In design and implementation, the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) graduate certificate program inspires students to act on the university mission of servant leadership. In the current 2021-2022 academic year, students and alumni of the program are practicing servant leadership in two clear tangible ways.
During the fall 2021 semester, students in the EDST 6505 TESL Methods I class worked together to construct a website titled, "Confronting Myths about English Learner Students". The website provides public school educators and administrators with "reliable and vetted information they can use to challenge common myths about English Learner (EL) students and their families in public schooling". TESOL graduate students crafted the website from a place of professional advocacy for EL students and their families. As a reliable source of useful information for all involved in public schooling, the website conveys the TESOL program's commitment to servant leadership in education.
Another way the TESOL Program is encouraging servant leadership is in TESOL Ambassadors, a new initiative launched this spring semester. In this initiative, program alumni volunteer to provide newcomer students peer guidance and mentoring. The ambassador further functions as an initial hub of the newcomer's professional network. Although the ambassador commitment is for one semester only, it is predicted that ambassadors and newcomers will remain in contact as professional colleagues for years beyond that initial semester. In their volunteerism and in their service to others, TESOL program alumni exemplify the best principles of servant leadership in the field of education.
The TESOL graduate certificate program prepares current and future classroom teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to teach English to individuals learning English as an additional language. The program provides New Jersey state-certified K-12 teachers with university coursework leading to an additional teaching endorsement in K-12 English as a Second Language (ESL).