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The purpose of the Teaching Multilingual Learners Graduate Certificate is to prepare P-12 educators for effectively serving multilingual learners and their families. Current and future teachers will develop the necessary theory and pedagogy to meet the diverse needs of multilingual learners in their classrooms within early childhood, elementary and secondary school settings as well as in settings with adult learners.

Students must take one required course (3 credit hours) and three advisor-approved elective courses (9 credit hours). Electives allow for differentiation among early childhood, elementary, and secondary education settings as well as setting with adult language learners. This four-course program can be viewed as a micro-credential.

This Graduate Certificate will prepare certificate-seekers with competency in areas such as the following:

  • Second language acquisition theory,
  • Methods, strategies, and techniques that promote language and content learning,
  • Planning and applying effective instruction for multilingual learners
  • Family engagement for diverse families, and
  • Many other areas.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with an overall GPA of 2.5, or they must be a UAB undergraduate student in good standing with 60+ credit hours completed and an overall GPA of 3.0. Applicants do not need to have earned a degree in education or be currently pursuing a degree in education.

All certificate-seekers, including those currently enrolled as degree-seeking students in other UAB programs, must schedule an advising appointment with the ESL Program Director. If prospective students are not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program at UAB, they must also submit a certificate-seeking application for admission to the UAB Graduate School and pay the corresponding application fee.

If undergraduate students meet the certificate admission criteria stated above, they can start the Teaching Multilingual Learners Graduate Certificate while still pursuing their bachelor's degree. However, because of their admission to a Graduate Certificate program, these undergraduate students cannot use the graduate credit hours from this certificate program towards their undergraduate degree. After earning their undergraduate degree and also having earned the Teaching Multilingual Learners Graduate Certificate, alumni will be able to use up to 12 credit hours from their Graduate Certificate towards a master's degree completed within five years of having earned their undergraduate degree.

For More Information

Parent reading a book in a primary classroom with children and teacher seated on floor

Contact Dr. Susan Spezzini
Program Director and Professor of English Learner Education
(205) 934-8357

Graduate Certificate information in Graduate Catalog

Apply to the Graduate School