May 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

K12 Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), Graduate Certificate

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Department of Linguistics
1024 Human Health Building   (map)
(248) 370-2175 • Fax (248) 370-3144

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Graduate TESL Coordinator:
Rebecca Gaydos, Special Instructor
116 Fitzgerald Hall
(248) 370-2176     


The Oakland University Graduate TESOL Certificate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages prepares candidates to teach PreK-Adult English language learners (ELLs). Candidates who do not hold a Michigan teaching license but are interested in teaching adult  ELLS as well as teaching English overseas can earn a TESOL certificate in working with adult ELLs.  In addition, the program is approved by the Michigan Department of Education and trains candidates, who hold a Michigan teaching license, to teach ELLs PreK -12.  The PreK-12 program is a joint effort between the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education and Human Services and leads to the TESOL PreK12 NS endorsement by the Michigan Department of Education for those candidates who hold a Michigan teaching license. The program consists of 24 credits taken in four to six semesters.

Program description

The purpose of the Graduate TESOL Certificate is to prepare candidates to teach English language classes and to better service Ells.  The program is designed for participants who have little or no prior experience working with ELLs. The courswork in the  Graduate TESOL Certificate program will help candidates to understand the linguistic and cultural problems that students have when English is not their native language. With TESOL background and training, candidates will be able to deal with those problems effectively and help students who speak a first language other than English to integrate into classroom activities and beyond.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants  

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

1. Graduate Application Requirements

  • Online Application for Admission to Graduate School
  • Official transcripts providing evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution, OR a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree from a college or university of government-recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned a degree (beginning with the first baccalaureate) and for all enrollment in graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree.
    • As part of the admission requirements, graduate programs may require official transcripts from post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned an associate’s degree and all enrollment in coursework for both pre- and post-bachelors degrees.
  • International university transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service. Oakland University will only accept transcript evaluations completed by a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Service) member organization. Many applicants use World Educational Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).  NACES membership can be confirmed by visiting Graduate programs requiring more detailed information may require an applicant to submit a course-by-course (or detailed) evaluation report rather than the general evaluation report. Official foreign transcripts will not be required by Oakland University since official transcripts must be submitted to and verified by the evaluation service. However, applicants must submit photocopies of their foreign transcripts with their application materials.
  • Two official and original Recommendations for Graduate Admission forms.
    (Note: Some programs require more than two recommendation forms. Refer to the program application requirements listed below for the total number of recommendations and specific requirements for the recommendations.)
  • International supplemental application and supporting documentation must be submitted before international applicants can be issued the Certification of Eligibility (I-20). This certificate is required to apply for a student visa from the U.S. embassy or consulate.

2. Additional department application requirements

  • The department will consider applicants who hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and whose credentials, including transcripts and two letters of recommendation, give evidence of academic distinction.
  • Applicants must explain, in a statement of purpose, their reasons for wishing to pursue the TESOL Endorsement.
  • A grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate work is ordinarily the minimum standard for admission.
  • The Prerequisite: LIN 2201 Introduction to Linguistics course is required but will be waived if candidate has previously completed a course in Introduction to Linguistics.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Certificate requirements

Course requirements

Courses are offered weekdays online or face-to-face after 4:00 p.m.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Relationship to the Master of Arts in Linguistics

All courses listed under the requirements for the PreK12 TESOL Certificate program (24 credits) can be applied toward the Master of Arts Degree in Linguistics with a TESOL specialization. It is anticipated that a graduate of the PreK12 TESL Certificate program who has all the prerequisites for the Master of Arts in Linguistics can apply for admission to that program and complete the additional 16 credits needed for that degree in approximately four semesters as a part-time student or two semesters as a full-time student. The courses that make up the 16 credits of additional work for the M.A. degree are:


For students who have less than a 3.0 grade-point average in courses taken in that program and who wish to apply for admission to the M.A. program, the Department of Linguistics will consider their applications on an individual basis.

All of the credits are subject to the six-year time limit.



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