ESL Teaching Program

The ESL (English as a Second Language) Graduate Program provides educators with five course options for developing expertise in teaching K-12 students who are Emergent Bilingual (EB) students. Educators can take one or more courses, which are designed to stack or build on each other. Courses may be taken for credit or non-credit.

Jump ahead to these sections:


  • Educators who already hold a teaching license, who want to develop or deepen their expertise in teaching K-12 students who are Emergent Bilingual (EB),
  • ​Educators interested in obtaining the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) ESL license (optional) can either: (a) complete all five courses for credit or (b) take the DPI ESL test.  For students interested in preparing for the test, we recommend minimally taking the foundational course series.


  • Existing Wisconsin educator license

Total Credits

  • License only: 15 credits
  • M.S. Degree = 30 credits

License Information

  • ESL License #1395
    • ESL (395/1395) license allows the license holder to teach the English language to English language learners, while supporting core academic subject instruction provided by the classroom teacher at the grade or developmental level specified on the license.
    • Option 1: Complete the program for credit
    • Option 2: Pass DPI test
    • See DPI site for more information

Course Meeting Design

  • Cohort meets only one weekend per month.
  • Courses are delivered through a hybrid model. Students meet face-to-face one time per month for four hours/course during one of the following time frames:  Friday, 5-9 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. or  12:30-4:30 p.m. 
  • Readings and assignments are completed outside of class time. Students coordinate occasional outside-of-class, small group work times.
  • ​Students can register for an individual course, as long as prerequisites are met and there is room in the cohort/course.

Foundational Courses

  • Multilingualism in Education
  • Linguistic Fundamentals
  • ESL Methods and Materials

Advanced Courses

  • Multiple Literacies and Linguistic Diversity*
  • Multilingual Community Based Leadership**

*Prerequisite: ESL license or 2 foundational courses.

**Prerequisite: ESL license or previous 4 program courses.

For Credit Details

For students who:
  • Want college credit/grades
  • Want to complete the program for licensure
  • Want to use credits toward an M.Ed. degree.
Expectation: Complete all course requirements

Evidence of completion:

  • Transcript grades
  • License (optional) if completing all five courses
  • Can apply toward M.Ed. in Teaching & Learning

Total credits: 3 credits/class, 5 class = 15 credits

Admission Process and Requirements
Questions and application materials can be directed to

Tuition Information

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For non-credit Details

For students who:
  • Do not need college credit
  • Want the most cost-effective way to develop knowledge and expertise

Expectation: Some course assignments may be optional

Evidence of Completion: 

  • Credential/badge for each completed course
  • License by passing DPI test (optional)

Registration Deadline: Registrations must be received two weeks before course start. Early registration is strongly encouraged to reserve your spot.  

Panoramic View of campus