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Washington Alternative Certification Programs

(found programs from 12 schools)

Washington State is facing teacher shortages in the subjects of special education, bilingual education, all areas of science, math, early childhood special education, and English language learner education, particularly in the Spokane, Seattle, and Olympia school districts. According to data compiled by the National Center for Alternative Education, approximately 9 percent of Washington state teachers enter the profession through a non-traditional route.

Washington has instituted four separate ways for an individual to earn an alternate teaching certificate. While each of these routes was created for a different purpose and has different requirements, all of them require a full-time, year-long mentored internship at a Washington public school in addition to passing regular state assessments. The first route is a program designed for currently employed instructional staff seeking endorsements in special education or English as a Second Language. The program format includes one year of content preparation and one year practice-teaching. The second route is a program designed for currently employed staff with a bachelor's degree or higher seeking certification in high-need or shortage areas. This program includes a summer academy in addition to one year of practice-teaching. The third route is a program for individuals who possess a bachelor's degree or higher in any field. The program format includes a summer academy plus one year of practice-teaching. The last option is a program for individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher who are currently teaching with a conditional or emergency certificate. This program includes a summer academy plus one year of practice-teaching.

Two programs you may consider are the Alternative Routes to Certification (ARC) program or the Teach for America program. The ARC program, such as the one at Seattle Pacific University, integrates teacher certification with a Master of Arts in teaching (M.A.T.) degree, and prepares individuals who already have a bachelor's degree to become classroom teachers. This program typically takes one year to complete. Teach for America is a national corps of recent college graduates of any major who commit at least two years to teaching in low-income communities. Requirements include a 2.5 GPA and skills in leadership, organization, and critical thinking.


Schools in Washington:

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