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M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License in Second Language Education for Working Professionals


This program is designed for practicing English as a second language (ESL) or world/classical language teachers who wish to earn a Minnesota teaching license in ESL or a world/classical language. This part-time program allows you to continue employment with your current temporary license while enrolled in your courses. The license to teach in Minnesota is highly transferable to other states and our candidates are sought after by local school districts.

Already licensed to teach another subject? You can pursue an additional license in ESL or an additional license in a world/classical language.

Interested in teaching at an immersion school? See our elementary education license for dual language and immersion programs.

Master of Education

This program includes two components: initial licensure to be an ESL or language teacher in Minnesota and a Master of Education degree.

Combining an M.Ed. with your teaching license offers the following advantages:

  • Teachers with a master's degree are regarded as experts in their field, making you a more competitive job candidate with an M.Ed.
  • Teachers who have a master's degree will see a roughly $7,000 annual salary increase []
  • Though the salary increase with a master's degree will vary by district and state, Minnesota teachers are on the higher end of the payscale.
  • Once a teacher is employed, there is much more mobility that comes with a master's degree. Teachers with advanced degrees can be promoted to school administration positions and can become mentors to other teachers based upon their graduate training.


Evening, online, and summer courses are available to complete the licensure coursework on a part-time basis while teaching. Enrollment is offered for the fall, spring, and summer. In addition to the required courses, students also need to complete 100 hours of classroom observation at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. After completing most of the required courses and 100 hours of classroom observation, students may do their K-12 school based requirements: a practicum and a 12-week full-time continuous student teaching experience.

Students earning their M.Ed. along with an initial license complete three additional credits after finishing the licensure part of the program. You have up to five years to complete the degree program.


Students must complete the Core Curriculum in addition to the World Language Curriculum OR the ESL Curriculum.

The Core curriculum topics are:

Hybrid and online courses are listed in bold.

  • Learning, cognition and assessment
  • Introductory child psychology OR Child and adolescent development
  • Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings
  • School and society
  • Human relations: applied skills for school and society OR Cultures, schools and communities
  • Technology for teaching and learning OR Technology in the second language classroom
  • Reading in the content areas for initial licensure candidates
  • Fundamentals of alcohol and drug abuse

Option A- World Language Curriculum:

  • Teaching world languages and cultures in elementary settings
  • Foundations of second languages and cultures education
  • Culture as the core in the second language classroom
  • Teaching literacy in second language classrooms
  • Teaching speaking and listening in second language classrooms
  • Foreign language testing and assessment OR Developing assessments for the second language classroom
  • Second language curriculum design OR Content-based language instruction and curriculum development
  • Practicum: Teaching world languages and cultures in elementary schools
  • Student teaching in second languages and cultures

Option B- ESL Curriculum:

  • Introduction to linguistics
  • Introduction to language acquisition
  • Language, culture, and education
  • Assessing English learners
  • English grammar for ESL teachers
  • Teaching literacy in second language classrooms
  • Teaching speaking and listening in second language classrooms
  • Second language curriculum design
  • Practicum: Teaching ESL in elementary schools
  • Student teaching in second languages and culture

View the curriculum in the course catalog under subplan “Second Language Education for working professionals.”

Career Outlook

A valid Minnesota teaching license offers job security and the potential to work in public schools in addition to private and charter schools.

The annual mean salary for Minnesota teachers in 2016 were $62,000 for elementary school teachers, $62,470 for middle school teachers, and $64,310 for high school teachers [Burea of Labor Statistics].

Admissions Information

Priority deadline to apply:

  • July 1 for fall enrollment
  • November 1 for spring enrollment
  • December 15 for summer enrollment

A bachelor's degree and 2.80 GPA is required. All international students require transcript evaluations. You must either be currently employed as a FLES or secondary language teacher in a non-immersion K-12 public school OR you need a strong recommendation from a practicing secondary language teacher.

To ensure you have the required prerequisites to enter the program, please get your transcript pre-checked by the academic adviser, Michelle McElroy before applying. A bachelor's degree and 2.80 GPA are required.

See detailed admission information on our M.Ed. and Initial License admissions page.

For additional information contact Saem Heo.

Yangyang Liu

"I felt very supported by the faculty in this program.They were great about communicating the projects and finding ways to serve the needs of working professionals."

Yangyang Liu, M.Ed.