Urban Education MS: English as a Second Language Concentration

School of Urban Education
Graduate degree

About this program

Expand your credentials to serve the needs of increasing immigrant and refugee populations to learn English for success in school and life. Gain an additional Minnesota teaching license for grades K-12 ESL and your Masters degree. Our flexible program also allows you to complete only the additional K12 ESL licensure program if you are not interested in the Masters, or only the Masters degree without licensure if you just want more understanding and skill in working with English learners of any age.

Our approach to teacher education focuses on preparing diverse, reflective and resilient teachers who are outstanding in their commitment to teaching urban youth and creating equitable educational opportunities. While this program is primarily designed to meet the needs of urban elementary, middle and high schools for licensed ESL teachers who can improve students' educational achievement, others who work with English learners outside of the K-12 school setting will find this concentration worthwhile in our Urban Education Masters degree.

Program accreditation

This program is accredited by the Minnesota Professional Education and Licensing Standards Board (PELSB) to meet the Standards of Effective Practice for Beginning Teachers as part of the requirements for being licensed to teach in a specific subject area.

Student outcomes

Students successfully completing this program will meet the following standards for ESL licensure:

  • understands a variety of methods, techniques, and program models suitable for second language instruction with diverse learners including adapting existing materials to meet the needs of English learners.
  • uses various content-based methodologies and integrates language acquisition and use of language functions across learning experiences to facilitate full inclusion of English learners in the school setting.
  • communicates successfully with students, parents, colleagues, and community members.
  • understands communication instruction in the second language context and the importance of developing communication skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing across the curriculum.
  • understands and uses formal and informal second language assessment techniques with criteria to determine appropriate placement and to evaluate the progress of English learners.
  • understands the contributions of general and applied linguistics to second language education.
  • understands the fundamentals of the first and second language acquisition processes and their similarities and differences.
  • understands how the historical, social, and political aspects of language and cultural patterns in the United States influence second language instruction.
  • understands the teaching of English as a second language that integrates understanding of English as a second language with the teacher's understanding of pedagogy, students, learning, classroom management, and professional development.

Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

Earned Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution with a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Students seeking additional K12 licensure must already possess a current Minnesota teaching license in another field.

Application instructions

Application deadlines

United States applicants

Apr 1 - Summer semester
Jul 1 - Fall semester
Dec 1 - Spring semester

International students 

No Summer Admissions
May 1 - Fall semester
Sep 1 - Spring semester

NOTE: Applications are accepted throughout the year, but early applications are encouraged to ensure classes are available.

Application file

A complete application file consists of two parts. Begin the application process by first applying online using the online graduate application. Once you've applied online you can log in to the Applicant Portal using your StarID and password at any time and upload your remaining documents, submit your references, and check on the status of your application. All application materials become the property of Metropolitan State University and are not returned.

Part one

  • Online Graduate Programs Application. Please note you will need a Minnesota State StarID to complete the application. If you don't have a StarID, you will create one at the beginning of the application.
    • If you do not have or choose not to provide your Social Security number (SSN) you will need to follow the No SSN instructions to activate your StarID.
    • If you encounter difficulty with the online application, email graduate.studies@metrostate.edu
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee; pay online
    • Waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University and for certified veterans and active military.
  • Official Transcripts
    • For those applicants that were previously admitted to Metropolitan State University we will reuse official transcripts that we received IF they were electronically imaged at that time; if they were not, we will inform you of the transcripts we still need.
    • Any course work completed elsewhere AFTER attending Metropolitan State University will require an official transcript.
    • Submit official transcripts showing a baccalaureate degree or higher earned from an accredited institution with grade-point average or narrative description describing courses completed.
    • Transcripts from ALL schools attended after high school and from any graduate or professional programs are required.
    • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher for full admission (GPAs of 2.5 to 2.74 may be considered for conditional admission)
    • All transcripts from non-U.S. schools must be evaluated (course-by-course) by either ECE (preferred) or WES.
    • Electronic transcripts (preferred) sent to graduate.studies@metrostate.edu
    • Paper transcripts sent directly from the sending institution (preferred) to:
    • Metropolitan State University
      Attn: Graduate Admissions
      700 East Seventh Street
      Saint Paul MN 55106

Part two

After you have submitted your online application, log in to the Applicant Portal using your StarID and password to upload application materials, and check on the status of your application.  The Applicant Portal will indicate missing application items.

Applicants who previously earned full graduate admission to the Urban Teacher Program seeking 5-12 licensure are not required to provide part two documents. All other applicants must submit the following:

  • One Professional Reference: submit reference contact information using the online application.
    • The reference should be a person familiar with the quality of your work as a student, as a teacher or other work related to diverse youth/communities. Personal references will not be considered. Applicants should remind their references of the application deadline when speaking with them.
    • Once submitted, references will receive a "no-reply" email from Minnesota State with a link to the recommendation form. References should check junk mail if the email is not in their inbox.
    • The link is good for 60 days, however, the application deadline may be sooner.
  • Resume: Upload
    • Include work and volunteer experience related to urban education and diverse communities
    • Include titles of teaching license(s) earned (if any), state issued, and license number
  • Letter of Application: Upload
    • Stating which of the following concentrations you are interested in completing and why
      • Curriculum, Pedagogy and Schooling (non-licensure)
      • English as a Second Language (for additional licensure or non-licensure)
      • Special Education (for additional ABS licensure or non-licensure)
      • Secondary Education Teacher Preparation (for grades 5-12 licensure to teach English Language Arts, Life Science/General Science, Mathematics, or Social Studies)
    • Explaining how the MS-Urban Education would contribute to your professional growth and professional goals or interests, especially in relation to the School of Urban Education's Vision and Mission
      • Information about your experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse youth in urban settings and what you have learned from these experiences
    • Plan/strategy for completing the master's degree
    • Letters of application should be typed with 1.5-2.0 line spacing and a total of 1-2 pages in length. The letter serves as a demonstration of your writing skills and will be judged on both content and professionalism in writing mechanics needed for a master's degree candidate

Part three - international students only

In addition to parts one and two, international applicants in the U.S. or abroad, on any type of visa, are required to provide this information for admission to the university.

  • Proof of English proficiency (official TOEFL or IELTS score)
    • Minimum scores: TOEFL 80 IBT, 213 CBT, 550 PBT or IELTS 6.5
    • IBT=internet based; CBT=computer based; PBT=paper based
  • Financial statement (F1 visa only)
  • Immunization records
  • Copies of passport, visa, I-94, and international home address and phone numbers

Visit International Student Services graduate admissions for part three details.

Submit materials to the Graduate Studies Office via mail using the mailing address below or by email to graduate.studies@metrostate.edu
 

Questions about applying to the Master of Science in Urban Education?

Questions about the online application, fee, transcripts, references, and document upload feature can be sent to graduate.studies@metrostate.edu (preferred) or you can call 612-659-7150.

Questions about Part Two requirements or the program, in general, can be sent to paul.spies@metrostate.edu (preferred) or you can call 651-999-5929.

Contact Information
Graduate Studies Office
MEC Building, Office 4003
1300 Harmon Place
Minneapolis Campus
612-659-7150

Mailing address:
1501 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Email address: graduate.studies@metrostate.edu

Master of Science in Urban Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 100A
Saint Paul, MN 55108
651-999-5920

Email address: urban.education@metrostate.edu

 

Program requirements

Field experiences (5-15 hours) are required for most core courses, and practicum courses (EDU 656, 657, 658) each require a minimum of 25 hours for those seeking licensure.   

Student licensure

This is not an initial licensure program. Students seeking additional K12 licensure must already possess a current Minnesota teaching license in another field before completing this program and being recommended for this additional licensure. Passing the MTLE content test for ESL licensure is required.

Course requirements

Prerequisites

Students only seeking the masters (without licensure) do not need EDU 483.

LING 316 The Nature of Language

4 credits

This course introduces students to the study of how language is acquired and learned, concepts and methods of analyzing language, and how the linguistics field relates to regional, social and gender differences in language. It also explores the origin and development of languages through time, writing systems, and the complexities of written and spoken language.

Full course description for The Nature of Language

EDU 483 Foundations of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

3 credits

This course explores the fundamentals of reading instruction. The course provides Early Childhood and pre service k-6 teachers with knowledge of the foundations of the reading and writing process, strategies and curriculum materials to support reading and writing instruction, assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction, and create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing.

Full course description for Foundations of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

Requirements

Core (22 credits)

These courses are required for all students in the program, whether interested in earning licensure, masters or both. (Metropolitan State graduates who have completed EDU 400 and/or EDU 435 may substitute electives for these courses if needed to earn 34 graduate credits for the degree, but they do not have to complete EDU 614 and/or EDU 635 for licensure.)

EDU 614 Literacy Education in Urban Schools - Advanced Theory and Practice

3 credits

This course explores advanced theory and practice to support academic literacy among urban learners in secondary classrooms. First, through readings, discursive presentations, and applied exercises, participants in this course will acquire techniques to assist struggling readers and writers. Alongside these skills, course participants will learn how to engage secondary urban learners in assuming responsibility for literacy self-development. Third, the course will include review and development of a variety of materials to teach diverse middle and high school students whose reading and developmental levels vary widely.

Full course description for Literacy Education in Urban Schools - Advanced Theory and Practice

EDU 635 Teaching Assessing ELL Students in Content-Advanced Theory and Practice

3 credits

This course includes an examination of theory, research, and practice regarding the process of second language acquisition and various strategies for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) subject matter content in urban K-12 classrooms. Prospective and current urban teachers will learn how to modify mainstream course materials and instructional strategies so that ELL students can engage in course content while simultaneously developing their English language skills. Course activities and expectations include demonstrating teaching strategies; developing lesson modifications; evaluating textbooks and other materials and resources available in the field; and examining issues in testing students of limited English proficiency for placement, diagnosis, exit, and evaluation. There is a requirement of a 10-hour field experience in urban setting involving classroom participant-observations and working with an ELL student.

Full course description for Teaching Assessing ELL Students in Content-Advanced Theory and Practice

EDU 651 Immigrants and Refugees in Urban Schools

3 credits

This course examines the experience of students in grades K-12 who are immigrants or refugees (or their relatives) living in urban communities, particularly within the Twin Cities. The historical and contemporary push and/or pull factors that contributed to families from various countries and cultures recently coming to the United States will be examined. Important similarities and differences between the experiences and status of immigrants and refugees will also be studied. Particular challenges encountered within the U.S. will be explored, as well as examples of resiliency, achievement, and community resources. Students will gain the understanding of different cultural practices; benefits of bilingual education; how the larger community and the socio-cultural framework shape communication with parents; and how the urban environment conditions may influence learning. Critical issues in urban multilingual immigrant and refugee communities will be discussed. Graduate-level…

Full course description for Immigrants and Refugees in Urban Schools

EDU 652 Theories and Methods of Language Learning

3 credits

This course starts with the fundamentals of the first and second language acquisition, and differences between child, adolescent, and adult language acquisition. Students will learn and demonstrate strategies to develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing across the K-12 curriculum. Other topics are: differences between literacy development in the first language and the second language and implications for teaching English learners; and communication techniques that enhance student learning. Students will become familiar with a variety of methods, approaches, techniques, and programs; and will investigate issues related to the full inclusion of English learners in the school setting; and that both language learning and subject matter learning are essential to student success. The teaching of reading and writing across the curriculum will be emphasized, as well as the use of technology. Urban field experience in grades K-12 is part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Theories and Methods of Language Learning

EDU 653 Assessment and Curriculum for English Learners in Urban Schools

4 credits

This course includes formal and informal second language assessment techniques to determine placement and to evaluate the progress of English learners in grades K-12. It also addresses criteria for determining the readiness to enter and exit English proficiency programs. Students will gain an understanding of the characteristics and limitations of second language assessment, including the ones for placement in gifted and special education programs; they will learn item and test construction methods appropriate for students with limited English proficiency; and how to administer, interpret, and explain test results to parents and colleagues; rubrics and standards alignment with district goals. Other topics are: curriculum development related to the English learners; program planning; connecting schooling experiences with everyday life, the workplace, and further education; involving the community; purpose of co-curricular and extracurricular activities; and best practices. Urban field…

Full course description for Assessment and Curriculum for English Learners in Urban Schools

EDU 654 The Urban ESL Professional

1 credits

This course examines the roles and responsibilities of the urban ESL teacher. Students will develop the ability to communicate successfully with English learners in grades K-12, their parents, colleagues, and urban community members. Other topics include bilingualism, multilingualism, resources for continual professional development, classroom management, and working effectively with colleagues and the community to support student learning.

Full course description for The Urban ESL Professional

Core practicum for licensure (3 credits)

These courses are only required for students interested in earning the additional K-12 English as a Second Language Licensure. (Students interested in Masters degree only are not required to take these three courses.)

EDU 656 Elementary ESL Practicum

1 credits

This practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 25 hours practical field experience working with ELL students in an urban K and/or elementary school. Urban ESL teacher candidates will have the opportunity to reflectively apply knowledge, theories and skills in learned in coursework. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for the ESL license.

Full course description for Elementary ESL Practicum

EDU 657 Middle School ESL Practicum

1 credits

This practicum is designed to give urban ESL teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 25 hours practical field experience working with ELL students in an urban middle school. Urban ESL teacher candidates will have the opportunity to reflectively apply knowledge, theories and skills in learned in coursework. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for the ESL license.

Full course description for Middle School ESL Practicum

EDU 658 High School ESL Practicum

1 credits

This practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 25 hours practical field experience working with ELL students in an urban high school. Urban ESL teacher candidates will have the opportunity to reflectively apply knowledge, theories and skills in learned in coursework. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for the ESL license.

Full course description for High School ESL Practicum

Additional Core Courses for Master's Degree Completion (16 credits)

These courses are only required for students interested in earning the Masters degree. (Students interested only in licensure are not required to take these courses) EDU 600 should be taken at the beginning of the program and EDU 670, 688, and 698 are taken at the end of the program

EDU 600 Principles of Urban Education

4 credits

This course is designed for graduate level study and conducted in seminar format. The purpose is to explore the impact of successful teaching of diverse students in urban classrooms. Students in the seminar will examine issues related to urban education mirrored in research, theory, and practice while looking at instructional approaches as reflected in the Standards of Effective Practice. Topics will include but not exclusive to multicultural competencies, curriculum transformation, and teacher dispositions. In addition, students will come to understand the role of the students' family, culture, social class, and ethnicity. The seminar is designed to meet several Standards of Effective Practice for the State of Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT) (State Statute 8700.2000) for all teacher licensing programs.

Full course description for Principles of Urban Education

EDU 670 Advanced Reflective Practice for Urban Educators

4 credits

This course examines the important role of critical reflection for the professional development and effectiveness of urban teachers in their efforts to provide equitable educational opportunities and increase achievement of their diverse students. Various types of reflection will be practiced in critically thinking about the multiple and complex aspects of the teaching and learning process within a racial, socio-economic, cultural, historical, structural and systemic context. The role of urban educators as agents and leaders of change will be examined, in addition to how reflection can be used as a tool to foster change for educational equity. Reflection during the course will lead to identifying a central focus and question for thesis research.

Full course description for Advanced Reflective Practice for Urban Educators

EDU 688 Research Methods in Urban/Cross-Cultural Education

4 credits

The course engages students in the variety of educational research designs, analyses and conceptual frameworks appropriate for research in diverse and urban educational settings. The course examines approaches to research for improving classroom or school practices and/or connections with diverse urban or cross-cultural communities. Research methods learned include responsible conduct of research and human subjects protections, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods along with issues of sampling, measurement, and technical adequacy of observed research results in urban educational settings.

Full course description for Research Methods in Urban/Cross-Cultural Education

EDU 698 Capstone: Conducting Research in Urban Classrooms, Schools and Communities

4 credits

This course provides both an introduction to modes of research and scholarship useful in urban education or other diverse cross-cultural educational settings and an opportunity for applying principles learned to classrooms, schools, or communities. Students develop and complete a culminating project of research to improve an aspect of teaching, student learning, a school program/initiative or a community service and share their findings with others.

Full course description for Capstone: Conducting Research in Urban Classrooms, Schools and Communities