English as a Second Language (ESL) » ESL Certification Program

ESL Certification Program

Online Professional Development 

PDE Approved! ESL Certification 

Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit 27 (BVIU) is offering online English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist certification courses. ESL courses also fulfill the PDE requirements of Act 48 (post-baccalaureate credits) and level II certification. ESL courses are PDE approved graduate level courses. Applications for the 2024-2025 Cohort should be received by August 30, 2024. Classes will start on September 9, 2024. Please see the course schedule below. 

Required Courses
The ESL curriculum consists of the following 6 courses, which shall be taken in sequence. Each course is 3 credits with 90 act 48 hours and includes a 10 hour practicum.

ESL 1: Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language
Prerequisite: PA Instructional I or II teacher certification
ESL 2: Developing Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
Prerequisite: ESL 1, Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language
ESL 3: Observing, Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction
Prerequisite: ESL 2, Developing Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
ESL 4: Language Acquisition and Development
Prerequisite: ESL 3, Observing, Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction
ESL 5: Assessment and Support
Prerequisite: ESL 4, Language Acquisition and Development
ESL 6: English Language Learners, Families, Community, and Professionalism
Prerequisite: ESL 5, Assessment and Support

ESL Course Schedule
Course Scheduled Course Dates
ESL 1 September 9, 2024 - October 18 2024
ESL 2 October 21, 2024 - November 29, 2024
ESL 3 December 2, 2024 - January 10, 2025
ESL 4 January 13, 2025- February 28, 2025
ESL 5 March 3, 2025 - April 11, 2025
ESL 6 April 14, 2025 - May 30, 2025

Above is a schedule for the ESL course offerings. You will start the program in September and complete it by the end of the school year! All of our ESL courses are offered completely online. Each course has built-in flexibility to work around anyone's schedule. Completion of all six courses with a passing grade (65% or above) is required along with ALL field-based components in order to apply to PDE for certification.  Certification is applied for on the PDE TIMS website. All requirements of course components and ESL certification components must be met prior to application for certification.

Field-based Component

Each ESL course in the program includes a field-based component of 10 hours (ESL 1 - 6) for a total of 60 hours. The field experiences are aligned with the course competencies for each course in the program. At the end of the program, there will be culminating final teaching assignment which will include practicum components from all of the six courses.
Admission into the ESL Program
Each application will be evaluated individually. Applicants should have a valid PA teaching certificate and an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Foreign applicants must demonstrate appropriate English proficiency by ACTFL test. Details are provided within the application. After you are admitted to the ESL program, you will be emailed information for registration into the courses. After successfully completing of all of the six courses and the final teaching assignment, candidates will apply to PDE to add the ESL certificate to their existing PA teaching certificate. BVIU will be able to provide support for the process.


The tuition is $2370 for all six courses. $395 will be paid before the beginning of each of the six courses. There is NO application fee for applying to the program.


Combining old (2012) and New (2013) ESL Certification courses

If you have completed prior ESL certification courses prior to 2012 and want to complete your ESL certification, we will need to evaluate your course work. Please send your transcript, course descriptions, proof of ESL teaching experience, and a $100 money order made payable to the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit, attention Curriculum Services.

Direct any question/s about the ESL program and certification to:

Jill Martin [email protected]

(724) 774-7800 x3015