The First CAS Online Master’s Degree

The College of Arts and Sciences is offering its first master’s degree, and it will be a fully online program.

The master’s in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) allows students from around the world to use their local contexts for teaching experience and to accommodate a variety of demands on their time.

“The field for Master of Science in TESOL face-to-face is fairly saturated,” says Matthew Wilson, assistant professor and chair of First Year Experience and English as a Second Language. “So with our strong infrastructure for online learning, we thought this would be a market where we could be one of the pioneers.”

ESL Adjunct Faculty Coordinator Danielle Bergez says online is a good fit for this degree because there is a strong market for ESL instructors overseas. “When students come to the U.S., they do this program face-to-face,” she says, “but when it comes time to do their practice, they find they are practicing in a context unlike what they’ll be teaching in back home. They have to fit what they learned in their program into their local context. Being online, they learn all of the theory and background, and they can use a regional, local and relevant context in which to practice all of the theory, content and methodology.”

The 33-credit degree program provides the groundwork for students to pursue careers in a variety of fields, both in the U.S. and abroad. The courses make it possible for students with some language teaching experience and those new to the field to develop the knowledge and instructional skills needed to be successful English language instructors, tutors and administrators. WU