1. Can my GATE CITY coursework go toward a Master’s degree?
Please remember that the ESOL certification program is not a degree program. However, UNH has an M.Ed in Educational Studies program that allows students to develop a 12-16 credit focus area. Any GC participant interested in this program should apply to the graduate school no later than the middle of the third GC course. Why? GC participants are considered “continuing ed” students. With this status only 12 credits can be transferred into a UNH graduate degree program. If you do not apply to the M.Ed in ES program until after you complete GC, you can only transfer in 12 credits–not the full 17-20 that you will take as a GC participant. Tuition for a matriculating graduate student is higher than the continuing ed rate. the grant only pays for the continuing ed rate of tuition but you may be eligible for reimbursement from the school district.
For more info on the M.Ed in ES go to the website:
2. How much time will I spend on homework each week?
In addition to team meetings, plan on spending around 6 hours on homework each week. If you are spending 10+ hours a week, every week on homework, please arrange a meeting with the project manager. She may be able to help you assess the effectiveness of your homework strategies.
3. How many hours do I have to do for my practicum?
The GC program is designed so that practicum experiences are integrated into all five semesters of the program. The ESOL cert only program at UNH is competency-based so the emphasis for participants is on demonstrating that they have met these competencies. The final semester of the program is dedicated to synthesizing participants’ learning, compiling the final portfolio, and if necessary, completing additional field work/classroom practice needed to meet the requirements. Much of your practicum-related experience/meeting of competencies will be embedded over the course of the semesters.
3. Where will I do my practicum?
That is up to you but if you have English learners in your classroom, you will be able to do a significant amount of practicum experiences in your own classroom. Just keep in mind that the program is competency-based and several of the competencies are related to demonstrating success in planning and implementing ELL instruction that helps student develop their language proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. If you do not have a classroom that allow you to do this, you will have to find a setting that will allow this. Not to worry! Often this is accomplished by working with the ELL teacher in your school or in an after school program or adult ESOL program. We encourage GC participants to take active responsibility for generating and pursuing possibilities.
4. Why do I have to have semesters of a foreign language or prove second language proficiency?
This is a requirement from the state in order to apply for state certification. It is based on the notion that your experiences (struggles, triumphs, etc!) with learning a second language will give you a better understanding of the second language acquisition process and be more empathetic towards your ELLs and their families. This is a state requirement. UNH cannot waive this requirement. The current requirement is 4 years high school study of a world language (the same language for 4 years) or 1 year (two semesters) of the same language at the university level. American Sign Language is included.