About the Program
Building Secondary Educator and Administrator Leadership (B-SEAL) for Multilingual Learners is an 18-month program that prepares teams of high school teachers and leaders to serve the academic and socioemotional needs of Multilingual Learners (also known as English Language Learners), one of the country’s most diverse and fastest growing groups of students. Building on the work of the Multilingual Learner Project (MLP), this program is designed by scholars and instructional specialists from The City College of New York and New Visions for Public Schools to support the literacy development and achievement of Multilingual Learners across content areas.
The program provides teachers with a unique opportunity to earn either a New York State certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or a Bilingual Extension, at almost no out-of-pocket cost to participants. The program provides school leaders with professional development hours in a Professional Learning Community (PLC), to understand the needs of MLs and to program for them more effectively.
There are limited spaces available; teachers and school leaders who are interested in this opportunity should form a team immediately and begin assembling their application materials.
“I found the coaching sessions to be so transformative. [The coach] provided me with so much knowledge and support throughout this entire process.” Secondary teacher, Cohort 1
Our rigorous coursework and team-based professional development are informed by three core program values and guided by the goal of providing meaningful learning opportunities to thousands of multilingual learners across New York City.
Building on linguistic & cultural assets
The program provides participants with knowledge and strategies to draw on Multilingual Learner (ML) resources of rich cultural histories and broad linguistic repertoires, and to attend to students’ socioemotional needs in order to support MLs’ sense of belonging and increased academic achievement.
Enacting explicit language & literacy strategies
The program supports the use of explicit instruction of metacognitive and cognitive strategies across the content areas to support language and literacy growth in students. Teachers learn how to assess their students’ current literacy and the language demands within their subject, as well as methods to match instruction to student needs.
Collaborating, experimenting, & reflecting in teams
Teachers and at least one school leader from each school form a team to apply to the program. In-school teams develop goals together and foster strong working relationships to support MLs. Teachers and school leaders also participate in cross-school professional learning communities.
Building capacity for strategic planning
Participation by school leaders in school teams enhances instructional shifts within classrooms and creates school-wide structures that are responsive to the needs of MLs. School leaders will be guided in using literacy and language data to inform programming, build an ML profile, and write a strategic plan.
Creating pathways for ML success
Schools will develop a pathway for MLs to earn the New York State (NYS) Seal of Biliteracy, a credential that recognizes high school graduates who attain a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English and additional languages.
Customizing the program
Schools interested in developing dual language approaches and classes will be supported in doing so. Participating teachers will earn either a TESOL certificate or a Bilingual Extension.
What are the benefits to teachers?
Additional certification – Teachers have the opportunity to earn an additional and increasingly sought-after teaching certificate (TESOL or Bilingual Extension)
Instructional support – Teachers receive ongoing individual and team-based support from ML specialists during the 2023-2024 school year.
Funding – The program covers the cost of tuition and fees, estimated at a value of approximately $8,500. Teachers will earn 13 graduate credits.
What are the benefits to leaders?
Collaboration with peers – Leaders will participate in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) to support multilingual learners by building a bilingual approach, either through developing a bilingual program or through the implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy. The PLC meets nine times a year with in-person and online components.
Teaming support – Leaders participate in an in-person, school-based professional learning community with the B-SEAL participating teachers during monthly site visits with the B-SEAL coach. In this PLC, leaders and teachers learn to analyze classroom-level literacy data to inform instruction.
Participation in the PLCs count toward the 175 hour Professional Development Requirement for renewal.
- Teachers must be teaching in a NYC secondary school.
- Teachers must have initial or professional certification, and will choose whether to earn TESOL certification or a Bilingual Extension.
- To pursue the Bilingual Extension, teachers must be bilingual and biliterate in another language.
Teachers begin the program in January 2023 by taking two online graduate courses in the spring semester. In the summer, participating school leaders join a virtual, cross-school Professional Learning Community while teachers take their third course, also online. In the fall of the following school year, teachers complete their graduate coursework, begin the practicum and participate in in-school, team-based professional learning communities, facilitated by ML specialists.
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We will be recruiting for B-SEAL's final cohort in September 2024. If interested, join our mailing list.