Bilingual Teacher Pathway (BTP)

Quick Facts

  • 72 credits
  • Two-year program admitting each fall term
  • On campus in the evenings
  • Financial aid eligible at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Teach Grant eligible

There is a shortage of bilingual teachers in elementary schools across much of the United States. Yet our school districts are diverse. Students learn best from teachers who understand the students’ home languages and cultural backgrounds. These teachers must also have rigorous training in educational best practices and theory. Our education system progresses only if it offers equitable learning experiences. Each student succeeds only if their teacher meets them where they are. The Bilingual Teacher Pathway (BTP) program works to fill this critical need. The BTP program recruits and prepares bilingual and bicultural individuals to become licensed teachers. As a graduate of this program, you will support the academic goals of all students. Your impact will shape student success they will carry with them throughout their education and into their careers.


Esperanza De La Vega
Program Coordinator


Erica Soule
Admissions Advisor

Program Benefits

  • Learn how to work with linguistically and culturally diverse learners and their families
  • Understand education through a social justice and equity lens
  • Learn how to establish culturally responsive relationships and implement culturally responsive pedagogy and practices
    Benefit from your peers’ knowledge and experience in our unique cohort model
  • Earn a Dual-Language Specialization that values both teachers’ and K–12 students’ linguistic and cultural assets
  • Optional internship during the second year of the program often leads directly to employment
  • Experience incredible value: Learn from experienced teachers—and do so in convenient locations and at an accessible price

Program Specifics

  • Enjoy a flexible schedule of evening classes
    Enroll as an undergraduate or graduate and complete with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, a Preliminary Teaching License, and a Dual-Language Specialization

About the program

In April 2016, Oregon joined 32 other states in instituting the award of a State Seal of Biliteracy to high school students who are proficient in at least two languages by the time they graduate. More than half of Oregon’s school districts now aim to have their graduates obtain this. Dual-language programs are at the forefront of this movement to promote bilingualism and biliteracy. So, the demand for dual-language programs is increasing annually. With this growth comes the increased need for licensed bilingual teachers.  

The BTP program has been nationally recognized and awarded. Its cohort model brings together bilingual students to build on each other’s cultural and linguistic strengths. They learn together about culturally responsive pedagogy and practices and advocating for equity and social justice in education. BTP graduates are highly prepared to teach in dual-language settings and classrooms where there are students representing many languages.

BTP is a state leader in providing a teacher preparation program specifically designed for bilingual-bicultural students. The curriculum is centered around an equity lens that views language and culture as assets and that draws from the research and best practices for working with bilingual and emerging bilingual students and families. BTP graduates are highly prepared to teach in dual-language settings as well as in classrooms where there are multiple bilingual students representing many languages.   
All teacher candidates are placed in schools that have bilingual or dual-language programs and/or have a population of bilingual and emerging bilingual K–12 students. Student teaching placements are made in collaboration with school districts to ensure that candidates are mentored by master teachers. The program historically has been a “grow your own”/ career-ladder path for professional advancement for bilingual instructional assistants in schools. It has evolved and continues to improve to meet the needs of the surrounding community and partner school districts.

Our graduates

Nearly 400 bilingual teachers have graduated from BTP since its creation in 1998. Alumni of the BTP program are employed as teachers in schools, specialists in bilingual programs, vice principals, and principals. Many have moved into leadership roles in their districts or with the state. Become a bilingual teacher in general education classrooms, dual-immersion classrooms, and any school with linguistically and culturally diverse students and families.

Why PSU?

Oregon is experiencing a shortage of bilingual teachers. The state is trying to change that. Oregon supports districts that are creating dual-language programs. Oregon also awards a State Seal of Biliteracy to high school students who become proficient in at least two languages. As the leading public university in Oregon’s largest urban center, PSU supplies a lot of the state’s bilingual teachers. PSU’s deeply welcoming and inclusive environment provides space for BTP’s diverse students. Both at PSU and in BTP, education is a powerful scaffolding. It helps graduates be resilient in changing job markets and make a difference where you work.