Compared to the nearby states of Illinois and Minnesota, Wisconsin does not have many Master of Arts programs in TESOL. That said, the graduate education programs that offer ESL, TESL, EFL, and ESOL concentrations have a diversity of degrees, certificates, and program formats for students. Wisconsin also has the honor of hosting the nation’s number one graduate education department, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2013.
ESL Teacher Certification
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and its division of Educator Licensing manage all issues pertaining to licensure to teach in the state’s K-12 public school districts. DPI grants licenses for teaching different developmental levels, which are categorized into the following license stages:
- Initial Educator License
- Professional Educator License
- Master Educator License
Alternative Certification Options
Wisconsin needs educators with expertise, particularly in its urban schools and in its critical teacher shortage areas. To that end, the DPI has established options categorized as an Alternative Route Pathway. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in a major that correlates with the subject they plan to teach. That subject must be deemed a Wisconsin shortage area, which currently includes ESL, Bilingual Education, Bicultural Education, and World Languages, among others. See DPI’s Index of Approved Alternative Route Programs for more information about licenses and endorsements offered by specific universities and school sites.
Master’s Programs in TESOL
Ranked number one in the country for its graduate education program in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report, University of Wisconsin gives the city of Madison a vibrant college town vibe. It offers the Wisconsin Masters in Teaching program. The School of Education is introducing this new program track in the summer of 2015. Graduates will earn a master’s degree in teaching as well as certification in a core content area and in English as a Second Language. University of Wisconsin – River Falls offers several graduate and certification options allow students to customize the TESOL program to fit their needs. Students can choose from the Master of Arts in TESOL, the Master of Arts in TESOL with Initial Teaching Licensure, and Additional ESL Licensure programs.