Academic Catalog

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) K-12 Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

A Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) K-12 is designed for K-12 school personnel who wish to advance their professional development and enhance their knowledge and expertise in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) but are not seeking a masters degree.  

This is a non-degree program and it does not grant the State of South Carolina add-on Teaching Certificate in ESOL. The courses included in the program do cover areas currently listed in the South Carolina Teacher Certification Manual for a K-12 ESOL Certification in the State of South Carolina. Teachers with knowledge and skill in teaching second language learners are needed at every grade level. ESOL endorsement may be added to any certificate: early childhood, elementary, middle grades, secondary, special education, or physical education. Additional courses may be needed in order to meet all certification requirements depending on a candidate’s academic background. Please consult the SDE Certification Office if in need of additional information. Certification regulations may be changed by the State of South Carolina.  

USC Upstate Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in ESOL program is not designed for the purpose of initial teacher certification.

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in ESOL program requires:

  1. Successful completion of an approved program of study providing 15 hours of graduate credit, of which at least 80 percent must be earned in courses numbered 700 or above (the remainder may be in courses numbered 500-699). 

For the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in ESOL program, a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) is required on the total Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program with a minimum average of B on all 700-800 level courses. An accumulation of grades below B on any 12 hours of graduate work attempted at the University will disqualify a student for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. Professional development courses may be considered as part of a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program if the coursework is consistent with the program. Questions should be directed to the Director of Graduate Programs.

No academic program of study can be approved until the student has been admitted to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program. Students are cautioned that graduate credit earned prior to full admission to degree candidacy may not be applicable toward the certificate requirements. No more than 3 hours may be transferred into the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in the ESOL program. A maximum of 6 hours of reduced tuition rate courses (standard graduate-level contract courses) may be accepted. Each academic unit must approve the inclusion of reduced tuition rate graduate-level course work on the program of study. The program of study should be established immediately after admission to the program; the program of study is completed with a student's assigned advisor or the Director of Graduate Programs.

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in the ESOL program is offered in a 12 consecutive month sequence. These graduate level courses will be offered in the day during the first summer session and late in the afternoon during fall and spring semesters, making the program accessible to individuals who are in-service teachers. The fall and spring courses require practicum experiences; students must work directly with speakers of other languages either in after-school or weekend programs to meet course expectations. Though the rotation of courses will remain constant, graduate candidates may elect to complete their program at a slower pace, as long as the program is completed within three years.

Required Courses

I. Specialized Preparation
ENSL U708Introduction to Linguistics3
ENSL U718Techniques for Teaching English to K-12 Second Language Learners3
ENSL U728Literacy Instruction for K-12 Second Language Learners3
ENSL U760Practicum in Teaching English to K-12 Second Language Learners 13
II. Elective
Select one of the following:3
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in Education
Assessment of Second Language Learners 2
Enhancing Learning Environments for Diverse Cultures
Total Hours15

Practicum hours are split and are corequisites for ENSL U718 Techniques for Teaching English to K-12 Second Language Learners and ENSL U728 Literacy Instruction for K-12 Second Language Learners.


Also requires one corequisite practicum hour

Additional Requirements for the State of South Carolina Add-On Teaching Certificate in ESOL

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Initial or professional certificate at the elementary, middle, secondary or pre-K–12 level
  • Minimum qualifying score(s) on the South Carolina content area examination(s) required by the State Board of Education
  • Second language learning experiences documented by any one of the following:
    • six semester hours in a single second language;
    • completion of intensive language training by the Peace Corps, the Foreign Service Institute or the Defense language Institute;
    • placement in a third-year-level course in the foreign language department at an accredited college or university; or
    • demonstration of second-language proficiency in a language that is unavailable at accredited institutions through verification in writing from an official designated by the State Department of Education.

For the purpose of the State of South Carolina add-on Teaching Certificate in ESOL the Practicum may be waived based on one year’s experience teaching ESOL.

From State Department of Education updated July 2012.