Applications for admission to the program are made at the Graduate Admissions Office. Students who do not fully meet admission requirements may be required to complete prerequisite courses concurrently with completion of the Certificate Program requirements. Admission is based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria, including the following:
- Possession of a bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 or higher GPA.
- Prior course work in a language in which foreign language education certification will be sought. (See Foreign Language Content Requirements below.)
- Personal statement describing the applicant’s intent and rationale for entering the program.
- Two (2) letters of reference addressing the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching profession and in the teacher education program course work.
- An interview with the coordinator of the program.
The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a student’s potential for success in the program. Candidates may wish to apply even if they do not meet one of the criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience might compensate.
Foreign Language Content Requirements
Students admitted to the M.S.Ed. in Languages Other Than English and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program should possess a bachelor’s degree in Arabic, Chinese/Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish, or a minimum of 36 s.h. in college-level course work above level four, in the respective language distributed over the following areas:
- Culture and civilization - minimum 6 s.h.
- Conversation - minimum 3 s.h.
- Grammar - minimum 3 s.h.
- Composition - minimum 3 s.h.
- Literature - minimum 9 s.h.
- Electives in the target language –minimum 12 s.h.
- Advanced course work in the above areas or special topics such as phonetics, grammar or linguistics (with advisement)
Candidates who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in a foreign language and are native speakers or skilled and proficient in languages other than English may demonstrate their knowledge in an alternative manner. Candidates can earn a maximum of 30 semester hours of credit toward the content core by passing both the oral (OPI) and written (WPT) proficiency portions of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) examination. To pass these two examinations, candidates must be placed in Advanced High or Superior in both the OPI* and the WPT*. As stated in the summary of the American Council on Education (ACE) for Official ACTFL Ratings, the levels Advanced High or Superior in OPI and WPT are worth the equivalent of 14 semester hours each. Please note that these two exams are proctored on campus by a program director in the content area.
In order to fulfill the 36 semester hours requirement in the target language, candidates must take an additional 8 credits on the undergraduate level in the content area above level 4 distributed over the following areas:
- Culture/civilization - 2-3 s.h.
- Grammar - 3 s.h.
- Literature - 3 s.h.
Students who wish to fulfill the credits mentioned above off campus must first seek approval from the director of program support in the School of Education .
Candidates are also required to have a passing score on the following New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE): the Content Specialty Test (CST) in the target language.
*Candidates seeking certification in Chinese or Mandarin meet the content requirements by taking a combination of Mandarin/Chinese OPI and WPT ACTFL exams.
Teacher Certification Requirements
Upon the successful completion of a Hofstra state-approved teacher education program, students are eligible for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. A request for recommendation must be submitted to the Office of Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. There will be opportunities to attend a certification workshop during the student’s final semester, to receive all the necessary information regarding applying for certification. Individuals who apply directly to New York state for certification are responsible for learning about and satisfying the certification requirements set by the state. It should be noted that such requirements may differ from those in Hofstra’s registered programs.
All prospective early childhood (Birth-Grade 2), childhood (Grades 1-6), adolescent (Grades 7-12) and special subject, students with disabilities, gifted, TESOL, bilingual, literacy, speech and language disabilities teachers, as well as school leadership candidates, are required to pass the New York State Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., For state certification requirements, students should consult with the Office of Educational Support Services regarding the appropriate examinations for their area of study.
We anticipate that teacher and school building leader candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014, will be required to take certain new exams. Candidates who graduate and apply for certification on or before April 30, 2014, but do not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, will also be required to pass the new exams. Candidates will not be permitted to mix and match examinations from the old and new tests. Please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at Hofstra University at 516-463-5747 or consult the state website.
In addition to fulfilling the required courses of study, the Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that all prospective teachers, pupil personnel and education leaders receive instructions regarding:
- Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
- Fire and Arson Prevention
- School Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
- Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
- Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification in special education, speech and language disabilities or school administrators working in special education, to have training in the area of children with autism.
Hofstra University offers the above listed educational law seminars through the Office of Educational Support Services. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.
Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.
Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE), requires that applicants for teaching and administrative and pupil services personnel certification and perspective employees of covered schools (school districts, charter schools and BOCES) must undergo fingerprint supported criminal history background check. However, many school districts and institutions across the metropolitan New York area are now requiring that all student teachers, observers, interns or externs receive fingerprint clearance before they are placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for fingerprint clearance upon acceptance to the program. Fingerprinting can be completed through Hofstra University using LIVESCAN technology, arranged by the Office of Educational Support Services each semester. You may contact us at 516-463-5747 or visit Hagedorn Hall, Room 129. You may also register online. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification.