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Three new certificate programs available this fall

June 18, 2018

The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, and College of Education, Health, and Human Services—are offering three new certificate programs that will add expertise and understanding.

Three new options are available for students to both increase their global understanding and add a higher level of expertise to their education.

New certificate programs in African and African American Studies, Global Engagement and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) are available beginning this fall.

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Program and Integrative Learning Mitch Sollenberger said diversity and inclusion are institutional priorities. And these new certificate programs not only strengthen that commitment, they also give three more ways to enrich student knowledge, experience and marketability—all in a relatively short period of time.

“Certificates offer focused, prescriptive curricula in specialty areas to address specific student educational needs,” Sollenberger said. “It’s a way you can learn or sharpen a skillset, usually a year or less. There is appeal in coming in to get a top-notch University of Michigan education and having access to expert faculty without it being credit intensive.”

African and African American Studies  (AAAS)

The AAAS certificate course of study better prepares students to enter a wide spectrum of professional arenas—including law, social work, K-12 education, civic leadership and academics—while also preparing them to work and live in an increasingly diverse world. 

The 12-credit College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificate that complements the existing minor and major concentrations of study in the AAAS program.

The interdisciplinary approach of the AAAS certificate provides students with analytical frameworks for understanding how social, cultural, legal and political factors influence the lives of African and African American individuals, families and communities. This program of study also examines a broad range of diversity issues to understand the ways that African and African diaspora experiences intersect with ideas about race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender identity and culture in people’s lives.

“Research reveals ongoing discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, the criminal justice system, and immigration policies among other areas.  Unequal treatment and outcomes are particularly severe for youthful African American males, for instance,” said Ivy Forsythe-Brown, AAAS co-director. “We need rigorously trained, creative and critical thinkers who are prepared to tackle the difficult challenges ahead.”

Global Engagement

No matter the major, an understanding of global culture and international affairs is beneficial. The Global Engagement certificate will enhance an academic program by providing an additional area-study of specialization, an understanding of global economy, effective communication across culture, international relations and more.

“This certificate stems from ongoing conversation with the university-wide committee Global Learning Advisory Council and aligns with the university’s Priority 9: ‘Diversity, Inclusion and Global Citizenship,’” said Jorge González del Pozo, Language, Culture and Communication chairman. “The certificate is designed to provide students with powerful tools to understand international dynamics.”

The 12-credit CASL certificate is for degree-seeking students; three credits could be a study abroad experience or a co-op/internship experience.

TESOL undergraduate certificate

The College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS) TESOL undergraduate certificate is designed for individuals seeking opportunities to teach English as a foreign language internationally or as a second language outside the U.S.’s K-12 school system—for example, a community-based English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

The 15-credit certificate will prepare students with the requisite content knowledge, pedagogy and skills to teach non-native speakers of English.

In addition to giving students background knowledge in TESOL through topics like second-language acquisition and socio-cultural-psychological aspects of learning another language, the courses also cover pedagogy through the inclusion of topics that include assessment, lesson plan and curriculum development, and identification of instructional materials.

“CEHHS currently offers a graduate certificate for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Since the launch of the TESOL graduate certificate, undergraduates have asked about the certificate as an option to add to their degree programs prior to graduation,” said Martha Adler, Reading, Language Arts and ESL associate professor. “There is no reason for the certificate to be only available at the graduate level; both undergraduates and graduates can have interests in teaching English abroad. In particular, it is common for recent college students to take jobs teaching English internationally before graduate school or starting their careers.”


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