Are you interested in teaching English with a focus on social justice and urban education? Then UWM’s English and Language Arts, 4-12 Education Program is for you.

This award-winning program addresses leading edge educational practices, standards, and policies; assessment practices; the integration of digital technologies into instruction and classroom practice; and literary study and composition, as well as other literacy skills that learners need to succeed. Completing this program meets the Wisconsin requirements for certification to teach English, allowing you to teach English in Wisconsin and in many other states.

Why English and Language Arts, 4-12 Education?

  • Our program focuses its content and methods on culturally responsive practice grounded in research and theoretical perspectives.
  • Our program educates teachers to work in a variety of settings, addressing the wonderfully diverse student populations entering classrooms today.
  • Our program, unlike many, offers full year placements in urban classrooms with varying experiences in middle and high schools including China.
  • Our program offers opportunities to tutor students online in their writing, working cooperatively with their classroom teachers.
  • Our program is recognized as a top English Education Program in Wisconsin: Since 2002, 21 of our certifiers have received awards for “Student Teacher of the Year” or “First-Year Teacher of the Year” presented by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English and the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Three of our instructors have received national and state teaching awards as well as research awards.
  • Our program certifiers are agents of change who are schooled in social justice and equity awareness.
  • Our program is taught by highly experienced and professionally-involved educators. Our instructional staff has served as presidents of the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English in addition to serving in national leadership roles with the National Council of Teachers of English, the Modern Language Association, the Wisconsin State Reading Association, and the Conference on English Leadership.
  • Our field supervisors come with advanced degrees and have completed many years of classroom teaching. They support teacher candidates to succeed as professional, classroom practitioners.

Multiliteracies, Languages, and Cultures Resource Library (MLC)

The MLC Resource Library provides interdisciplinary teaching materials for teacher candidates, practicing teachers, graduate students, and faculty of the School of Education who are MLC related. Those seeking instructional materials for student teachings, field placements, or course assignments, are able to access this library.

For more information, visit the Multiliteracies, Languages, and Cultures Resource Library (MLC) webpage.


Donna L. Pasternak’s co-authored book Secondary English Education in the United States was awarded the 2018 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE) Richard A Meade Award for the study of English Language Arts teacher education since 1995. The Meade Award recognizes published research-based work that promotes English language arts teacher development at any educational level and in any scope and setting. Stemming from this work, Pasternak has two co-edited collections to be published in 2019 with Rowman and Littlefield that address and complicate effective practices in educating future teachers of English through her association with NCTE’s Commission on Teaching English Language Arts Methods (Pedagogy).

Pasternak’s work in technology integration into the English language arts has been widely recognized. She has a book forthcoming from Routledge in 2020 that analyzes which technology integration practices are being taught in English teacher education programs. With Dr. Candance Doerr-Stevens, she is exploring which teaching practices teacher candidates feel competent and confident about and integrate into their classroom practices.

Pasternak is the Principal Investigator for the $5 million United States Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator’s Success (SEED) grant, Asset-based Cultural Competency Ensuring Student Success. Working with a collaborative of educators at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Public Schools for 3-5 years, the grant activity supports and studies the development of Professional Development Schools focused on culturally responsive pedagogy. This research will result in numerous scholarly articles and a book that addresses the replication of the practices learned.


English language arts teachers are change makers, supporting learners to be critical thinkers, persuasive writers, confident speakers, independent readers, and discriminating researchers. Certifying as an English teacher can be a stepping stone to other teacher leadership professional opportunities including administration, curriculum design, research and analysis, editorial, and writing.


Undergraduate Program


English and Language Arts, 4-12 Education Academic Catalog Undergraduate Requirements

Academic Catalog Requirements Sheet

  • Visit the Academic Catalog webpage linked above, then click on the Print Options link in the lower right hand column
  • Click the Download Page (PDF) link
  • Print or save the condensed program requirements document

Post-Baccalaureate Program

Explore the Program Further!

Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree can earn their teaching certification by successfully completing our post-baccalaureate teaching certification program. It’s possible that coursework completed as part of your bachelor’s degree could be applied towards our program. Please complete the web form below to find out if any of your previous course work can be used to fulfill certification requirements.

Request for Transcript Evaluation Form (for post-baccalaureate students only)

Graduate Program

Please contact Dr. Kristine Lize, Program Director for more information. See C&I Master’s degree program.


Program Admission Criteria

Undergraduate Students
  • 58 credits with a 2.5 Grade Point Average
  • 2.75 Grade Point Average in all English Content Courses
  • Additional undergraduate requirements of admission—see academic advisor
Post-Baccalaureate Students
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5 on all coursework
  • 2.75 Grade Point Average in all English Content Courses
  • For additional information—see academic advisor
  • Applications must be received by September 30 for the Post-Baccalaureate program.

Application Process

Undergraduate Program

Applications for the spring 2023 cohort will be accepted during the month of September. Please view the requirements and complete the application form linked below to apply.

English and Language Arts, 4-12 Education Undergraduate Admission Application

Post-Baccalaureate Program

Applications for the spring 2023 cohort must be submitted by Friday, September 30, 2022. Please review the English and Language Arts, 4-12 Education Application Instructions (PDF) for information about the application process and required materials.

For questions about undergraduate and post-baccalaureate admissions, please contact Maggie Kaczmarek at kaczmarm@uwm.edu.

Graduate Program

Please contact Dr. Kristine Lize, Program Director for more information. See C&I Master’s degree program.



Program Information

For general information or questions about the program, contact:

Dr. Kristine Lize
English and Language Arts, 4-12 Education Program Director & Director of Clinical Experiences

Admissions Information

For information or questions about admissions, contact:

Maggie Kaczmarek
Undergraduate Admissions Manager


To discuss your academic plan and coursework, contact an academic advisor:

Office of Student Services Advising
(414) 229-4721

Academic Advising
(Last names A – L) – Tammy Badura
(Last names M – Z) – Nikki Claas