More than 66,000 English learning students enrolled in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne county schools

Rochester Hills, Mich., April 11, 2018– In 2017, the Michigan Department of Education reported there were 90,000 English learning students, those with English as a second language, enrolled in Michigan’s school systems. Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties accounted for 66,000 of those students. In response to these staggering statistics, Rochester College is now offering an English Second Language (ESL) Endorsementfor K-12 teachers, which provides them with the knowledge and fundamental expertise to efficiently teach students whose first language may not be English.

“If we look at what has created this need for ESL endorsed teachers, we must look at the growth of businesses and immigration into the U.S.,” said Mel Blohm, School of Education dean at Rochester College. “Many of these students have limited English proficiency, and as an Institution, we want to make sure the children in our communities are able to succeed and keep up with their peers. Having teachers that are equipped to teach them the necessary skills to do just that, regardless of what language they speak, is vital to the growth of our country.”

Obtaining an ESL Endorsement provides educators with the ability to meet the diverse language instruction needs of their students. The endorsement is required for teachers in an ESL-specific program, and is a plus to have for those in general education. Depending on the district, those that receive this endorsement could be eligible for a Bachelor of Arts +20 or a Master of Arts pay increase.

“It is critical that these students receive the same education and attention as the other students in their class, not only so they do not fall behind, but from a social aspect as well,” said Karen Gelardi, a dedicated program coordinator and instructor for the ESL Endorsement at Rochester College. “Teachers are instrumental in the growth of their students, and we want them to feel like they have a support system even outside of the home.”

Rochester College is offering a 24 credit hour program, specifically designed for K-12 teachers. The program is a blend of five online and three on-campus courses, which can be completed in one year with a summer practicum. Dedicated ESL instructors are currently teaching the classes, and Rochester College offers competitive tuition rates and small class sizes for more one-on-one support.

Enrollment for the ESL Endorsement at Rochester College is currently open. For more information on courses and how to apply, please visit: rc.edu/ESL