Jul 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Secondary Education


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).

To learn about the core values that guide our teacher preparation program, visit our website to read the Secondary Education Department’s Guiding Principles. 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 and the Secondary Education programs. 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.


Individuals interested in teacher education can obtain information from the Website at wce.wwu.edu/admission. Inquiries should be directed to Woodring College Teacher Education Admissions, Student Services, Miller Hall 150, phone 360-650-3313, e-mail address TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu. Written inquiries may be addressed to Teacher Education Admissions, Western Washington University, MS-9090, 516 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225-9090.

Individuals interested in teacher certification are highly encouraged to seek early advising with Secondary Education faculty or staff. Freshmen, sophomores, and transfer students should seek advising with their academic major department.

Information about secondary education programs may be obtained by visiting the department website at wce.wwu.edu/sec/secondary-education. Interested applicants are encouraged to seek early advising with department faculty or staff; by email seced@wwu.edu, phone 360-650-3327, or by visiting the department in Miller Hall 400.

Those persons interested in the graduate program should consult the Graduate School section of this catalog or contact the Graduate Advisor for the Master in Teaching, Bellingham Program, Dr. A. Longoria, a.longoria@wwu.edu; or, the department manager at janna.cecka@wwu.edu. The advisor for the Master in Teaching, Everett Program is Chris Schaefer, email address chris.schaefer@wwu.edu. The Graduate School can also be contacted directly for general application questions, phone 360-650-3170, e-mail gradschool@wwu.edu


KEVIN ROXAS (2014) Chair and Professor. BA, University of Notre Dame; MA, University of San Francisco; PhD, Michigan State University.
DONALD BURGESS (2004) Professor. BA, Western State Colorado University; MSEd, State University of New York, Cortland; PhD, University of British Columbia.
KAREN DADE (2012) Professor. Undergraduate work and MEd, Cambridge College; EdD, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 
BRUCE LARSON (1996) Professor. BAE, Pacific Lutheran University; MEd, PhD, University of Washington.
A LONGORIA (2015) Assistant Professor. BA, San Francisco State University; MIT, Seattle University; PhD, University of Washington.
LAUREN MCCLANAHAN (2000) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, The Ohio State University.
VICTOR NOLET (1997) Professor. BA, MEd, University of Maine; PhD, University of Oregon.
TRACEY PYSCHER (2016) Associate Professor. BA, Eastern Michigan University; MA, PhD, University of Minnesota.
FRANCISCO RIOS (2011) Professor. BA, Carroll College; MA, PhD, University of Wisconsin.
CHRISTINE SCHAEFER (1996) Senior Instructor. BA, Whitman College; MEd, PhD, University of Washington.
VERÓNICA VÉLEZ (2013) Associate Professor. BA, Stanford University; PhD, University of California Los Angeles.
MOLLY WARE (2007) Associate Professor. BS, Principia College; MEd, PhD, University of Georgia.

Secondary Education Programs

The Department of Secondary Education offers two programs which lead to teacher certification by the state of Washington.

  • Secondary Education Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Professional Program  
    • This Secondary Education program leads to a recommendation to the state of Washington for a teaching certificate endorsed in at least one subject area. This program requires completion of the Secondary professional education course sequence, a baccalaureate degree and academic preparation for an endorsement, and a fourteen-week internship.
  • Master in Teaching with Residency Certification (MIT)  
    • This program is designed for candidates who have already completed a baccalaureate degree and academic preparation for an endorsement and who wish to complete a master’s degree while gaining teacher certification. This program is available in Bellingham, on WWU’s main campus as well as in Everett at the University Center on the campus of Everett Community College.


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, and if applicable, ACTFL proficiency tests to earn an endorsement.
    • According to WAC 181-78A-300, you may not begin your full-time student teaching before you have attempted at least one qualifying endorsement content test. Woodring teacher candidates must attempt a qualifying endorsement content test* prior to entering their full-time student teaching internship. If official scores are not available to us prior to the start of the full-time internship, candidates must provide evidence of attempting a content test in the form of an unofficial score report to CertOffice@wwu.edu.
    • For current information on test requirements, registration, fees, and test dates and locations, refer to the Content Test Resource website, wce.wwu.edu/cert/content-test-resource-site.
  • Candidates for residency certification must also complete the state of Washington edTeacher 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 the internship.
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. 


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 an endorsement by completing a state-approved program delivered through an academic major or approved equivalent. Candidates completing academic preparation in theatre arts, physical education and health, music, visual arts or world languages (Spanish, French, German, Chinese or Japanese) will be prepared to teach grade levels P-12. The remaining academic areas prepare candidates to teach at the secondary level (typically grades 6-12). 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 the endorsement programs offered at WWU, contact the Woodring College of Education certification officer at 360-650-4630, Miller Hall 150.

Choosing an Academic Major/Endorsement

Our Secondary Education teachers are in high demand in many fields and at many grade levels. Students who are interested in a teaching career are encouraged to contact the Career Services Center advisor in the field of education, Old Main 280, for information as to which endorsements are in greatest demand. Areas of greatest demand fluctuate. Certain academic majors require sequences of classes in the first two years of college in order to complete a baccalaureate degree in four years. Per ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), districts are no longer required to identify Highly Qualified Teachers. Moving forward, the state of Washington will continue to monitor teacher qualifications and collect data about certification, endorsements, teaching assignments, and years of experience. Districts may still maintain previous requirements that 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 what endorsement will best fit their teaching career goals. The following Western Washington University majors or approved equivalent meet content requirements for a teaching endorsement:

Secondary Level (Middle and High School)

  • English-Creative Writing Emphasis
  • English-Literature Emphasis
  • Mathematics - Secondary
  • Sciences:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Chemistry/Biology - Secondary
    • Chemistry/Mathematics - Secondary
    • Chemistry/Physics - Secondary
    • Earth & Space Science - Secondary
    • Middle Level Science
    • Physics - Secondary
    • Physics/Mathematics - Secondary

Social Studies

  • Anthropology/Social Studies
  • Economics/Social Studies
  • Geography/Social Studies
  • History/Social Studies
  • Political Science/Social Studies
  • Sociology/Social Studies

All Levels (P-12)

  • Art - P-12
  • Chinese with a Teaching Endorsement
  • French with a Teaching Endorsement
  • German with a Teaching Endorsement
  • Japanese with a Teaching Endorsement
  • Music Education
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Spanish with a Teaching Endorsement
  • Theatre

Program Length

Time to completion varies according to the program. The Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program is 3 academic quarters of coursework plus a 14-week internship. The Master in Teaching program in Bellingham is 4 quarters of coursework plus a 14-week internship; and the MIT Everett program is typically completed in 7 quarters.

Early advising is highly encouraged. Contact Secondary Education faculty or staff to help determine your eligibility and the best time to apply (typically during your senior year). Prospective applicants for a Music or Physical Education & Health endorsement must contact their academic advisor by sophomore year.

Admission Requirements

See Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program for details .
See Master in Teaching, Bellingham for details .
See Master in Teaching, Everett for details .

Application Criteria

See Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program for details .
See Master in Teaching, Bellingham for details .
See Master in Teaching, Everett for details .

Program Continuation

Upon acceptance, each candidate is assigned a Secondary Education faculty advisor and sent a detailed letter for next steps. All 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 their teacher education program in order to remain in the program.

Requirements Upon Program Admission

  • Fingerprinting & Pre-Residency Clearance Certificate as described below under Character and Fitness Woodring College of Education Professionalism Orientation
  • Woodring College of Education Prevention of Sexual Harassment Training
  • Woodring College of Education Blood-Borne Pathogens Training

Character and Fitness

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 student 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, students must abide by the Woodring College of Education conduct policies acknowledged in the Student Conduct Requirements and Agreement, which is submitted with program application materials.

General Retention Requirements

  • UG/PB candidates must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA, and MIT candidates must maintain at least a 3.0 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. Students who fail to meet this standard will be asked to meet with the program director for advising and this may result in being dropped from the program.
  • Students 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 demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language. Those who have difficulty in their verbal and/or written English communications should expect to seek remediation.
  • Candidates are responsible for compiling a portfolio illustrating the quality of their work in each professional education class.
  • Students in a teaching preparation program must complete all certification and endorsement course work prior to the internship.
  • 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.
  • MIT candidates must meet Graduate School requirements.

Program Completion

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).

Other Departmental Information


An important experience for teacher certification candidates is the student teaching internship. 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  candidates.

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 their 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 starting an internship, passing scores on the applicable WEST-E or NES endorsement test must be submitted, all education and endorsement course work and practica must be completed, and fingerprint/character and fitness clearance must be valid. 

OFE does not guarantee placements. Placement in a school is contingent on:

  • Fulfillment of all requirements (satisfactory academic work, education and endorsement program course work, and practica).
  • Submission of scores on the WEST-E/NES/ACTFL tests in their endorsement areas.
  • Availability of placements and supervision in specific subjects, grade levels.
  • Acceptance by P-12 school personnel.
  • Fingerprint clearance, and character and fitness clearance through the end of the internship.

Students are required to interview with the public school teacher to whom they will be assigned, for final approval of placement. OFE will make every effort to arrange up to three initial interviews but does not guarantee an interview.

Any subsequent placement after a voluntary or non-voluntary withdrawal from an internship will be granted only by faculty recommendation following a case conference. Given the heavy time commitment an internship requires, you are strongly discouraged from working during the internship.

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.


    Undergraduate MinorGraduateEndorsementProfessional Program Requirements


      Education and Social Justice

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.

      Secondary Education

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.