Elementary & ESL Education

Who is the typical student?

Our future elementary English as a Second Language (EC-6/ESL) teachers are passionate about working with children in urban elementary schools.  Many are motivated to be the teacher they had or wish they had… the teacher who helps students learn to read in English, win the school science fair, find passion for theater, or overcome academic challenges.

Our future EC-6/ESL teachers make up one of the largest groups in our program and the degree’s flexibility is ideal for students bringing in lots of transfer credits.

At UNT Dallas, there’s no one model of the ideal teacher.  Our future EC-6/ESL teachers enjoy learning across content areas, using play to make learning accessible, reflecting on their own practice, and being responsible for others.

It’s a big job and they’re up for the challenge.  Because ESL is a high needs area, students have access to many scholarships to support their education and certification.

Learn More: Connect with a current student or a current teacher

What will you learn?

Courses in history, science, math, english, the arts, language development, and teacher education will prepare you for certification.  As you progress, courses focus on teaching methods and include time in elementary schools working with students under the supervision of a faculty member. 

By your senior year, students are in the field at least one day a week in our partner districts, including Dallas ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Uplift Education, Mesquite ISD, De Soto ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, Irving ISD. This time allows students to grow with coaching and to build a professional network.  Many students also discover that they want to teach a different grade than they expected!

Learn More: Review the program course catalogue or connect with a pre-admissions advisor on questions about transfers

What are the steps to certification?

The path to certification includes student teaching, a criminal background check, and passing your four certification exams.  Sound like a lot? Don’t worry. Your entire program is set up to support you in being successful.

Learn More: Connect with EC-6 Bilingual/ESL program coordinator, Dr. Patsy Sosa-Sanchez, or learn more about certification testing

What do starting career prospects look like?

Students are highly sought after for jobs because of the high need for ESL teachers.  Starting salaries in N. Texas are just above $50,000 a year with health and retirement benefits. Because of their clinical teaching experience, many teachers interview and receive preliminary offers before graduation.  Learn more about the job market

How can this degree help you grow a career over time?

Teacher certification can launch a robust career.  Some teachers stay in the school setting, advancing their career by becoming a master reading or math teacher, instructional coach, curriculum writer, or even, administrator.  After successfully teaching over several years, others take their skills outside of schools to become tutors, educational sales reps, consultants, business owners, or policy advisors.  Learn more about career paths and design a roadmap