Program goal

This program is designed to prepare professionals to work with K-12 students and adults for whom English is not their native language.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate foundational knowledge needed to support ESL students’ literacy learning
  2. Effectively plan lessons that attend to linguistic proficiency of learners in various settings
  3. Create assessments that assess ESL student competency in communication and content learning
  4. Demonstrate a disposition of tolerance and appreciation for linguistic and cultural diversity
  5. Demonstrate a range of teaching strategies and approaches that lead to ESL student learning

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
CertificateFallFeb 1
SpringOct 1
Summer Feb 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline including education, social work, psychology or human services
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  3. Statement of intent
  4. Transcripts of all previous college work

Please visit the School of Education website for further information.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 credit hours.
  2. Grade requirements: Receipt of a grade of C or below in two courses constitutes automatic dismissal from the program. Courses with a grade below C cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  3. Prerequisite or corequisite requirements: Students must have taken a class in linguistics and six hours of a modern foreign language.

Curriculum requirements

As prerequisites or corequisites to the certificate program, students must have taken three credit hours of a modern foreign language, which may have been taken at the undergraduate or graduate level. The certificate program consists of 18 credit hours of graduate course work as follows:

ENGL/LING/TEDU 552Teaching English as a Second Language3
FRLG 575Intercultural Communication3
TEDU 561Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives3
TEDU 562Reading Instruction in the Content Areas3
TEDU 683ESL Assessment and Trends3
TEDU 675Internship in ESL3
Total Hours18

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this certificate is 18.

Communications and Enrollment Management
(804) 827-2670

Additional contact
Hillary Parkhouse, Ph.D.
Assistant professor and graduate program director
(804) 828-1305

Program website: