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Teaching English as a Second Language Online

About the Program

As classrooms continue to diversify, teacher candidates must be prepared to meet the needs of all their students. To help meet this need, SMSU offers the TESL program. Although the name varies across the nation and internationally, the focus of the program is the same, ultimately to help prepare teachers to support English learners learn English. SMSU has adopted the TESL abbreviation and course prefix to match the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing Standards Board language, ESL, and to distinguish between programs for ELs and programs for teachers of ELs. This K-12 Teaching ESL degree and licensure program at the undergraduate level provides the foundations in teaching with the Standards of Effective Practice and the core content courses and methods for teaching K-12 English as a Second Language. Graduates will be able to obtain a Tier 3 licensure in K-12 Teaching English as a Second Language.

Cost & Financial Aid

  • Undergraduate Online tuition rates are affordable and banded for full time student enrollments.
  • SMSU offers in-state tuition to nearly everyone. No out-state rates. Reciprocity rates may apply.
  • U.S. Citizens & eligible noncitizens can apply for federal aid with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Minnesota residents completing the FAFSA will also be considered for Minnesota State Grant and Federal Direct loan funds as well.
  • SMSU offers a variety of Scholarships that students can apply for!
  • Return on investment! SMSU graduates have a 99% Employment Rate within 6 months of graduation!

Admission Requirements

Minnesota Licensure Only ~ must be able to complete field experiences, practicums and student teaching within the state of Minnesota.

Students wishing to be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University must present the following information:

Note: Final high school transcripts, complete with date of graduation, must be submitted to the Office of Admission prior to enrollment.

Transfer students wishing to be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University must present the following information:

  • Completed Application for Admission and non-refundable application fee of $20.
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended outside the MinnState System, transcripts must be sent directly from each institution to the Southwest Minnesota State University Office of Admission.
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Careers In Teaching English as a Second Language

Graduates with the K-12 TESL licensure may pursue teaching in an ESL classroom, working with English learners. Teachers of ESL collaborate with content area teachers to deliver content to English learners with specific, research-based teaching strategies to enhance the understanding and performance of ELs. Graduates with an emphasis or minor in the field of TESL may apply their knowledge of ELs and appropriate teaching strategies in the general classroom and aim to build rapport with the EL community, building partnerships to enrich the learning experience.

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Last Modified: 2/28/23 4:20 PM | Website Feedback