English Second Language

Doctor of Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

Assessing the best method of English language acquisition is of extreme importance in both educational and business environments. NCU’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in English Second Language (ESL) specialization provides a strong knowledge base to build successful programs to support those who are learning English as a second language, to assess skills of diverse students and to design bilingual instruction. Under the guidance of your mentoring professors, you will explore curriculum design, the basics of second language curricular needs, and how to adapt the content curriculum for ESL students. Additionally, you’ll focus on effective teaching methods and critically examine the theoretical foundations and recent research findings that inform second language classroom practices. Graduates will possess the knowledge and skills to put new methods and approaches into practice in many diverse ESL settings.

General Degree Requirements

The EdD program may be completed in 54 credits. However, up to an additional 12 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. An Academic Advisor or Enrollment Specialist evaluates each student individually and works with the student to create an academically sound Learning Plan based on prior academics and their professional goals.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Northcentral University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed toward a non-conferred doctoral degree at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credit is only awarded for course work that is evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content with the required course work for the EdD program.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The EdD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree Requirements

  • Individuals with a previously completed master’s degree will meet the basis of admission to the Doctor of Education Program.
  • Students must complete all doctoral courses with a Grade Point Average of 3.00 (B) or higher.
  • EdD students must demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Doctoral Dissertation Process

The School of Education has developed a logical step-by-step process that assists in completing an EdD applied research dissertation. Northcentral University provides a detailed EdD Dissertation Handbook that explains the process and Northcentral University's dissertation support structure. The EdD doctoral research courses, the comprehensive exam course and the dissertation courses are specifically designed to guide students through the process.

The dissertation is the capstone academic achievement of the EdD. The EdD dissertation is applied, project based and results in a product designed to produce appreciable improvements in the student's school or organization and must also impact the student's leadership growth. Although applied and project based, the EdD dissertation is a scholarly document. To earn the EdD degree, the student must demonstrate the ability, drive and determination; and Northcentral University will provide the faculty, the academic support and process to assist in the attainment of high academic goals.

The School of Education offers students the opportunity to pursue an area of specialization within a degree program. Students who complete at least 18 semester credit hours in a specific specialization may elect to have the specialization recorded on their transcript and diploma.

Northcentral University recognizes that each student is unique, and therefore evaluates each application based not only on what courses or program of study a student has accomplished previously, but takes into consideration which specialization is being pursued at Northcentral University and their current and future professional goals.

Course Length

Existing EdD students may opt to switch to eight-week courses by contacting their Academic Advisor. Once existing EdD students have opted for eight-week courses, they must receive approval from the Office of the Dean to switch back to a program of 12-week courses. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Instructional Practices

This course examines the principles and theoretical base of ESL instruction as they relate to improving instructional practices. Students will investigate theories of language acquisition and language teaching. Emphasize will be placed on research findings and students will recommended practices and articulate a professional philosophy of instruction.


Cultural Diversity

In this course, students will obtain awareness of both the cognitive knowledge, analysis, and synthesis skills necessary to reflectively interact with and/or serve or lead culturally diverse populations. This course will particularly emphasize effective leadership knowledge, skills, attitudes, and dispositions that are essential in effective professional relationships. Additionally, it will focus on those whose diversity is cultural and who are more likely to be encountered by the students taking the course.


Evaluation of Diverse Learners

In this course, students will focus on practices in assessing K-12 learners from diverse cultures and with diverse abilities. Students in this class learn assessment practices that lead to plans for supporting age appropriate development in ways that are individually and culturally relevant for families and practitioners and that are consistent with current recommended practices in the field of K-12 education.


Bilingual Instructional Methods

In this course, students will be provided a framework for instruction of students whose primary language is one other than English. Constructivist paradigms will be utilized to provide relevant theoretical and practical information related to bilingual instructional methods with a goal of development of cultural competence and cultural respect for students growing up in a bilingual world.


Developing Curriculum for ESL Learners

This course prepares ESL teachers to develop curriculum for their students. It includes a general overview of curriculum design, the basics of second language curricular needs and how to adapt the content curriculum for ELL students, with emphasis on integrating language and content by means of thematic units. Different types of ESL programs and plans will be studied. Students will also learn how to evaluate and adapt materials for ELL students.


Second Language Foundations

The course will prepare teachers to assess the needs of English Language students (ELL) and develop curriculum materials and effective teaching methods for ELLs enrolled in both Structured English Immersion programs and mainstream classes. Students will examine critically the theoretical foundations and recent research findings that inform second language classroom practices.



In this course, students will gain supervised experience teaching English as a Second Language. Focus will be placed on the development of effective communication skills in reading, writing, speaking, as well as interpersonal and technology skills. All practicum experiences will be supervised through virtual or web-based activities. This course is highly recommended for students who wish to work with English as a Second Language students in the classroom or for those with limited teaching experience.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s EdD costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $902
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,706
  • Program cost: $49,058
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.