The Department of Secondary Education offers professional education programs that lead to recommendation from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for residency teacher certification in the state of Washington, for candidates who wish to teach at the secondary level (middle and high school). The programs in Secondary Education are firmly backed by current research of effective teaching and promoting student learning, and provides multiple field experiences (including service-learning, practica, and student internship).
The Woodring College of Education vision fosters community relationships and a culture of learning that advances knowledge, embraces diversity, and promotes social justice. This vision establishes the educational values that guide the College. Woodring College has had a long-standing commitment to preparing teachers and producing highly capable, effective educators who strive for ambitious goals in teaching; teaching that is ambitious both in its intellectual goals and in its concern for the learning and well-being of all students.
Advising related to the academic major or endorsement will take place in the academic major department, and individuals interested in teacher certification are encouraged to seek early advising by contacting their advisor. Additional contacts are below.
- Secondary Education Department: wce.wwu.edu/sec, 360-650-3327, Christina.Carlson@wwu.edu, Miller Hall 400.
- Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate, Woodring College Admissions: wce.wwu.edu/admission, 360-650-3313, TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu, Miller Hall 150. Mail to: Teacher Education Admissions, WWU, Miller Hall 150, 516 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225-9090.
- Master in Teaching, Graduate School: wwu.edu/gradschool, 360-650-3170, firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail to: Graduate School, WWU, Old Main 530, 516 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225-9037.
BRUCE LARSON (1996) Chair and Professor. BAE, Pacific Lutheran University; MEd, PhD, University of Washington.
DONALD BURGESS (2004) Associate Professor. BA, Western State Colorado University; MSEd, State University of New York, Cortland; PhD, University of British Columbia.
ANGELA HARWOOD (1997) Professor. BA, University of Utah; MA, PhD, Emory University.
KIRSTEN JENSEN (2003) Senior Instructor. BA, University of Washington; MIT, Western Washington University.
LAUREN MCCLANAHAN (2000) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, The Ohio State University.
VICTOR NOLET (1997) Professor. BA, MEd, University of Maine; PhD, University of Oregon.
ROSALIE ROMANO (2008) Associate Professor. BA, PhD, University of Washington.
KEVIN ROXAS (2014) Assistant Professor. BA, University of Notre Dame; MA, University of San Francisco; PhD, Michigan State University.
CHRISTINE SCHAEFER (1996) Senior Instructor. BA, Whitman College; MEd, PhD, University of Washington.
VERÓNICA VÉLEZ (2013) Assistant Professor. BA, Stanford University; PhD, University of California Los Angeles.
MOLLY WARE (2007) Associate Professor. BS, Principia College; MEd, PhD, University of Georgia.
The Department of Secondary Education offers two programs which lead to teacher certification by the state of Washington.
The Washington Administrative Code specifies the requirements for earning a Washington state teacher certificate. State-approved preparation programs and certification requirements align with Washington State K-12 Learning Standards, and require candidates to demonstrate that they have made a positive impact on student learning. First-level Residency certification programs are designed around the standards of foundational knowledge, effective teaching, and professionalism. Teacher certificates are issued by the state, upon the recommendation of the regionally accredited college or university where the candidate completed a state-approved preparation program.
State requirements for teacher certification at the time of completion of a candidate’s program will supersede those outlined in this catalog. These changes may affect the time it takes for a candidate to complete the teacher education program.
Residency Teacher Certification
The first-level Residency certificate is awarded to new teachers upon the completion of these general requirements:
- A baccalaureate or higher-level degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- A state-approved, performance-based teacher preparation program that includes preparation in an endorsable subject area, teaching methodology, and an internship
- Evidence of good moral character and personal fitness
- External assessments of content knowledge and teacher performance as required by Washington State
Candidates for Residency certification must pass a content knowledge test to earn an endorsement. WWU requires submission of a passing content test score for each endorsement to be earned, before commencement of the student teaching internship. For current information on test requirements, registration, fees, and test dates and locations, refer to Content Test Resource Website, wce.wwu.edu/cert/content-test-resource-site. Candidates for Residency certification must also complete the state of Washington education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) during the student teaching internship. Application for the residency certificate is made to Woodring College Teacher Certification, Student Services, Miller Hall 150, 360-650-4930, no later than three months prior to the start of student teaching.
The first-issue Residency certificate has no defined expiration date. It is valid until the teacher completes at least 1.5 years of successful teaching experience accumulated over a minimum of two years in a state-approved public, private or state-operated education program. A three year residency certificate is then issued by the state. The timeline for earning a second level professional certificate begins with the reissued residency certificate
Professional Teacher Certification
The second-level professional certificate is awarded to experienced teachers who hold a valid residency certificate and who pass the Washington ProTeach Portfolio assessment or earn national board certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Professional certification requirements are designed around the standards of effective teaching, professional development, and professional contributions. For further information, contact the Woodring College of Education certification officer at 360-650-4630, Miller Hall 150.
An endorsement identifies the subject matter in which a teacher is prepared and authorized by the state to teach. One qualifying endorsement is required for Residency certification. Courses required for a state teaching endorsement and the professional education sequence must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. Secondary Education candidates earn a qualifying endorsement by completing a state-approved program delivered through an academic major or approved equivalent. Candidates completing a major in theatre arts, physical education and health, music, special education, visual arts or world languages (Spanish, French, German or Japanese) will be prepared to teach grade levels P-12. The remaining majors prepare candidates to teach at the secondary level (typically grades 6-12). The Secondary Education Department also offers an additional endorsement in Middle Level Humanities. Content methods courses are required for all endorsements. For specific course numbers and schedule information, candidates are advised to contact their academic department advisor. For information on additional endorsement programs offered throughout the University, contact the Woodring College of Education certification officer at 360-650-4630, Miller Hall 150.
Choosing an Academic Major/Endorsement
Secondary Education graduates are in high demand as teachers in many fields and grade levels. Areas of greatest demand fluctuate. Students who are interested in a teaching career are encouraged to visit the Career Services Center, Old Main 280, for information as to which endorsements are in greatest demand. Certain academic majors require sequences of classes in the first two years of college in order to complete a baccalaureate degree in four years. All Secondary Education candidates are advised to speak with an academic department advisor. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) “highly qualified teacher” requirement may impact eligibility for certain middle school teaching assignments in a core academic subject(s). Candidates are responsible for consulting with an advisor for further information on NCLB. The following Western Washington University majors or approved equivalent meet content requirements for a qualifying teaching endorsement:
Secondary Level (Middle and High School)
All Levels (P-12)
The Washington Administrative Code requires applicants for teacher certification to give evidence of “good moral character and personal fitness.” Candidates provide evidence of character and fitness through two separate but related processes:
- A Pre-Residency Clearance through OSPI. Instructions for completion of this application will be provided upon acceptance in the program. The application for certification requires candidates to answer questions regarding professional fitness, criminal history and personal conduct. Candidates with “yes” responses must be cleared by OSPI before participating in any courses that include field experiences.
- Washington State Patrol and FBI background checks are completed through a fingerprinting process. Procedures and fee information are provided to candidates upon acceptance into the program.
No candidate in a teacher education program may participate in a University-sponsored activity in the public schools until cleared by the Washington State Patrol, or in some cases, investigated and then cleared by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Clearances are validated for two years. Candidates must maintain character and fitness clearance until they have been recommended for a Residency teacher certificate following completion of the teacher education program.
In addition to the Washington State character and fitness requirements noted above, candidates must abide by the Woodring College of Education conduct policies acknowledged in the Student Conduct and Requirements Agreement submitted with program application materials.
All applicants to the Undergraduate nad Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program must be formally admitted to and currently enrolled at Western Washington University, or post-baccalaureate applicants must apply to Western for the same quarter they apply to teacher education. Application materials are available in Miller Hall 150 and printable from wce.wwu.edu/admission.
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of Woodring College noted below. Enrollment restrictions apply to teacher education programs. Meeting the following requirements makes the applicant eligible for admission consideration but does not guarantee admission. Consideration will be given to those applicants with endorsements in academic areas of current critical need.
Applicants to the Undergraduate and Post-baccalaureate Certification Program usually complete the certification sequence in three academic quarters plus a one-quarter internship. Undergraduate students may take selected certification courses while completing their academic major during their junior and senior years with department approval. Prior to applying, undergraduates must have satisfied all of the General University Requirements. Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate applicants must have no more than 10 endorsement credits remaining, or have special permission from the department. Applicants seeking a Music or Health/Fitness endorsement should speak to their advisor to know when to apply to the Secondary Education program. Post-baccalaureates who have a minimum 3.0 GPA are encouraged to consider the Master’s in Teaching program (see MIT catalog page for other program information).
- Academic preparation for a qualifying endorsement with no more than 10 credits remaining in endorsement coursework, or have special permission from the department. See the list of qualifying endorsements at wce.wwu.edu/cert/endorsements.
- Post-baccalaureate must have a baccalaureate degree in the academic major (endorsement) and/or no more than 10 credits remaining in endorsement coursework, or have special permission from the department.
- A 2.75 undergraduate grade point average.
- Completion of an approved English composition course, with a grade of B or higher.
- Meet the Washington Education Skills Test - Basic (WEST-B) requirement. This may be met by a) passing the WEST-B exam, b) SAT minimum scores, or c) ACT minimum scores. For details, see the WEST-B Requirement website for more information, wce.wwu.edu/admissions/west-b-requirement. Passing scores must be on file by the application due date.
- Application form.
- Essays and statement of purpose.
- Two letters of reference.
- Important Application Dates:
Applications and supporting materials must be received by the following deadlines for priority consideration:
- Fall quarter: April 1
- Winter quarter: September 1
- How to apply: Visit the Woodring Admissions website for more information, wce.wwu.edu/admissions/secondary-education.
Students admitted to the Woodring College of Education must meet specified requirements throughout the course of their teacher education program in order to remain in the program.
Requirements Upon Program Admission
Upon acceptance, each candidate is assigned an education faculty advisor. All newly accepted Secondary candidates must attend the mandatory orientation and advising session before beginning first quarter classes. Candidates may be dropped from Secondary Education for failing to attend the required orientation. Candidates admitted to the Woodring College of Education must meet specified requirements throughout the course of their teacher education program in order to remain in the program.
- Completion of a Pre-Residency Clearance through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and a fingerprint check as described in Character and Fitness.
- Completion of the Woodring College of Education Prevention of Sexual Harassment Training.
- Completion of the Woodring College of Education Blood-Borne Pathogens Training.
General Retention Requirements
- Candidates must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA beginning with the quarter they are notified of admission to Secondary Education. This requirement applies even to quarters where no education courses are being taken. Candidates who fail to meet this standard will receive a letter advising them that they have been dropped from the program.
- Candidates must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in both the professional education sequence and in all courses required for the endorsement.
- Candidates must successfully complete a minimum of one certification course each calendar year.
- Candidates must demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language. Those who have a difficulty in their verbal and/or written communications should expect to seek remediation before beginning the internship.
- Candidates are responsible for compiling a portfolio illustrating the quality of their work in each professional education class.
- Candidates must complete all certification and endorsement course work.
- Candidates are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner, in terms of moral code, use of written or verbal language, abstention from sexual harassment, gender, ethnic and racial bias.
To qualify for program completion and recommendation for state of Washington residency certification, candidates must complete the following requirements and assessments:
- A baccalaureate or higher-level degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- A state-approved, performance-based teacher preparation program that includes preparation in an endorsable subject area, teaching methodology, and an internship.
- Evidence of good moral character and personal fitness.
- Passing scores as set by the State of Washington on the state-required content knowledge test(s) for each endorsement.
- Passing scores as set by the State of Washington on the education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).
- Successful completion of the student teaching internship as shown by performance on the WWU Intern Development and Evaluation System (IDES).
- Candidates who interrupt enrollment in a teacher education program for more than two consecutive quarters (summer quarter not included) must meet all program admission, completion and certification requirements in place for the quarter in which they expect to return.
All Secondary student teaching internships are 14 weeks in length and require candidates to teach under the direct supervision of a certified teacher in a school setting. Student teaching internships are full-time school-based placements where the candidate assumes increasing levels of independent teaching responsibilities.
Teaching internships will begin upon completion of all certification course work and upon a recommendation of the Secondary faculty. The Secondary faculty review the list of interns for the forthcoming quarter internship and review the portfolios of any candidates whom they feel may not be competent to student teach.
Recommendation by the Secondary faculty is based on an evaluation of the candidate’s competence in the following:
- Written communication.
- Verbal communication.
- Presentation skills.
- Working with students from racial and ethnic populations other than his/her own, and with special needs students.
- Academic major requirements.
- Student portfolio.
- Washington Standards for Beginning Teachers.
Should the faculty question the readiness of the candidate for the internship, a conference with a faculty review committee will be arranged, at which time faculty concerns will be presented to the candidate. The candidate will have the opportunity to defend the materials viewed by the faculty and bring forth any supporting evidence. Following the conference the faculty will make one of the following decisions: 1) approval to begin the internship, 2) develop a plan for monitoring specific behaviors during the internship, 3) develop a plan for remediation, delaying the internship, or 4) drop the candidate from the program.
Candidates must successfully complete the entire 14 weeks to receive credit for the internship and recommendation for certification.
Application for Internship
The Office of Field Experiences (OFE) is the service agency of the College of Education which seeks placements for prospective interns. Candidates must have completed a residency teacher certificate application packet including endorsement evaluation, and Washington State Patrol/FBI fingerprinting before OFE will seek an internship placement.
Before commencement of the internship, passing scores on the state-required content knowledge test(s) for each endorsement must be submitted, all education and endorsement course work and practica must be completed, and fingerprint/character and fitness clearance must be valid. Candidates who interrupt enrollment for a quarter or more must meet the deadline for filing a returning student application.
OFE does not guarantee placements and reserves the right to place candidates anywhere within the WWU service area.
Placement in a school is contingent on:
- Fulfillment of all requirements (satisfactory academic work, education and endorsement program course work, and practica).
- Submission of passing scores on the WEST-E tests in their endorsement areas.
- Availability of placements and supervision in specific subjects, grade levels, and specific geographic area.
- Acceptance by P-12 school personnel.
- Fingerprint clearance, and character and fitness clearance through the end of the internship.
Candidates are required to interview with the certified teacher and/or school administrator at the school where the placement is being considered. A maximum of three interviews for an internship placement are arranged by OFE. Any subsequent placement after a voluntary or non-voluntary withdrawal from an internship is granted only by faculty recommendation following a case conference.
Time commitment to the internship requires seven clock hours daily Monday through Friday plus preparation time, seminars, and responsibilities outside the school. Candidates should not register for other course work, hold jobs, or obligate themselves to time-demanding commitments without the approval of the department chair and OFE.
Candidates must submit an application for an internship placement to OFE prior to the internship. All out-of-area or special placement requests require a petition. Applications, placement locations, petitions, and other information are available in the Office of Field Experiences, Student Services, Miller Hall 150.
ProgramsUndergraduate MinorGraduateEndorsementProfessional Program Requirements
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.