TESOL Certification Requirements

New York State offers a number of pathways to teacher certification. One pathway is the: "Individual Evaluation for Additional Certificate Pathway". It is designed for teachers who hold a valid New York State Teaching Certificate and wish to earn an additional certification, such as, TESOL Certification, without having to earn an additional degree. Candidates for NYS certification through this "Individual Pathway" must meet certain Content Core and Pedagogical Core requirements and must also meet any non-coursework requirements, such as the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations and fingerprint clearance, as specified. These requirements are outlined below:

Certification Requirements Pathway: Additional Classroom Teaching Certificate                  
The following is the list of requirements from the New York State Office of Teaching Initiatives website on approved pathway:

  • Hold a Valid NYS Classroom Teaching Certificate
  • Content Core - Major or Equivalent in One of the Liberal Arts & Sciences - 30 credit
         -   College Coursework - Linguistics - 3 credits
         -   College Coursework - English Grammar - 3 credits
         -   College Coursework - Language other than English (including American Sign Language) - 12 credits
  • Pedagogical Core
         -   College Coursework - Teaching Literacy Skills Methods - 3 credits
         -   College Coursework - Methods of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - 6 credits
  • Content Specialty Test (CST) - ESOL or Safety Net ESOL
  • Workshop - Child Abuse Identification
  • Workshop - School Violence Intervention and Prevention
  • Workshop - Dignity For All Students Act
  • Fingerprint Clearance


The number of courses that you may need can be confusing. Since this is an individual pathway to certification and does not lead to a degree, the only definitive answer about how many courses that you may need must come from NY State because you may have taken courses in your past that satisfy course requirements. We suggest looking at the courses that you have taken to see if any of those courses are similar to what is required by NYS. If any course that you've taken sounds similar, I would suggest holding off taking that course or courses until you receive the official notification from NYS.

To have a definitive answer as to how many courses you may need you must actually apply for certification by going to the following webpage: NYS Office of Teaching Initiatives  and file for TESOL certification (listed as English to Speakers of Other Languages on the NYS web page) to find out which courses that you have taken before may qualify. Do this as soon as possible - even before you enroll in any courses! You will be notified of anything additional you need to take or any missing requirements.  Your credits don't "expire", so as long as you can produce a college transcript for the courses and the courses match the NYS requirements, you will be able to get credit for them. Therefore, send all your college transcripts to NYS for evaluation. You have nothing to lose. The evaluation process can take up to 3 months or more, so you should start the process right away. There is a $100 fee to apply for TESOL certification, but once you've paid the fee you do not have to pay it again as long as you complete the process within two years and do not ask for more than two evaluations.

It's been our experience that teachers may have already taken one or all of the following areas previously in college and they need to hear back from NYS about their acceptance towards the certification: "Linguistics", "English Grammar" and "Teaching Literacy Skills Methods". However, most teachers usually know that they haven't taken the 6 credits needed in: "Methods of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages", so if they haven't heard back from NYS concerning the evaluation of their previous courses they usually take our 3 credit course, EDU 514, Teaching English Language Learners (which fulfills 3 credits of the "Methods of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages") while they're waiting.

Graduate courses are offered in the program by Molloy to assist teachers in meeting most of the Content and Pedagogical Core course requirements. We also offer undergraduate courses to fulfill the Language other than English (including American Sign Language) requirement.

The following Molloy courses will be offered to meet the requirements of the Individual Pathway in these areas:

Content Core

-
College Coursework - "Linguistics" is met by:  EDU 540; An Introduction to Linguistics, 3 graduate credits

- College Coursework - "English Grammar" is met by:  EDU 542; The Structure and Application of American English, 3 graduate credits

- College Coursework - Language other than English (including American Sign Language) - This is what is typically known as the foreign language requirement. Molloy offers undergraduate courses to meet the languages other than English requirement at the same discounted $900 per course rate. These courses are only offered in a tradation classroom format (no online or hybrid schedules are offered). The courses can be found in the "Schedule of Classes" section on the TESOL main page.

Any of the 12 credits required can be taken on either the undergraduate or graduate level, as long as they were taken for college credit. If you have already taken 12 college credits in your past, that's great. However, if you do not have all 12 credits then we would suggest that you either take the courses that we have identified in our "Schedule of Classes" section or that you go to a community college to fulfill the requirement.  Just make sure that the courses have the Language other than English course letter code (SPA= Spanish, FRN= French, etc). All 12 credits do not have to be in the same language and American Sign Language can also be used towards the requirement.

If you are proficient in Spanish, French or German, you may also take CLEP exams to fulfill the requirement. Visit https://clep.collegeboard.org/exams for additional information on CLEP exams.

There is also an alternative assessment for languages not assessed by the CLEP exam (Italian, Turkish, etc.) through the American Council on Education (ACE).  If you are interested, please visit  ACE at: https://www.languagetesting.com/american-council-on-education.

It is important to note that, besides CLEP and ACE exams, you must be able to produce a college transcript of the courses taken. If you took a placement test for a foreign language in college and were waived out of a lower level course and placed into a higher level course, NYS will not give you credit for the course that you were waived out of. Similarly, if you took a college-level course in high school but it was not offered through a college for college-credit and you cannot produce a college transcript for the course, NYS will not give you credit for the course.  

Pedagogical Core

- College Coursework - "Teaching Literacy Skills Methods" is met by: EDU 543; Interdisciplinary Teaching Methods and English Language Arts for PK-12 English Language Learners*, 3 graduate credits, *Based on our experience, most teachers who have recently graduated from college have taken a Literacy course. It has been our experience that most teachers may have already completed the Literacy requirement, which can be met by taking EDU 543.  If you graduated from either an undergraduate or graduate teacher education program within NYS within the past 12 years or so, you would have this in your background. NYS put it in as a requirement that every teacher education program have a least one 3-credit Literacy course. Most of the teachers enrolled in the TESOL program have this course in their background. Therefore, EDU 543 is only offered at our Rockville Centre or Suffolk Center locations during the summer. 

- College Coursework- "Methods of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" requires six (6) credits so it is met by taking the following two courses: EDU 514; Teaching English Language Learners, 3 graduate credits and EDU 544; PK-12 TESOL Teaching Practices and Assessment in the Content Areas, 3 graduate credits.

Please note that not every course will be offered every semester. For additional information, e-mail either: lcino@molloy.edu or smgordon@molloy.ed

For additional information, e-mail either: lcino@molloy.edu or smgordon@molloy.edu