The B.E.S.T. (Bilingual Education, Special and TESOL) Education Project

A tuition-free, federally-funded grant for certified teachers to earn cross-endorsements in elementary or secondary bilingual education, k-12 special education and/or as a k-12 teacher of English to speakers of other languages.


gseap_best_photoDr. Anne Campbell and Dr. David Zera, associate professors in the Graduate School of Education and Allied professions at Fairfield University, authored and were awarded a $1.4 million National Professional Development grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant is one of the largest in Fairfield history. The B.E.S.T. Education Project will train certified teachers in Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford to better teach English language learners (ELLs) and/or students with special education needs.

Certified teachers working in the aforementioned school districts are invited to apply to the B.E.S.T Education Project and earn an additional teaching endorsement in Bilingual Education (BE), Special Education (SE), or Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The B.E.S.T. project is designed for the following groups depending on prior certification:

1. Bilingual and Monolingual Regular Education teachers (elementary or secondary) who wish to earn a cross-endorsement in Bilingual Education, Special Education and/or TESOL.

2. TESOL teachers who wish to earn a cross-endorsement in Special Education.

3. Monolingual or Bilingual Special Education teachers who wish to earn a cross-endorsement in bilingual education or TESOL.

Tuition will be paid by the grant.

About the Program

Classes begin in September and are held in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate working teachers. Program length will vary according to the program chosen.

Bilingual Education: 18 credits

Special Education: 30 credits

TESOL: depending on previous coursework, 18 to 30 credits

All coursework taken for the cross-endorsement can be applied toward a Master of Arts (M..A.) degree or Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.)


For a preliminary application contact:
Dr. Anne Campbell, Project Director, at BESTProject@fairfield.edu

The B.E.S.T. Education Project Directors:

gseap_acampbellDr. Anne Campbell is an associate professor of TESOL and Bilingual/Multicultural Education and director of the TESOL, World Languages, and Bilingual Education Programs. Her areas of expertise are TESOL and bilingual education, specifically cross-cultural communication, socio-linguistics, content area reading, and assessment of English language learners.

gseap_dzeraDr. David Zera is an associate professor of Psychology & Special Education. His area of expertise is special education, specifically, bilingual special education, learning disabilities and, remedial reading and language arts.

Drs. Campbell and Zera recently finished work associated with another five-year U.S. Department of Education grant to fund Project SETTELL (Special Education Training for Teachers of English Language Learners), a program that trained candidates to earn initial certificates and/or cross-endorsements. More than 30 candidates completed the program and are now certified to teach special education, bilingual education and/or TESOL.