Completion of coursework leads to a demonstration of the knowledge of the fundamental concepts & practices of English as a Second Language instruction/service.
About the Program
- A five-course program for educators who wish to be ESL-certified instructors in Pennsylvania
- Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for ESL Program Specialist Certificate
- Apply courses toward a Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language
- Pennsylvania Act 48
- Penn State is an Act 48-approved provider
Who Should Attend?
Teachers who hold a Pennsylvania Instructional I or Instructional II certificate and currently have an ESL teaching assignment or desire one in the future.
During the academic year, classes are held over a two-weekend format. In the summer, classes are held during the day for one week.
Meet the Instructors
Tara Murphy, B.A., M.Ed.
Tara received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with a minor in Spanish from Arcadia University. She furthered her education by earning her ESL Program Specialist certification through Penn State and her Master's degree in ESL from UAGM (formerly Universidad del Turabo). She has since gone on to become certified in Middle Level English and Secondary English. Tara has been teaching since 1999 in various Pennsylvania school districts with ESL positions ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She has assisted with ESL program development and ESL curriculum writing as well as the addition of adult ESL classes and community outreach programs. Tara began instructing at the post-secondary level for both Penn State and UAGM in 2013.
Pam Croxton, B.A., M.S.Ed.
Pam graduated from Messiah College with a Bachelor’s Degree in English; she also obtained her secondary English teaching certificate while at Messiah. Her first teaching position was in The People’s Republic of China. After returning to the U.S., Pam taught ESL classes and supervised an adult ESL program. Ms. Croxton then accepted an ESL teaching position in a local school district and has taught K-12 ESL in local school districts for 27 years. In 2001, she received her Master’s Degree in TESOL from Shenandoah University and obtained her PA ESL Program Specialist Certification. Pam now oversees and teaches in her current district’s ESL Program. Also, Ms. Croxton has written curriculum for and taught various Penn State ESL Certification courses since 2001. An adjunct professor with Lebanon Valley College, she additionally developed and teaches ESL courses for undergraduate education majors.
Penn State Berks
Classes are held on the campus of Penn State Berks. For more information, email Kathy Cavanaugh or call her at 610-396-6220.
Application and Registration Process
First, interested applicants must apply for the ESL certificate at https://gradschool.psu.edu/.
Second, register for a course by:
- Completing the course registration form on the ESL Course Schedule page, or
- Fax 610-396-6226, or
- Email completed form to Kathy Cavanaugh
For more information about registration, call Kathy at 610-396-6220.