaching English program at five entry points throughout the year. Please note priority deadline dates.

  • Fall Session I: August 1 (August start)
  • Fall Session II: October 1 (October start)
  • Spring Session I: January 2 (January start)
  • Spring Session II: March 1 (March start)
  • Summer Session: May 1

All required application materials should be submitted by the deadlines. Applications received after deadlines will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Questions? Contact 608-663-3250 or jeastman@edgewood.edu.

Admission Criteria

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a regionally accredited or equivalent post-secondary 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. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits be received from each post-secondary institution that you have attended.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Provide evidence of a WDPI initial educator, professional educator, or master educator license (or the equivalent).

International students must contact Graduate and Professional Studies for additional admission requirements. Learn more.

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

Emily Zoeller
Emily Zoeller
Coordinator of Language and Literacy
School of Education

Dr. Emily Zoeller is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of ESL, Bilingual, and Reading Education. Emily holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. from the University of San Diego. She earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College, where she researched teacher leadership in two-way dual language education. Emily’s research interests include biliteracy development, educational leadership, and bilingual teacher preparation. Prior to her role at Edgewood College, Emily worked in Madison Metropolitan School District as a bilingual teacher, a reading specialist, and an instructional coach. She is passionate about leading for equity among teachers of multilingual learners.


Gerardo Mancilla
Gerardo Mancilla
Coordinator of Advanced Certification Elementary (ACE) Graduate Program and Associate Professor
School of Education

Gerardo Mancilla is an Associate Professor of Education for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction, M.S. in Counseling Psychology, and Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to working at Edgewood College, Gerardo was working for the Madison Metropolitan School District where he was a Dual Language Immersion teacher. 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.

Donna Vukelich-Selva
Donna Vukelich-Selva
Associate Professor
School of Education

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 Division of Education, as well as bilingual and ESL education graduate courses in the Language and Literacy program.  She also teaches in Edgewood’s COR program for first year 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.

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.

Mercedes Martin
Mercedes Martin

Mercedes Martin received her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Edgewood in 2007. At Edgewood, she has led a former Conference for Rural districts, has taught Second Language Acquisition for Special Education and has served as an instructor and supervisor or Bilingual student teachers. She currently works as Bilingual Research Teacher at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton.

Aitor Luna Olivares
Aitor Luna Olivares is a passionate bilingual social studies educator and Dual Language program coordinator at the high school level in Madison, where he has worked with bilingual students, families and staff since 2014. He completed his Master's degree studies in Applied Linguistics at Nebrija University in Spain, and International Studies at the Johns Hopkins Universityand holds a BA in Social and Political Studies from the University College London in the UK. He worked internationally before moving to Wisconsin with his family to become an active member of Madison's multilingual community. His research and teaching interests include language and identity, critical engagement in bilingual education and Spanish linguistics. He loves the classroom and believes in collaborative, authentic and practical learning. 
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.

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.

Alexis Nass
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.  

Amy Christianson
Amy Christianson

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.


Out of State Licensure

Although Wisconsin maintains high standards for its teacher education programs, there is no simple reciprocity between Wisconsin and all other states. Each state sets its own requirements for teacher licensure but will generally allow for Wisconsin teaching and administrator licenses to be transferred. Specific requirements are left to each state’s department of education, which are linked below.

State Licensure/Certification Disclosure for Teacher Licenses

The information below reflects whether this program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the specified states.

Satisfies Educational Requirements:

WI, IL, CO, CT, DE, HI, IN, IA, KS (secondary), LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NY, NC, PA, RI, TN, TX, VT, WA, WV, WY

Does Not Satisfy Educational Requirements:

AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, ID, KS (elementary), KY, ME, MD, MS, NV, NH, NJ, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, UT, VA

State Licensure/Certification Disclosure for School Administration Licenses

The information below reflects whether this program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the specified states.

Satisfies Educational Requirements:


No Determination Made:

All states are referenced here


Please contact Michael Meissen, Clinical and Advising Coordinator, with additional questions.

Career Outlook for Graduates of ESL Programs


If you're passionate about language and all of its underlying structures, becoming a linguist is an exciting, intellectually stimulating role. These language experts play a crucial part in bridging the gap between cultures and facilitating communication between people who speak different languages.

While the day-to-day responsibilities of a linguist will vary depending on their specific area of focus, some common duties you may take on include:

  • Conducting research on various aspects of language, such as syntax, phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics
  • Analyzing and interpreting linguistic data
  • Teaching language courses or leading language training programs

The role of a linguist is a fascinating one, and it's no surprise that this field is experiencing significant growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the field of language interpretation and translation are expected to increase by 20% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, with a typical salary of approximately $57,000.


ESL Teacher

With a growing demand for English language instruction, there are many opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in ESL teaching.

ESL teachers, no matter where they find work, are integral in helping non-native English speakers develop their English language proficiency. These educators work with language minority students of all ages and backgrounds, from young children to adult learners, to teach ESL in ways that invoke personal and academic achievement.

Whether you opt for teaching English abroad, in the U.S. public school system, or through specialized classes, helping others expand their skills beyond their native language can be an incredibly rewarding profession.

According to Zippia, the projected job growth for ESL teachers is 3% from 2018-2028, with salaries increasing by 9% in the last five years to about $53,000.



Another linguistic bridge, a translator, helps people, businesses, and governments communicate effectively across foreign language barriers.

As a translator, you'll be responsible for interconnecting people through the art of a unified language, whether that's through written or spoken communication. Your role will not only include accurately translating content to other languages but also considering the most intricate cultural nuances and idiomatic expressions.

With businesses expanding internationally and the need for accurate translations on the rise, the demand for translators is also one that's growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of translators is projected to grow 20% from 2019 to 2029, considerably higher than other occupations.

On average, the annual salary for translators and interpreters in the United States is about $49,000, with the top earners making over $95,000 per year.


ESL Education Program Testimony

"As a student in Edgewood College's ESL/Bilingual program, I am learning how teaching for equity means developing my students' language through writing, speaking, and reading, ​so they can engage. I appreciate the program's emphasis on valuing the language students bring because it is something that they own. At Edgewood College, the learning environment is welcoming and positive and I am motivated to better myself for my students."

Hilario Villa

Learn More About Edgewood College ESL Program

At Edgewood College, our flexible ESL program is designed to equip you with the licensure you need to tear down language barriers and make a difference in your community. With hands-on learning and industry-veteran faculty leading the classroom, we help you gear up to give effective instruction and grant English proficiency to a multitude of populations.

Apply today to find your place in the field of teaching English as a second language.

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