The U.S. Department of Education has designed a grant program intended to help address the shortage of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers in Michigan, with Aquinas College in Grand Rapids selected as the recipient of a five-year, $2.5 million grant.
Partner school systems set to receive a chunk of this partnership grant include the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kellogsville Public Schools, Kentwood Public Schools, Kent Intermediate School District, Wyoming Public Schools, the Diocese of Grand Rapids Office of Catholic Schools, Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, and Godwin Heights Public Schools.
The funding provided by this grant will allow district schools to develop and implement professional developmental courses designed to help recruit more English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, as well as to help educators create new teaching strategies that can make learning more effective for English Language Learners (ELLs).
These courses will be available to all students pursuing a degree in education, teaching assistants, and current in-service teachers looking to expand their professional portfolio. Educators who complete these courses will be eligible for an ESL/bilingual teaching endorsement from the Michigan Department of Education.
One of the educators leading the way in obtaining this grant was Dr. Rui Nui-Cooper, an associate professor of education at Aquinas College. Dr. Nui-Cooper believes in Aquinas’ ESL program as a “model program” and wants to help make this platform of education available to more English Language Learners (ELLs). “This funding will allow us to address the crucial need for these educators in our community . . . and this will help us work collaboratively with our partner schools to better meet the needs of our students,” says Dr. Nui-Cooper.
Estimates by the Michigan Department of Education indicate that about 88,000 students in Michigan need an ESL education, but there are currently only about 300 ESL programs available statewide.
The Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program and a B.A. in Secondary Education.
The Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL online program from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to teach students of all ages in the U.S. and internationally, gives you the option to pursue a teaching credential, and can be completed in 12 months.
Liberty University Offers Undergrad Cert and B.Ed. in English as a Second Language.
Capella University offers an online Master’s program in English Language Learning and Teaching designed to help educators advance their career in supporting diverse student populations. While it does not satisfy licensure requirements, the program can help you build the skills to use instructional strategies, emerging trends, and best practices to effectively teach English Language Learners and help students adapt to new cultural environments.