Interview: Dr. Tim Micek, MATESOL Director at Ohio Dominican University


Dr. Tim Micek, MATESOL Director at Ohio Dominican University, joins us today to discuss Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

1. Can you tell us about the Masters in TESOL (MATESOL) programs offered at Ohio Dominican University?

Sure.  Ohio Dominican University has been offering TESOL instruction since at least the 1970s.  The current program, which has been in place since the fall of 2005, offers the MA with an optional teaching license, endorsement, or certificate.  The program is based on the TESOL/NCATE (national) standards for P-12 ESL teacher education.  The endorsement program (for licensed teachers) meets the Ohio TESOL endorsement standards, and the certificate program follows the TESOL, Inc., recommendations for independent short-term TESL/TEFL certificate programs.  The program balances theory and practice.  Students take courses in the domains of Language; Culture; Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction; Assessment; and Professionalism.   They also do extensive field work—100 hours before student teaching/practicum—in a variety of settings.  The two-course research sequence (methods and project) not only gives students experience doing primary research but prepares them for possible further study in the field.

2. How long does a typical MATESOL program take at Ohio Dominican University?

What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?  Students typically take two years to finish the program, though they have up to seven; some take less than two years.  Students may start in the fall, spring/winter, or summer. 

3. What do you think makes Ohio Dominican University MATESOL stand out from other similar programs? 

Our combination of options makes our program unique.  Students can earn the MA and/or the TESOL multi-age license.  The MA allows them to teach in post-secondary settings both here and abroad, and the license qualifies them to teach children.  If they do the MA with licensure, they have a variety of employment options.  It’s worth mentioning that teacher education in Ohio is very strong: it’s easier to take an Ohio teaching license out of state than vice versa.  Licensed teachers may use the endorsement to add a second teaching area, and all the endorsement classes (five) count towards the MA.  Similarly, all the certificate classes (five) count towards the MA, so students might earn the certificate, teach abroad for a time, and return to finish the MA if they wish.  As TESOL, Inc., points out, the MA opens up possibilities in program administration, teacher training, etc.

4. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing a MATESOL program?

Very important: it indicates that a program is (a) meeting national standards and (b) undergoing regular (every five years) review.  

5. What are the advantages to earning a MATESOL degree in general? 

Lots.  With the MA, individuals not only experience the joy of teaching and learning about culture and language but the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in the world today.

6. Does Ohio Dominican University offer job placement for students who graduate in MATESOL? 

Ohio Dominican does not “place” students in jobs, but it offers many resources that help students to find work.  The university’s Career Development Center offers workshops and other resources for the job search, including Education Interview Day, which is attended by local school districts each spring.  I routinely send out job notices sent to me or gleaned from the Ohio TESOL listserv.   Guests from various TESOL settings, including P-12 and post-secondary, talk about the job search in a seminar near the end of the program.  Finally, students engage in networking and interview for positions at professional meetings such as the Ohio TESOL conference and the TESOL convention.  As a result, almost 100% of graduates who have looked for full-time work in the field have found it within a few months of graduation.

7. What type of financial aid packages are available for students in TESOL?

Are there any fellowships, grants and scholarships available?  Students may secure loans through our financial aid office; one student has been a recipient of a TEACH grant.  Most of our students work, either part or full time, in as teachers, teaching assistants, etc.  Our schedule allows them to do that: all of our classes are offered in the evening (field work may be required during the day), so students may work during the day (and/or most evenings) while they attend classes.  There is an ELS center on campus that has employed many of our graduates and students.

8. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in a MATESOL program for the first time? 

Meet with the director and current students (or graduates) to find out about the program.  Observe a class if possible.  Find out not just about the program but about what students do after they graduate.

9. What do you enjoy most about your position at Ohio Dominican University? 

I like the fact that my position combines teaching and administration: I get to experience the benefits of both.  Most of all, I like helping students make their dream of teaching English come true.

For more information on the MATESOL programs offered at Ohio Dominican University, visit them online.

Thank you Dr. Micek, for sharing and participating in this piece.

That concludes our interview!