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ESL Certification

Rowan University’s Online ESL Certification of Graduate Study is intended for those who are looking to work with speakers of other languages. There is a critical need for highly qualified teachers who are trained to work with the growing numbers of English learners in K-12, college, and adult settings, both in the US and abroad.

ESL Certification online

The program facilitates understanding of the unique needs and challenges of the English Language Learner (ELL). Students will learn how to develop lesson and unit plans that integrate language and content for ELL students of various levels of English proficiency. Upon successful completion of the English as a Second Language Certificate of Graduate Study program, students become eligible for state certification, which allows them to teach English to non-English speaking students.

Due to the accelerated timeline, students can complete state certification in nearly half the traditional time. By taking one additional class and by fulfilling the additional testing requirements, some students may also be eligible for the Bilingual/Bicultural Endorsement. Students may also apply the credits earned from the COGS in ESL to Rowan’s Master’s in Educational Leadership (M. Ed.) program.

ESL Certification: Program Highlights

  • TESOL/NCATE accredited
  • Offered as part of the NJTOP program and is offered to NJ educators at a discount off regular tuition rates
  • 16–21 graduate semester hours – Students who do not hold a Standard NJ teaching certification must complete a 6-credit Clinical Internship instead of a 1-credit Practicum course
  • Three delivery modes available: Online, Blended ( Online content with class meetings in Orange, NJ), Hybrid (Online content and class meetings at Rowan’s Camden campus)
  • The program is part-time
  • Possible completion in 3–4 consecutive semesters
  • Field placements can be completed in the candidates place of employment

Applying to the ESL Certification Program

The following is a list of items required to begin the application process. There may be additional action or materials required for admission to the program. Upon receipt of the materials below a representative from the CGCE Admissions Processing Office will contact you with confirmation or indicating any missing items.

  • CGCE Graduate Application Form
  • $65 (U.S.) application fee is waived for NJTOP
  • Bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended (regardless of number of credits earned)
  • Current professional resume
  • Typewritten statement of professional objectives – Statement should be between 1–2 single-spaced pages and answer the following questions: Why do you want to teach English as a Second Language? How do you plan to impact English Language Learners, the school, and the community as an ESL teacher?
  • Two letters of recommendation: One letter from an individual familiar with your academic work. One should be from someone who can speak to your potential for teaching ESL
  • While teaching certification is not required, we ask that you include copies of any current NJ state teaching certificates you may have as this is necessary to determine final registration plans.

New Jersey Department of Education – ESL Certification Requirements

Teachers in the state of New Jersey may apply to the ESL program through the New Jersey Teacher Outreach Program (NJTOP®). For more information including NJTOP tuition rates click here.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJ DOE), not Rowan University, grants certifications based on requirements set by the state. While coursework for this program meets the academic requirements for NJ DOE certification, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all other certification requirements are met, including, but not limited to, appropriate type and level of license and years of experience. NJ DOE certification requirements are subject to change. Certification applications are evaluated, by NJ DOE, based on the most current state requirements. For current NJ DOE licensure information, click here.


This is a part-time accelerated program requiring the completion of 6 graduate-level courses or 16 graduate semester hours. It is possible to complete this program in only 3–4 consecutive semesters. By taking one additional course and fulfilling additional testing requirements, ESL COGS students may be eligible for the Bilingual/Bicultural Endorsement. Credits earned may also be applied towards the Master of Education program. Specific objectives for the ESL Certificate of Graduate Study program include:

  • The development of multifaceted understandings of the unique needs, challenges, and experiences of English Language Learner (ELL) students in order to advocate for their success.
  • The development of lesson and unit plans that integrate language and content for ELL students at various levels of English proficiency.
  • The ability to instruct ELL students using cutting-edge, research-based teaching methods.


The following courses make up the English as a Second Language (ESL) of Graduate Study program. Each course is scheduled in 8 week modules with each week of work starting every Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. and ending every Monday at midnight eastern standard time.

Total Program Semester Hours: 16

Go here to Apply Now

For Start dates and Deadline dates contact:

Dr. Barry Meinster
Coordinator of New Jersey Teacher Outreach Programs (NJTOP)
Rowan University Global Division
M – F  8 a.m. – 9 p.m