Sep 30, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL): Initial K-12 ESL Certification, M.S.Ed.

The Master of Science in Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages provides students with the knowledge base and practical skills related to English as a Second Language (ESL) acquisition by English language learners (ELLs). The emphasis is on developing proficiency and literacy in English as a Second Language and/or English as a Foreign Language. The program provides practitioners with the skills needed to assess language and implement instruction to improve learners’ proficiency for competent second language use.

The MSEd in TESOL is the only degree of its kind in Maine and is designed to accommodate the needs and goals of a wide range of ESL professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse students, including K-12 teachers, adult educators, and those who teach or want to teach abroad. International students are encouraged to apply. This 36-credit program may be completed in one and half years with careful planning alongside a faculty advisor. We maintain strong partnerships with local schools where field experiences and student teaching may be completed. The TESOL practicum (EDU 623 ) is a 40-hour field experience completed in a Maine school to prepare students for the TESOL internship (EDU 640 ), a 15-week, full-time student teaching experience completed in a Maine school to meet the state’s initial K-12 ESL certification requirements. The internship may be completed part-time over two semesters with careful planning alongside your program advisor. Though there is no fully online option with this initial certification program, the program offers courses in different delivery modes, such as online, blended, and on campus.

Program Requirements: 36 credits


Tk20 by Watermark is the comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system used by all students in Educator Preparation programs at USM. All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship/student teaching year are required to subscribe to Tk20. Students use Tk20 to provide evidence that they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. There is a one-time subscription fee related to the administration and assessment of the program that must be paid by each student before their internship begins. For loan purposes, Tk20 is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs. Subscription instructions (including the current fee) are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation page on MyUSM at

Please note Professional Education Council Policy: In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the Maine Department of Education for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to their state-approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).

Recommended Course Sequence

Students should plan to complete First Tier courses before Second Tier courses.