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Education, Literacy Studies, M.Ed. - TESOL emphasis

The College of Education's Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs provide educators with opportunities for professional development and certification renewal. This graduate program is for those interested in transforming the lives of English learners through the teaching of both content and English language.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The Literacy Studies master's degree with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) provides teachers with theoretical and practical knowledge as well as skills needed to teach English learners. The TESOL program focuses on language, cultural issues and their impact on teaching and classroom relationships, ESL methodologies, assessment, and curriculum design.

The TESOL program allows graduates to work in K-12th grade settings. This program has two tracks, Masters of Education degree and English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement

Why Study TESOL at Grand Valley?

  • The program is accredited by the National Council Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • ESL Endorsement program is approved by the Michigan Department of Education.
  • Faculty are experts in their field of study.
  • Students acquire strong field-based experiences in diverse settings.
  • This program is social equity and social justice focused.
  • Program is community impact based.


Grand Valley State University's College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (NCA). The faculty are leaders in their fields, melding together the philosophy of education and your needs as a practitioner.

Location & Format

Classes for this program meet downtown on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus or the GVSU Detroit Center. The hybrid track is a combination of online and in-seat.



All Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs require a minimum of 33 semester hours. TESOL studies include:

  • Assessing English learners' learning outcomes
  • Comprehension instruction
  • Cultural/diversity understanding
  • Curriculum design
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to teaching
  • Language acquisition theory and practice
  • Linguistics particularly for teachers
  • Issues related to teaching English learners beyond classroom
  • TESOL/ESL teaching and learning strategies
  • 21st century TESOL/ESL skills

Skills Employers Want

Literacy studies (TESOL) graduates leave with the following skills:

  • Educational policy and practice
  • Social/cultural foundations of education
  • Research
  • Educational inquiry and evaluation
  • English as a second language
  • Second language methodology
  • Linguistics
  • Explicit language instruction
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Curricular integration

Application Deadline

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis with deadlines for fall semester May 15; winter September 15; and spring/summer February 15. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Visit

For application and other information, please visit

Admission Requirements

All students seeking degree, endorsement, approval, license or certificate change must be formally admitted to graduate study.

A maximum of six graduate credits earned prior to graduate admission may apply to degree requirements.

In addition to university admissions requirements in the GVSU Catalog, students must meet the Master of Education (M.Ed.) Admission Criteria.

  • Application Materials: Graduate application, application fee, official transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended, and copies of teaching/administrative certificates if required for program admission or approved waiver;
  • Recommendations: Three professional or academic recommendations on COE recommendation forms, addressing the candidate’s potential for graduate study;
  • Grade Point Average: Grade point average of 3.0 or better for the last 60 credits of undergraduate work taken from a regionally accredited institution; or
  • Previous Master’s Degree: A prior master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted in lieu of the minimum grade point average.

Candidates should submit materials to GVSU Admissions, Allendale, MI 49401. When all application materials have been received, Admissions will forward the complete portfolio for consideration to the College of Education - Student Information and Services Center. Candidates should allow 4-6 weeks for written notification of their admission status.

Visit the College of Education page for alternate criteria and program policies.

For More Information

College of Education
401C DeVos
(616) 331-6650

Graduate Admissions Office

Program Director

Rui Niu-Cooper, Ph.D.
(616) 331-6669



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