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Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education

Program Overview


The certificate in Early Childhood Education (ECE) emphasizes the professional preparation of students at the graduate levels for a range of careers in early childhood education (children ages 0-8) within diverse community contexts. The completion of six Early Childhood Education graduate courses provides preparation for working with young children and their families and communities. This program prepares candidates for a highly specialized role and offers a dynamic combination of state-of-the-art theoretical courses and practical application of learning in field education. You can learn more about the program from the Graduate School.

Graduate Certificate in TESOL

Program Overview


The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) provides students with advanced knowledge in the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) of any age. The completion of six TESOL graduate courses awards a candidate a TESOL certificate from UNF, and qualifies a candidate to apply for the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement to be added to the candidate’s existing Florid teacher’s certificate. Additionally, the program prepares candidates to teach English domestically and abroad as there may be an opportunity to work overseas (e.g., South Korea, China, Mexico) for one year while completing the certificate program. In these context, candidates will benefit from learning knowledge of language fundamentals paired with cultural and pedagogical training and teaching experiences. All of the required six TESOL courses are offered in an online format. 


Strengths of UNF's TESOL Program:

  • Thoughtfully designed program to prepare students with both the linguistic and pedagogical tools to educate ESL learners.
  • Provide opportunities to be in a field of education to practice what was learned during the course
  • Assist prospective teachers to receive a professional credential that may assist them in successful or better employment opportunities in other countries.
  • Opportunities to get teacher education course teaching position related to TESOL in the higher education field. 

Required Courses (18 credit hours):

  • TSL 6345 ESOL Methods (3 credits)
  • TSL 6525 Cross-Cultural Communication and Knowledge (3 credits)
  • TSL 6440 Assessment in ESOL setting (3 credits)
  • TSL 6142 ESOL Curriculum Development (3 credits)
  • TSL 6254 Applied Linguistic & Grammar (3 credits)
  • TSL 6325 TESOL: Content Instruction (3 credits)

Suggested Course Sequence

Fall                Spring            Summer
TSL 6345      TSL 6325       TSL 6525
TSL 6254      TSL 6142       TSL 6440


Estimated time to complete: 1 year

Delivery: Online

Tuition and Fees: Visit the UNF Tuition and Fees site for more information

Contact: Dr. Soonhyang Kim, TESOL Director, or

UNF+ Pathway:

Accelerated BA in International Studies to Graduate Certificate in TESOL

UNF is also offering an Accelerated BA in International Studies to Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) as a UNF+ Pathway. Take three graduate classes while you are an undergraduate. Nine credit hours will count toward both B.A. in International Studies and Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

The Accelerated BA/Graduate Certificate program offers the following perks:

  • Earn a Graduate Certificate in TESOL with only 3 additional courses after you earn your bachelor’s degree in English.
  • Proceed more quickly toward the completion of the graduate certificate
  • Save on the tuition of the three undergraduate courses that are replaced by graduate courses.

You must complete the following:

  • Earn a GPA of 3.5 in the major.
  • Complete INS3003 Introduction to International Studies and at least four other courses within the major with grades of B or better.
  • Provide letters of recommendation from two UNF faculty members.
  • Meet with the director of the Graduate Certificate in TESOL, before applying.

Dr. Clayton McCarl, International Studies Director,
Dr. Soonhyang Kim, TESOL Director, or 


The Whole Child Graduate Certificate

Program Overview


The Whole Child Graduate Certificate emphasizes the professional preparation of students at the graduate levels for a range of careers in education and nonprofits within diverse community contexts. The Certificate's playful learning pedagogy supports literacy, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning as well as social, emotional, physical development, and service learning.


The five graduate courses include study of the child-centered educational models of Montessori, Waldorf and Public Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia. Students in the Certificate program have an opportunity to work in UNF's state-of-the art Solve, Tinker, Explore, Play (STEP) Early Learning Lab. Additionally, the Early Childhood program's service learning and study abroad opportunities include visits to schools across England and Perugia, Italy, home to Maria Montessori's first laboratory school, as well as a Reggio Emilia school.


The Whole Child Graduate Certificate Coursework may be applied to a graduate degree with a focus in Early Childhood, with the approval of an advisor. For more information, contact Dr. Christian Winterbottom, program area leader or Dr. Katrina W. Hall


Courses reflect the Recommendations for Core Components for Public Waldorf Teacher Preparation from the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education


Two students in Whole Child Certification program working on a project Little girl using chalkboard in the UNF STEP Lab UNF student teaching children in a classroom setting

Teacher Leadership and Mentoring Certificate

Program Overview


The Graduate Certificate in Secondary Teacher-Leadership and Mentoring emphasizes the professional development of middle and high school teachers at the graduate level as teacher mentors. The completion of five graduate courses in Foundation and Secondary Education and Educational Leadership prepares in-service teachers to become effective clinical mentors to support in-service novice colleagues. The program prepares candidates who desire to become successful teacher-leaders and mentors or district teacher coaches by integrating core UNF teacher education theories (e.g., explicit analysis of practice through personal practical theorizing, facilitation of research-supported teaching practices) and secondary classroom practices (e.g., accountability measures, top-down models of curriculum development).




At least three years of teaching experience and meets Graduate School requirements. The courses for this certificate can be used towards a leadership master's degree. This allows candidates to seek a graduate degree of education at UNF upon completion. As a result, candidates should meet the application requirements of the Masters in Educational Leadership (concentration in Advanced Teaching and Learning). Visit this page to learn more. 


Elementary STEM Education

 Program Overview


iSTEM Pro logo, gears with the words innovative, integrative, inquiry based, inclusive and immersive coming out of 5 parts of the gear graphic

What is it?

 A 15-credit certificate in elementary STEM education designed for elementary teachers throughout Northeast Florida. The purpose of the certificate is to enable elementary teachers to effectively integrate all the STEM disciplines as well as computational thinking. A unique feature of the certificate is the inclusion of creativity and innovation. This is important because quality STEM education can help foster creativity and innovation, both of which are important 21st century skills. Of note, this certificate can be used as a concentration in an M.Ed. program in elementary education.

Why is it important? 

Quality STEM instruction at the elementary level leverages children’s natural curiosity about the world. There is evidence that students who are interested in STEM prior to middle school are more likely to major in a STEM field in college. This certificate will equip elementary school teachers with the content and pedagogical knowledge and skills to use a project-based learning approach to engage their students in authentic STEM lessons.

Want to learn more?

Contact Dr. Bess Wilson at



Graduate Certificate in Reading and Advanced Literacy

Program Overview


bookshelf with books


The Graduate Certificate in Reading and Advanced Literacy program is designed to meet the needs of K-12 teachers, supervisors, coaches and college/university teacher educators who already hold a valid teaching licensure and Florida reading endorsement and want to increase their effectiveness in literacy instruction. This program addresses the needs expressed by the Florida State Department of Education. The program includes five classes which provide an in-depth view of literacy research and theory as well as application of current scientific research and trends.


The courses in this certificate can also serve as the concentration for a Master of Education in Elementary Education. If the certificate courses are applied to a master's degree, the certificate will be conferred at the same time as the master's degree.