1. What is SIT Graduate Institute?

    Since 1964, SIT Graduate Institute has been preparing professionals to be successful in intercultural and international environments.

    SIT Graduate Institute prepares students from across the globe to be effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. SIT’s graduate and professional development programs are rooted in the experiential education model, where learning occurs at the nexus of theory and practice. Students are trained to become highly skilled practitioners who have a commanding knowledge of the theoretical basis of their profession; experience in the field; and an awareness of their own capabilities, values, and ethics.

    Students can choose from various MA, certificate, and professional development programs in fields ranging from international education to sustainable development to conflict transformation to language teaching. In order to accommodate diverse professional and personal objectives, programs of varying duration and format are offered on SIT’s historic 200-acre campus in Vermont; at the SIT Graduate Institute Washington, DC Center; online; and at overseas field sites. In each program area, students examine contemporary social, economic, and political issues, with particular attention to the human and ethical dimensions of these issues.

  2. Why should I take the SIT TESOL certificate course?
    The SIT course provides practical ESOL teacher-training in which participants develop skills in planning and teaching lessons focusing on speaking, listening, reading, writing, language, and culture. The sessions are highly interactive and experiential. During the course individual participants do six assessed hours of practice teaching to ESOL students. Trainers observe participant teaching, guide participant reflection on the lesson, and give practical advice after each session.
  3. Who teaches the course?
    SIT TESOL certificate course trainers are highly qualified, experienced ESOL teachers who have worked with adult learners and have previous training experience. They are licensed by SIT through a rigorous, multi-step process and bring a strong passion and dedication to their work.

    The trainers teach the course content, process discussions, and coach participants in developing lesson plans and teaching. They also observe participants' teaching and provide feedback to participants after each teaching session.
  4. Is the course the same at all sites?
    All courses are delivered by SIT-licensed trainers and focus on the same content areas, teacher skills, and course outcomes. In addition, each course is assessed by an evaluator who observes lesson planning and practice teaching sessions. The evaluator reviews participants' written work and collects direct feedback from course participants. The evaluator ensures that SIT's high standards are upheld.
  5. What kind of people take this course?
    Participants are a diverse group. Many are college-age students who are interested in traveling and working overseas. There are also working professionals preparing to enter TESOL as an alternative career or in retirement. Non-native English speakers with strong English skills also take the course so they can teach English in their own countries or elsewhere. Many experienced teachers find the certificate course a valuable introduction to SIT's model of reflective practice.
  6. What are the entrance requirements?
    You must have a high school degree and show a capacity for college-level education including a good understanding of the English language and solid writing skills. You must remain calm under pressure, be willing to accept the authority of your trainers, commit to conveying a difference of opinion in a respectful manner, and be willing to work as a positive team player. All applicants must submit an application along with a one-page essay. Non-native speakers typically have a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the written test or 250 on the computerized version, an IELTS Band 7.0 or higher, or a CEF C1. Non-native speakers must also have a second interview to ensure their listening/speaking skills are adequate to take the course and to teach English. All participants must show a willingness to plan and teach in groups and to work reflectively.
  7. What kind of job will I be able to get with this certificate?
    This certificate can help you find an entry level position in a language institute or an adult education program in the United States or overseas. Most college and university teaching positions, however, require you to have a master's degree. SIT also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

    As a graduate of the program, you will have access to information about teaching positions through SIT's Career Center, located on SIT's Brattleboro campus.
  8. Will SIT's TESOL certificate enable me to teach ESOL in US public schools?
    The SIT TESOL certificate may qualify you for an aide position in a public school ESOL program. However, to teach in the public schools in the US, you need public school certification, a process which generally involves an undergraduate degree followed by a period of full-time student teaching in a public school under the direction of a veteran teacher. Specific requirements vary from state to state.
  9. Can I get graduate credit for the course?
    Participants may choose to pursue the option of five graduate credits to be awarded upon successful completion of the course. There is an additional $500 fee for these five credits. If you are interested in pursuing this option you should check with the Registrar's Office at whatever college or university you are attending or plan to attend. Of the five graduate credits, up to two may be applied toward SIT Graduate Institute's on-campus Master of Arts in TESOL program, and these would take the place of the two one-credit electives. It is not possible to apply any of the five credits toward SIT's online Master of Arts in TESOL program.

    Please note:
    The SIT TESOL certificate is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Credits earned from SIT Graduate Institute are transferable only at the discretion of the receiving school. 
  10. After I finish the certificate course, if, at a later date, I decide to complete SIT's MA in TESOL program, is there any special financial aid available for certificate alumni?
    Yes. Any SIT TESOL certificate holder who enrolls in one of the SIT MA in TESOL programs will be given a tuition reduction of $2,000.
  11. Does everyone who attends the course get a certificate?
    No. Acceptance into the course is not a guarantee that you will receive the certificate. If trainers feel that any participant has not successfully completed or mastered any segment of the course, or has not completed the written work satisfactorily, the participant will not be awarded the certificate, but will be awarded a Letter of Learning instead. To complete the certificate successfully, you must meet all the program requirements:
    • Attend all the program sessions (allowances are made for absence due to emergency situations);
    • Communicate effectively and fluently in written and oral English;
    • Successfully meet the goals and objectives of the program;
    • Successfully complete all the student teaching requirements and all program assignments.

    Trainers in the course will meet with you to give you feedback on all aspects of your work in the course. You will also do a self-assessment.

For more information, please contact:

SIT Graduate Institute, Washington DC Center
1015 15th St NW
Washington DC 20005
202 408-5420