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English as a Second Language Endorsement Certification Program and M.Ed. Option

At Georgian Court University, we’re known for a transformative education that “expands possibility.” By earning your English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement or master’s in education at GCU, you’ll expand possibilities for those whose first language is not English and expand your reach as a culturally sustaining educator.

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Quick Facts


English as a Second Language Endorsement or M.Ed. Option

Average time to complete

One year (endorsement) and two years (M.Ed.)


100% Online; seven-week semesters



Total credits

15 (endorsement) and 30 (M.Ed.)

Time of entry


A teacher and student looking at a laptop computer

English as a Second Language Endorsement Certification Program and M.Ed. Option

GCU’s School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and our English as a Second Language programs are approved by the New Jersey Department of Education.

The graduate ESL program at Georgian Court is designed for certified teachers who wish to obtain an additional endorsement to teach ESL. Our 15-credit English as a Second Language online endorsement program prepares you to teach English learners (ELs) or multilingual learners (MLs) at the level and subject(s) of your instructional certificate (Pre-3, K-6, or K-12). After successfully completing the initial 15 credits, you’ll be eligible to apply for the English as a Second Language endorsement through the New Jersey Department of Education.

If you’re interested in developing advanced professional leadership in serving English learners through academic research and program evaluation, you can earn your M.Ed. in English as a Second Language (ESL) Education by completing five more courses (an additional 15 credits).

The need for ESL teachers throughout New Jersey and the United States is significant. The Brookings Institution reports that English learners are the fastest-growing segment of students in the U.S., comprising 10% of all students. According to International TEFL and TESOL Training, New Jersey has between one and two thousand unfilled ESL teaching jobs. And the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Area Data reported that 32 states experienced ESL teacher or specialist/consultant shortages in 2022-23.

There’s no better place to study for your ESL endorsement than at Georgian Court given our reputation for excellence in education and long history of graduating ethical and compassionate educators. You’ll acquire the knowledge and skills to help English language learners master the content of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS).

Graduate ESL programs at GCU place a strong emphasis on ethical practices and evidence-based learning. You’ll be prepared with the knowledge and skills to teach your students English writing, reading comprehension, listening, and speaking skills.

The English as a Second Language online endorsement and M.Ed. programs focus on the following:

  • Current theories of second language acquisition to evaluate different ESL and bilingual instructional practices.
  • Embracing and understanding culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy as ways to empower bilingual learners.
  • Designing instruction plans and creating assessment instruments to teach multilingual learners.
  • Applying knowledge and theories to action research and best practices in the teaching profession.

Program Information

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program prepares teachers to provide instruction in English to students whose native language is not English and to support these English language learners in mastering the content designated in the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). The ESL program reflects the national Teachers of English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) standards, the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers (NJPST) and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards. It leads to eligibility for endorsement to a New Jersey instructional certification as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. An additional 15 credits are needed beyond the ESL program to qualify for a Master of Education degree.

ESL Program
EDC5021Second Language Acquisition3.0
EDC5022Teaching ESL Through Content3.0
EDC5023Hist & Culture of Multilingual Learners3.0
EDC5026Phonology & Structure of American Eng3.0
EDC5027Literacy for Multilingual Learners3.0
Total Credits15.0

Additional courses required for master’s degree:

EDC5014Methods of Res for Leaders in Incl Sch3.0
EDC5002Diversity in Inclusive Education3.0
EDC5024Second Language Education Curriculum3.0
EDC6095Project Applied Thesis I3.0
EDC6099Project Applied Thesis II3.0
Total Credits15.0

For more information on program requirements, consult the Graduate Catalog.

Denise Furlong

Dr. Denise Furlong

Assistant Professor
Director of Advanced Programs for Reading Specialist & ESL
School of Education

Ed.D. in Literacy Education with a Concentration in ELs Rutgers University

“As a lifelong educator and advocate, I have always fervently maintained that all educational decisions must be made with the learners’ needs as the top priority. When I came to Georgian Court University, it has been my mission to not only meet the diverse needs of the candidates in our program but also prepare them to be culturally sustaining educators for their own students. In our ESL and bilingual/bicultural endorsement programs, we provide the opportunity to be mentored by faculty who are knowledgeable and passionate about theory and practice concerning multilingual learners. We are extremely proud of this program, and we look forward to preparing you on your journey in ‘expanding possibilities’ for both you and your students.”

207 Raymond Hall West

If you’re interested in our English as a Second Language program, here are other programs you might want to explore at GCU:

Why Earn Your English as a Second Language Endorsement or M.Ed. at GCU?

Georgian Court’s graduate education programs focus on leading and educating each student into developing their full potential as an educator. Faculty are dedicated to ensuring students succeed in the program by providing support, flexibility, and additional individualized attention to students.

A teacher looking at a book with a young boy

Here are more reasons why you should Earn Your English as a Second Language Endorsement or M.Ed. at GCU

Highly Educated and Experienced Program Director

GCU’s director of advanced programs for ESL, Denise Furlong, Ed.D, Ed.M., has taught multilingual learners for almost 25 years in grades ranging from K-12. She released four publications in 2022 and has presented at six conferences in the field. One of her publications, Voices of Newcomers: Experiences of Multilingual Learners, won the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society’s 2023 Educator Book Award.

Faculty with Real-World Experience

Our faculty have experience as ESL and bilingual teachers who have served as coaches, advocates, liaisons, mentors, and teacher educators in New Jersey. You’ll learn real-world application of theory and benefit from their experience.

Learning that’s Convenient, Flexible, Responsive

All courses are offered 100% online in an asynchronous format. There is an option for live virtual sessions that provide the support students need to prepare for teaching multilingual learners. Each course is a flexible seven-week format so you can focus on one course at a time. Office hours are virtual and at convenient times. GCU’s ESL cohorts are small (typically 10-12 students) providing a personalized, effective learning environment that fosters lifelong professional connections.

Acknowledged for Strong Outcomes

In a recent study, Georgian Court's online graduate education programs were ranked #13 nationally on GradReports' 25 Best Online Master's in Education Degree Programs 2020 list. The study was based on median salary of alumni one year after graduation.

Valued-Added Outcomes

GCU’s Graduate School of Education is devoted to our core values of respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service which are woven through each course and every aspect of our educational experience. At GCU, students, faculty, and staff see themselves as something bigger than themselves and recognize their ability and responsibility to change the world as individuals and as a community.

Affordability and Value

GCU’s English as a Second Language endorsement and master’s programs are among the most affordable in New Jersey at $820 per credit hour. GCU is an outstanding value given the personalized attention, responsiveness, and relevant experience of our faculty.

Teacher teaching students in a classroom

What Can You Do with an English as a Second Language Endorsement or M.Ed.?

When you receive your Teacher of English as a Second Language endorsement from the New Jersey Department of Education, you’ll be qualified to teach multilingual learners at the level and subject(s) of your instructional certificate.

Teacher of English as a Second Language Jobs

ESL teachers are in high demand in New Jersey and throughout the nation. Zippia.com reported over 1,068 job openings in New Jersey and over 63,800 openings in the U.S. (June 2023).  Job growth is projected to increase 3% from 2018-2028.

English as a Second Language Teacher Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median wage for all ESL teachers was $59,720 in May 2021. Zippia.com reported that ESL teachers in New Jersey average $61,082 per year. Indeed.com reported New Jersey ESL teachers earn 10% above the national average.

A recent (July 2023) sampling of ESL teacher jobs and salaries in public schools in New Jersey on Indeed.com are as follows:

  • Newark, NJ – $62,000 – $104,500
  • Camden, NJ – $45,000 – $68,000
  • Paterson, NJ – $60,735 – 104,909
  • Somerset, NJ – $55,000 – $75,000
  • New Brunswick, NJ – $72,400 – $91,700
"Personally, I recommend the English as a Second Language program at GCU due to the many positive experiences I encountered from working collaboratively to build knowledge. The support and background knowledge of my instructors helped me develop critical thinking skills by implementing my professional experiences."
Female Placeholder
Romina Machado-Candela
ESL/Spanish Teacher
Barnegat High School

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