Master of Arts in Bilingual/ESL Education Online
The Master of Arts in Bilingual and/or English as a Second Language Education is designed to prepare individuals in teaching, supervision or curriculum management. Students are offered the flexibility of choosing between two options; Bilingual education or ESL education.
The Bilingual option is designed to prepare individuals who are proficient in Spanish for enriching careers educating in a bilingual environment. During their coursework, students examine a variety of topics, including cultural diversity, philosophical perspectives on teaching and learning, and the history and politics of bilingual education. Successful completion of the Bilingual option for students with a Teaching certificate in the state of Texas allows the student to take the Bilingual Supplemental Exam. Students from outside of Texas should consult with their state's board of education to determine the requirements for their state's Bilingual certification.
Students choosing the ESL option learn effective strategies in teaching students whose native language is other than English. Students wishing to pursue this option do not need to be proficient in Spanish. Students who successfully complete the ESL option are eligible to take the English as a Second Language Supplemental (ESL) test in Texas. Students from out of state should consult with their state's board of education to determine potential certification options.
With a 52% Hispanic student population and 19% of all its public school students enrolled in bilingual or ELL programs, Texas has a high need for bilingual and ESL teachers. Because of this strong demand, there are also job and salary opportunities for those who are well-qualified. Educators who earn a master's degree in ESL or bilingual education online are eligible to apply for the best teaching jobs in the state. An advanced education can also mean higher salaries.Payscale.com lists the average salary for a master's degree in bilingual education teacher in Texas as $60,278, as of February 2019. The average for all ESL teachers, regardless of location and education level, is $41,394. Teacher pay will vary by school district, and it is up to the district to determine pay raises for master's degree attainment. Below are some of the master's degree stipends in the Permian Basin area based on salary schedules for the 2018-19 school year:
- Andrews ISD = $1,500 added
- Monahans-Wickett-Pyote = varies, starts at $695 for Year 0; $1,306 for Year 15
- Midland ISD = $1,300 added
- Big Spring ISD = $1,000 added
- Fort Stockton ISD = $1,000 added
- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD = $1,000 added
In other areas across the state, school districts are offering differential pay to ESL and bilingual teachers. Richardson ISD, for example, is offering a stipend of $4,000 per year for teachers who are bilingual certified. North East ISD in San Antonio is offering $3,000 for pre-K through 8th grade bilingual teachers.
The school districts have either Bilingual Directors, ESL Directors or managers or site managers of these programs that add a significant amount more in pay for those who want to get into managerial positions within the school districts. As well, community colleges that have teaching focuses pathways also hire individuals with this type of background.
*The maximum grant amount can vary by year. TEACH Grants are available to qualified applicants and require approved recipients to sign a service agreement for certain teaching service obligations for four academic years. If obligations are not met within eight years after graduation, the grant will turn into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with all accrued interest from the date of disbursement. For more information, please visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach or contact the University of Texas Permian Basin Financial Aid Office.