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University-backed courses and programs

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The School of Teaching ESL is an academic TESOL program offered in cooperation with Seattle Pacific University, a private university in Seattle, Washington. Seattle Pacific University is a well-established university which has been a leader in education for nearly 100 years.

Seattle Pacific University is the only private university in the Pacific Northwest to make the 2017 U.S. News and World Report’sBest National Universities” list.

Seattle Pacific University is ranked No. 2 in the category “Best Colleges – Best Value” in the West in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 college rankings.

SPU and The School of Education

Seattle Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The School of Education is additionally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. These are external accrediting bodies that represent the “gold standard” of higher education requirements in the United States.

Seattle Pacific University approves all School of Teaching ESL syllabi to assure that the course content meets university requirements. All School of Teaching ESL instructional staff must hold master’s degrees and must be approved as adjunct faculty at Seattle Pacific University.

The Seattle Pacific University/School of Teaching ESL ELL Endorsement program meets the competencies set forth by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for an ELL Endorsement. (View WA State ESOL standards for an ELL Endorsement). This endorsement is required for public P-12 teachers wishing to be hired as ELL teachers.

National and State Standards

The School of Teaching ESL prepares teachers to work in various settings, including K-12 education and adult education in the United States, as well as settings overseas. With those settings in mind, the School of Teaching ESL uses the following standards and guidelines to inform its courses. Where required, the School of Teaching ESL programs are specifically aligned to those standards (i.e. requirements for the WA State ELL Endorsement).

International Standards

The field of TESOL/TEFL/TESL does not have a uniform, world-wide accreditation process. Standards and requirements will vary from region to region, but there are some common international standards that are generally expected of a quality program (see links below). A reputable language school will require that teachers have completed a program that has been externally evaluated and that the program consists of at least 100 hours of instruction and includes a teaching practice component, usually of six hours or more. Additional degrees, experience, and credentials may be required depending on the institutional setting and state/country requirements.

The School of Teaching ESL is externally evaluated by Seattle Pacific University and meets the expectations of international and U.S. employers. In addition to earning a certificate, all S-TESL students earn Seattle Pacific University post-Bachelor’s credit which can be applied to graduate programs. Students may request transcripts directly from Seattle Pacific University.