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Graduate Certificate

Schools are looking for teachers who are qualified to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms.  This certificate will help prepare practicing educators to better address the learning needs of students in classrooms with increasing cultural and linguistic diversity.

Certificate coursework takes a comprehensive approach to supporting English Learners and other historically under-served populations by addressing aspects of cultural and linguistic diversity across the curriculum within a regular classroom context. Courses will support students in developing a knowledge base, planning, and application of strategies related to language and literacy development, second-language acquisition, classroom relationships, family collaboration, assessment, instruction, discourse, and socio-political consciousness. Working in a cohort, practicing educators will engage in job-embedded learning activities that enable them to apply new knowledge in professional educational settings immediately.


This graduate certificate requires 4 courses (a total of 12 hours of graduate credit).  It can typically be completed within a year.  Required courses include:

  • EDC 621: Language & Literacy Development (typically taught each fall)
  • EDC 630: Family & Community Literacy (typically taught each summer)
  • EDC 777: Effective Teaching in Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Classrooms (a practicum, coaching-based course)
  • An elective from the TESL program, either:
    • MCL 690: Culture, Cognition, and Second Language
    • TSL/EDC 560: Literacy in the ESL Classroom

Practicing teachers who work with student teachers may be eligible for tuition vouchers that can cover most or even all of the tuition costs for this program.

Please note: this certificate is an in-house certificate; it is a UK-only certificate that will appear on your diploma.  It does not provide an additional teaching credential or endorsement.  However, the 12-course certificate CAN apply to graduate master’s or doctoral programs in Literacy, or to the master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language.  They also can count toward rank advancement for those teachers who already have a master’s degree.

Who Should Apply?

  • Current teachers who do not yet have a master’s degree
  • Current teachers seeking rank advancement
  • Current teachers with graduate degrees who seek to advance their knowledge and practice
  • Newly-graduated teachers who seek to advance their knowledge and enhance their employability

Common Questions

Q: How long does it take to get the Graduate Certificate?

A: Students can complete the certificate within a year; this may require taking two courses simultaneously in one semester.

Q: Can I get tuition support?

A: Possibly!  If you are, or plan to, host student teachers in your classroom, you will earn tuition vouchers that can cover the cost of graduate coursework at UK.  Learn more about the tuition waiver program.

Q: Will the certificate be added to my teaching credential?

A: No.  This is an in-house certificate, which means that it’s a certificate that is added to your diploma or transcript.  It is not the same thing as a teaching credential or endorsement.  The coursework can count toward rank advancement, however.

Q: Can I apply certificate coursework to other graduate degree programs?

A: Yes!  Students can concurrently enroll in a degree program, such as a master’s or doctoral program, and a certificate program.  If you complete the certificate and then decide to apply to a degree program, up to 9 credits from the certificate may transfer in to the new degree program.  Students who are considering applying for a master’s, doctoral, or rank change program are encouraged to do so concurrently with the certificate to guarantee that all coursework will apply to both programs.

Q: Who should I talk with if I have questions?

A: Please contact Dr. Kristen H. Perry, the director of this certificate and the Director of Graduate Studies for Curriculum & Instruction.