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Pursue your TESOL Certification or Bilingual Extension through RESET Grant

RESET: Rigor for the Educational Success of ELL's Through their Teachers. 

Aimed at addressing the critical need for advanced education for teachers of English Language Learners (ELL) through graduate-level teacher certificate programs, the RESET program is offered through a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Take the first step today by completing the following:

STEP 1 | Online Application

*If applying for the TESOL Advanced Certificate, please make sure you DO NOT apply for the M.S. in TESOL. 

STEP 2 | Official Transcripts

Official transcripts must be in a sealed envelope either by mail or in person from ALL colleges and universities where coursework was completed. Be sure to include any college attended under a dual enrollment program during high school.

It is best to contact the Office of the Registrar at each school you attended, and request that your official transcript be sent directly to the following address:

Student Services Support Center
Mercy College
2651 Strang Boulevard
Yorktown Heights, New York 10598  

If your college/university offers e-transcripts, please send to

STEP 3 | Valid NYS Teaching Certificate 

We can print this for you. 

STEP 4 | Résumé

STEP 5 | Professional Disposition Statement

250 word - Effective Educator Statement: Please describe what you think are essential characteristics of an effective educator. There are no right or wrong answers here. We are interested in your thoughts on some of the issues below and how well able you are to express those thoughts:

  • Respect for the needs of students, parents and others who have a stake in the educational process
  • Belief that all students can learn
  • Respect for diversity of culture, background socio-economic status and academic needs

STEP 6 | 1 Letter of Recommendation

MUST come from a building/district level administrator to verify you are in good standing in your district. Your recommendation letter can be submitted to the mailing address above, or emailed to

STEP 7Official BEA Passing Exam Score (ONLY if applying to the Bilingual Extension program for teachers)

Must score a minimum of 220  on the BEA language exam

STEP 812 credits in LOTE

If students are applying for TESOL Advanced Certificate (MUST be completed by the end of the program to be recommended to NYSED by Mercy College). 

STEP 9Completed Immunization Form

Mercy's Admissions and RESET Grant Team will assess your complete application based on the following criteria:

  • MOU signed with the district
  • Need to build capacity in district
  • Strength of completed application file

You can download a copy of our Admissions Checklist

Program Offerings

What programs are being offered as part of the RESET Grant?

Mercy College is offering the RESET Grant for two programs:

  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Bilingual Extension for Teachers (NOT Pupil Personnel Services)

What are some of the details of the TESOL program?

The TESOL program program is a total of 15 credits. The TESOL program is available to both General Education and Special Education teachers. 

What are some of the details of the Bilingual Extension?

The Bilingual Extension is also 15 credits. 


What is my district's commitment?

School districts who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will indicate that they will comply with the requirements of the grant, and will support their teachers participating in the RESET program. School districts will recommend teachers who are highly qualified. The district's goal is to effectively build capacity for the academic achievement of English language learners

Am I qualified?

You must have teacher certification, a master's degree, and be a full-time teacher in a partner school district for the RESET program. 

NYCDOE teachers are not eligible for this grant program. 

What is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the last cohort of the RESET Grant, beginning in the fall 2020 semester is May 1, 2020. After May 1st, all complete application files will be reviewed, and a decision will be made shortly after. 

How do I apply?

Please visit: and select your program (either Advanced Certificate TESOL or Bilingual Extension). 

Am I required to take the GRE or Praxis Test?

Applicants holding both a master's degree and NYSED certification are not required to submit scores for an admissions exam. 

Are there any special requirements for the TESOL program?

12 credits in a Language Other Than English (LOTE) is an admissions requirement to the TESOL Advanced Certificate program. Applicants who do not have all 12 credits may receive a conditional acceptance and should address this deficiency by the end of the program. Candidates must have 12 credits in a language other than English in order to qualify for a recommendation for certification in ESOL. 

Mercy College offers undergraduate courses that can be used to meed the LOTE requirement. CLEP scores for online courses completed in foreign languages, in additional to the Excelsior Exam, are also accepted. Applicants may also contact local community colleges for course offerings and use SUNY Online:

Are there any special requirements for the Bilingual Extension?

Yes. The BEA (Bilingual Education Assessment) exam must be taken and passed with a minimum score of 220. This confirms that you are fluent in the target language. 


When will I receive a letter notifying me about whether or not I am accepted into the program?

The Admissions team will issue acceptance letters to those teachers who have completed their application and are qualified for the program. Priority will be given to applicants with completed admission files. 

What steps do I need to take once I am accepted into the program?

Being accepted into the program does not mean that you are registered in the program. Upon receiving your acceptance letter, you will be provided with next steps regarding registration. You will need to submit a registration fee ($166/semester) once you register for your courses. You will need to submit an enrollment deposit fee and will then register for courses.  

Once you are registered for courses, there will be an orientation for all RESET participants to review grant obligations. This orientation will take place in August. 

**Seats in the RESET program and courses offered are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.**

RESET Program & Courses

What happens if I have to drop out of the RESET program and cannot complete all courses?

Because the US Department of Education (USDOE) and Mercy College are investing in the RESET teachers, and providing free tuition, there is an expectation that students will complete the courses required and obtain certification in the program you were accepted into. You are also participating in a USDOE study, so full participation is essential. 

You will not be able to drop courses from one cohort year to attend another to complete missing courses. Should you wish to take your remaining courses another time, you will be responsible for the tuition costs through our traditional program not funded by the RESET Grant. Once students are participating in a specific cohort, they must remain in that cohort. 

If you decide to drop out, your program fee is not refundable. 

Since the RESET Grans is a USDOE grant, are there any additional requirements I should be aware of as a student?

Mercy College's RESET program has a research component. Each student will be asked to participate in surveys, interviews and/or focus groups throughout the duration of the program. 

What happens if I cannot take one of the courses at the day/time listed on the RESET Schedule?

Due to the design of the federally funded project that will produce a national research study, we expect cohorts to remain together as a group. The dynamics of a cohort includes collective professional conversations, collaborative learning and developing a professional conversations, collaborative learning and developing a professional learning community to boost rigor and master instructional strategies to support ELLs in the classroom. 

If I already successfully completed one program offered under the RESET Grant, can I apply for the other program? 

Yes, however, as we recruit for the following year new participants will be given priority based on their district's needs and recommendations. Applicants must receive certification in the first program, to be considered fro a second program. 


Where will courses be held for the RESET program? 

All courses being offered will be held at the Dobbs Ferry and Yorktown Heights campuses. However, as determined by the Program Director and Faculty, online, in-person and hybrid courses will be scheduled as well. 

When are classes being offered?

Mercy College is providing a selection of evening and weekend, hybrid and online course options for the 50 students who will be in the program, in order to accommodate your work, family and other activities. The RESET program is an important part of your professional growth, and the goal is for you to complete the program with grant funding. 

The schedule will be two classes in the fall, two classes in the spring and one summer class. 

What is the estimated cost of books or materials for the program?

Each student will receive a one-time $100 book voucher from Mercy College, provided with grant funding. The voucher can ONLY be used at the Mercy College Book Store. The cost of books and materials differs per course. The Office of Admissions advises that each student speak with their professor for more details. 

Do I need to take a practicum/clinical course?

Yes. For the TESOL Advanced Certificate, which is included int he 15 credits. 

No. For the Bilingual Extension, the hours are embedded in our courses. 

Can I transfer credits into the program?

Yes, you can transfer up to 20% of the total RESET program credits, if your credits apply to the requirements for the RESET programs being offered. Since the RESET program is a 15-credit program, you can transfer a total of 3 credits, which is equivalent to one course.

*EDUC 505 from a previous MS degree with Mercy College can apply as a 3-credit course.

How can I complete practicum/clinical hours as a full-time teacher?

Bilingual Extension - Practicum hours are embedded in EDUC 602 and EDUC 604. *Practicum if NOT student teaching. 

TESOL Advanced Certificate - The clinical hours in EDUC 707 will be completed in the spring semester. Participants must complete 100 hours at the PreK-12 grade levels and be observed by the college clinical supervisor at least once at the PreK-12 grade levels. Participants must demonstrate proficiency with the range of grade levels in the certification through the combination of their field experiences and clinical hours.  There are 10-15 hours of fieldwork in each course.

What do I need to become certified?

  • Completion of coursework
  • Completion of outstanding prerequisite deficiencies (i.e. language courses)
  • Submission of proof of completion of NYSED required workshops (these can be viewed as your TEACH account)
    • Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
    • School Violence Awareness and Prevention
    • Dignity for All Students Act Training
  • NYSTCE: CST ESOL (TESOL Advanced Certificate ONLY)
  • Other requirements may apply based on current certification

What are the additional costs I should expect to incur?

  • Fees to order your official transcripts, which are an application requirement
  • Tuition and fees for undergraduate LOTE courses (if needed)
  • $40 application fee
  • Enrollment Deposit/Registration Fee: TBD
  • $71 BEA Exam fee (Bilingual Extension ONLY) - required prior to admission to the Bilingual Extension program
  • $134 CST ESOL Exam fee (TESOL Advanced Certificate ONLY) - should be taken prior to the completion of the program so Mercy College can recommend you for NYSED certification
  • The cost of books and materials, in excess of the $100 book voucher


Admissions Process

Mercy's Admissions and RESET Grant Team will assess your complete application based on the following criteria:

  • MOU signed with district
  • Need to build capacity in the district
  • Strength of completed application file
Program Highlights
  • Free Tuition up to 15 credits (a scholarship in the amount of approximately $15,000)
  • One time $100 book allowance