Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: What is the price of the course credit?

A1: FREE to participants! (Paid for by the National Professional Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition)

Q2: Does the program have any financial cost? 

A2: NO to participants! (Paid for by the National Professional Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition)

Q3: What would the time constraints be? Or time commitment.

A3: – Take one 15-week asynchronous online course per semester for 5 semesters.

– Participate in one Summer Institute (4-days, in-person) – $100 stipend per day

– Participate in online synchronous Saturday Workshops (8 total, 2 in each fall & spring semesters) – $100 stipend per day

– Respond to research surveys for project reporting purposes (number of times is TBD)

– You will meet in a smaller group of five with a mentor coach, which will also involve classroom observations (number of times is TBD)

Time & Places Related 

Q4: How many hours per week would you suggest that we make sure we have available in this program? 

A4: You will spend about 6-8 hours per week for asynchronous online graduate courses. Time commitments for synchronous online Saturday Workshops will be 2 Saturdays/semester (8 total). Summer Institute will occur once, for 4 days.

Q5: Which GMU campus will the Saturday and Summer Institute hold? Manassas?

A5: This is TBD, but we will do our best to listen and accommodate.

Course Design & Process

Q6: What is the difference between Cohorts 1 and 2?

A6: Cohort 1 will begin the ACE-STEM program (in terms of coursework) in August 2022 and finish in Summer 2024. Cohort 2 will begin their program in Summer 2024 and end in Spring 2026.

Q7: Will Cohort 2 still be online even if the pandemic turns better?

A7: Yes. Instructors will be available for virtual meetings and they will be active in the course. 

Q8: Are all workshops/courses online?

A8: Yes. Courses and Saturday Workshops are online. Summer Institutes are in-person. 

Q9: What courses are we taking for the graduate certificate?

A9: You will be taking 5 courses comparable to the current graduate courses below at College of Education and Human Development. When you click on the links, you can access the course descriptions. 

EDUC 537– Introduction to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners

EDCI 516– Bilingualism and Language Acquisition Research

EDCI 510 – Linguistics for PreK-12 ESOL Teachers

EDCI 519 – Methods of Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners

EDRD 610– Content Literacy for English Language Learners, PreK-12

Application Process 

Q10: How can we access the application?

A10: Please click to apply here – ACE-STEM Application Form

Q11: Will the application link be the final step to finish? 

A11: No. Once you are selected from the initial application, you may be asked to participate in a 20-minute interview with ACE-STEM Project Team. After your selection is finalized, you will need to apply to the Mason’s Graduate School (application fee paid by NPD grant). 

Q12: Do we need to attend another information session if we already attended one?

A:12: No. However, you can always send your questions to acestem@gmu.edu

Who is Eligible to Participate? 

Q13: What are you looking for when choosing candidates?

A13: PWCS teacher/staff working with grades K-8 ELs (minimum 20%) in your classroom/school context. Must have a VA teaching license.

Q14: Is being a classroom teacher a requirement to participate in the cohort?

A14: No. (Read A15 and A16)

Q15: Some faculties or staff who work with teachers or in teacher training  programs have interests in this program, they have license/certificate, but they do not directly work with students, can they participate in ACE-STEM program? 

A15: Yes! Be sure to explain in what capacities you are working on a regular basis  with/for ELs in your current position.

Q16: Do participants have to stay in PWCS to stay in this program? 

A16: Yes. Participants must be PWCS employees throughout the ACE-STEM project period (2021-2026).

Q17: If I am already endorsed in ESOL, am I not able to participate?

A17: Yes. You are eligible and encouraged to participate to enhance your professional expertise for designing and delivering content-language integrated instruction with a STEM focus. ACE-STEM has a few spots for ESOL teachers with the endorsement. 

Q18: Do you have to already have a master’s degree, or are you earning a Master’s degree by completing this program?

A18: No. With the ACE-STEM coursework, you will have earned 15 credits toward a Master’s in Education at George Mason University. This is a great opportunity to complete your masters if you would like to do that! You will need to take additional 15 credits at your own expense. We can connect you to the personnel who can assist you with this process after the program participation.

Q19: Are special education teachers eligible?

A19: YES!


Q20: How can this help if I am already an ESOL teacher?

A20: You will deepen your knowledge of an expertise for implementing innovative, research-based approaches to content and language integrated instruction. You will enhance your capacity for working with content area teachers to design and implement culturally and linguistically sustaining instruction in content areas, including STEM classrooms. ACE-STEM has a few spots for ESOL teachers with the endorsement.

Q21: Is it possible that I can combine this program with my other master courses to be part of a doctoral program in the future?

A21: Yes. (Read A8)

Q22: What if we applied but have other things and cannot attend or finish the workshop/course?

A22: We completely understand that things can happen in life. Your expected commitment to the program will be highlighted for you to carefully review and consider in the “Participant Agreement” section of the initial application form.