English as a Second Language (ESL) License

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 English. The program is designed to meet your professional goals by offering program options that can either stand alone or build upon one another towards a Masters of Arts in Education ESL.
  • Curriculum embraces an anti-racist, strength-based approach to teaching multilingual learners 
  • Instruction that is transferable to teacher practice 
  • Emphasis on collaboration and building professional community
  • Individual advising and support throughout the program 
  • Course meetings accommodate working schedules

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 towards a Masters of Arts in Education; ESL. Courses are offered 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 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-ESL. All ESL License Sequence courses are available fully online.

  • 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 degree will give you the 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 the 4 three-credit courses listed below, plus 3 additional degree related credits (course approved by advisor). 33 credits total. These courses are now available online. 

  • ED 605C ESL/Bilingual Program Development and Advocacy (Ethics requirement)
  • ED 689 Coaching, Mentoring and Teacher Leadership
  • ED 603 Introduction to Education Research
  • ED 692 Research Capstone Project (Studies in Change requirement)

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 $600 per credit. Licensure course can be applied towards a Master of Arts in Education with an ESL concentration. Master Completion courses (15 credits) are at the tuition rate of $1,052 per credit.  

Tuition is based on the 2021/2022 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 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 ESL 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

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

New students may start their 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 (Jan start)
  • Spring Session II - March 1 (March start)
  • Summer Session - May 1 

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

Admission Requirements

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a 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. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits received from each post-secondary institutions 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. Letter of Recommendation Guidelines
  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).
  6. 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

Gerardo Mancilla
Gerardo Mancilla
Assistant Professor
School of Education

Gerardo Mancilla is an Assistant 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.

Bethsaida Nieves
Bethsaida Nieves
Professional Advisor for Graduate Programs

Dr. Nieves graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2019 with her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.  Her area of expertise is Curriculum Theory and Research with an emphasis on the history of race science in Puerto Rico and the United States.  Her teaching interests include Curriculum Theory & Research, Social & Cultural Foundations of Education, and Critical Pedagogy.  Dr. Nieves has 7 years of teaching experience at the middle school, high school, and college level.  She has taught in college prep programs aimed at recruiting and retaining first-generation college students, and she has taught multicultural education courses for pre-service teachers.  In her new graduate advising role, Dr. Nieves will provide student academic advising and mentoring for prospective and admitted students in graduate licensure and MA programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  She will also work to create resources to support early-career teachers who have graduated from Edgewood College.  Dr. Nieves enjoys helping graduate students achieve their professional, academic, and research goals.  In addition to her role
as graduate advisor, Dr. Nieves is also creating and teaching a new course for the Educational Leadership Program titled, ED 863 Multicultural Leadership Ethics. If you have questions about your career path at Edgewood College and beyond, you can contact her at bnieves@edgewood.edu 

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.

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.


Arabel Marcano Colón
Arabel Marcano Colón
Arabel earned a BS degree in Secondary Education in History from the University of Puerto Rico and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction in History, from Caribbean University in Puerto Rico. She completed a doctoral program in Education Leadership in Edgewood College. Her dissertation titled Mainstream Teachers’ Perceptions about Professional Development Needs to Support English Language Learners, came from her passion to help English Language Learners (ELLs) succeed in the classroom and was inspired by her own lived experience as an ELL. Currently, she works for Madison Metropolitan School District as a high school dual language immersion teacher in social studies.

Out of State Licensure

Although Wisconsin maintains high standards for our teacher education programs, there is not simple reciprocity between Wisconsin and all other states. Each state sets their 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 Drew Silver, Clinical and Advising Coordinator, with additional questions.

Links of Interest
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