June 24, 2024
Partnership will provide opportunities for 25 teachers to earn ESL certification and strengthen the educational experience of multilingual learners in Dover.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, June 24, 2024 — A new partnership between Centenary University and Dover Public Schools creates a clear pathway for K-12 teachers to earn English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) certification and strengthens the educational experience for multilingual learners. Through the agreement, a large cohort of Dover teachers will enroll in the program this fall, attending classes taught by Centenary faculty onsite at Dover schools. The district plans to expand the program to enroll more teachers in future cohorts, according to Superintendent of Schools James McLaughlin, Ed.D.

A leading provider of advanced education for teachers in northwestern New Jersey, Centenary offers a five-course sequence, with the opportunity to earn up to 15 credits to earn ESL certification. Credits earned through the certification program can be applied to the University’s Master of Education in Literacy Instruction. “That is a strong benefit of Centenary’s certification for ESL, which is now commonly referred to as MLE, for multilingual learners of English (MLE),” explained Lexis McCoy, Ed.D., director of the University’s Master of Education in Literacy Instruction. “The program is intentionally organized to build a scaffolding structure that allows teachers to stack credits as they advance their education. Through this collaboration, Dover teachers can additionally choose to earn their Master of Education in Literacy Instruction in six additional classes.  After that, their supervisor certificate can be in earned in three classes.”

Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Battistini, Ph.D., noted that Centenary University is uniquely positioned to partner with area school districts on targeted initiatives such as the Dover ESL certification initiative. More than 100 principals, superintendents, directors, or supervisors have earned or are currently working toward a Centenary University degree, providing outstanding networking opportunities for the University’s graduates. “Centenary has a strong network of graduates in education throughout New Jersey, so certificate candidates are joining a family of professionals,” Dr. Battistini said. “For the district, there’s a unifying aspect when teachers from different schools attend classes together. A commonality develops that leads to best practices introduced and incorporated across schools throughout the district.”

A longtime educational leader for districts in New Jersey, Centenary University Interim Dean for the School of Education and Humanities Timothy Frederiks, Ed.D., noted that New Jersey’s diverse population requires school districts to prioritize ongoing teacher training: “With continually shifting demographics in New Jersey, it’s important to equip educators with research-based strategies that benefit all students. Centenary has a very strong ESL certification program, with a solid commitment to educational equity.”

For more information on partnering with Centenary University for ESL certification, school districts can reach out to Dr. McCoy at Lexis.McCoy@centenaryuniversity.edu.


Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success. Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.


Kristen Volkland
Erbach Communications Group
(201) 960-3102

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