ESOL Institute

ESOL Institute image of multi-ethnic group of elementary school children

Professional Development
with Option for Graduate Credit

PK-12 teachers can apply to be part of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Institute and earn an Arkansas Department of Education Professional Development Certificate in Teaching English Learners. An ADE grant will cover the cost of professional development.


The ESOL Institute will provide PK-12 teachers with training to meet the educational needs of students for whom English is a second language. The U of A College of Education and Health Professions will select 100 PK-12 teachers to participate in the Institute, based on predetermined criteria such as percentage of ELs in the district/school/classroom. ADE selected the U of A as one of three institutions in the state to provide ESOL Institutes in 2018.

Participants will attend intensive six-day summer workshops, attend four follow-up workshops during the 2019-20 academic year, and complete online work. There will be one Friday in the fall for which teachers will need to take a personal day. There are a total of 100 face-to-face contact hours - 60 hours during the summer and 40 hours during the fall and spring semesters. Online work will cover four modules, and students are expected to take about 18 to 20 hours to complete each module.

Participants who successfully complete the workshops and online modules  can earn Arkansas Department of Education Professional Development Certificates in Teaching English Learners. Those who successfully complete the program also will be eligible to apply for a $600 stipend from ADE.

Frequently Asked Questions  (below)


Academic Graduate Credit Option

In addition to earning the ADE professional development certificate, Institute participants can choose to apply for admission to the U of A and pay tuition (discounted through the grant) to earn 12 hours of academic credit for the following graduate courses:

  • CIED 5923 Second Language Acquisition
  • CIED 5933 Second Language Methods
  • CIED 5953 Second Language Assessment
  • CIED 5943 Teaching People of Other Cultures

These 12 credit hours will partially fulfill requirements for an ESL endorsement for teaching licensure from ADE. Teachers must send their transcripts AND passing scores on the ESL Praxis 5362 to receive the ESL endorsement from ADE. Tuition and fees will be $2,676.28 plus a $60 graduate admission fee. The $60 graduate admission fee is due during application to the U of A by May 24, 2019. You will be enrolled in four consecutive eight week classes. Two during the fall 2019 semester and two during the spring 2020 semester. Tuition of $1,338.14 will be due by August 23, 2019, January 10, 2020, or the day you register for the second 8 weeks of the semester. Payment plans are available through the U of A Treasurer's Office.

Those who successfully complete the academic graduate credit option, which includes the requirements for the professional development certification, also will be eligible to apply for a $600 stipend from the Arkansas Department of Education.

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Cohort 1

  • June 3-8, 2019
  • Sept 27, 2019
  • Sept 28, 2019
  • Oct 26, 2019
  • Jan 11, 2020


Breakfast will be served daily from 7:30 am to 8:00 am, and snacks are provided. Classes meet daily 8 am to 6 pm with a working lunch. 

 Workshop Location

Perry Professional Development Center
1457 E. Robinson Ave.
Springdale, AR


Frequently Asked Questions

Students must be inservice teachers who have a teaching contract for 2018-19 in an Arkansas public school PK-12.
Books, materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks are included. Overnight lodging will be provided to participants who must drive more than an hour each way to the face-to-face site. Dinner and transportation are not included.
Yes, there is a wait list.
Yes you will be notified if you are on the waitlist. As seats become available, you will be notified, up to the time the institute starts—by June 4 for the first cohort and by June 18 for second cohort.
Attendance is mandatory. If you cannot commit to the dates outlined, you should not apply at this time.
In the past, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) paid for the tuition and fees. They are no longer doing that. However, the tuitions and fees are deeply discounted and we have provided an additional $800 scholarship for tuition and fees. The ADE is planning to offer a $600 stipend to those that complete the professional development, which you could use toward the tuition and fees.
This is a specially discounted rate agreed upon by the university for this grant since the Arkansas Department of Education is paying for professional development administrative costs, presenters, books, supplies, and instructor of record.
If you are accepted into the Institute, you will be asked about food allergies. Vegetarian options are included in the buffet style breakfast and lunch.
We plan to run the program in 2019 and 2020 in addition to 2018.
The coursework is the same for both options with one exception. Professional development only participants will not attend the ESOL PRAXIS review day in January and are not required to take the PRAXIS exam. The estimated hours for the professional development only option are 172. The estimated hours for the graduate credit option are 200. Those students who choose the graduate credit option will earn the ESL endorsement on their Arkansas Teaching License.
You must choose one or the other, professional development only or graduate credit. All students will earn the Arkansas Department of Education Certificate for professional development hours in ESOL.
Please be sure that you have read all the information provided in the application before asking questions. If you ask a question that is covered in the application, you will be referred back to the application. For additional questions, email Judy Hobson, the Project Director, at or call her at 479-530-2846.