The Graduate Certificate in English Language Acquisition & Development (ELAD) in the Department of Early, Multilingual, & Special Education prepares educators to work in PK-12 to advocate for the specific sociocultural, academic, cognitive, and linguistic needs of English language learners.

The graduate certificate program in (ELAD) will be composed of five courses targeting a specific age range (i.e., PK-12) and develop specialized knowledge in working with ELs. The program is particularly relevant to individuals who work with school-age ELs in U.S. public schools. The 12-credit program strands will provide educators with knowledge, strategies, and advocacy skills for EL populations. Hours earned for the certificate may be applied to the certificate program in specialization in ELAD (requiring an additional two 3-credit courses focusing on educational policy and advocacy for English learners) and the master’s degree program in English Language Learning. Hours earned in the master’s program in English Language Learning may not retroactively be used toward the certificate.

The coursework associated with this graduate certificate aligns with the learning expectations of and requirements for the ELAD endorsement through the Nevada Department of Education (See Nevada Academic Code [NAC] 391.237). Curriculum in the graduate certificate ELAD program is also centered on multiple domains of knowledge and align with the standards of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for teacher preparation.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

Scholars will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of language as a system (phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, semantics) to develop learning experiences that support ELLs language and literacy development in all content areas (Language).
  • Construct supportive learning environments for ELLs through application of major theories and research related to the role of culture in learning and language acquisition (Culture).
  • Plan, implement, and manage high quality standards-based ESL and content instruction integrating evidence-based practices and technology to simultaneously develop content and language skills (Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the selection, use, and interpretation of appropriate cognitive, academic, and linguistic assessments for ELLs (Assessment).
  • Utilize historical perspectives, current policy, and advances in the research field to improve instructional practices and advocacy in the field of ELL education (Professionalism).


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Graduate Certificate in English Language Acquisition and Development

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Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education

The Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education (EMS) is designed to prepare professionals for specialized services in schools, community agencies, and higher education settings. We promote and embrace the concept of cultural diversity, and we affirm our commitment to the ethical standards of our respective disciplines.


College of Education

The College of Education creates an intellectual environment that promotes quality instruction, significant research, and professional service. With four unique departments, graduates receive the necessary tools and experiences to make an impact on local, national, and global scales.