Jun 15, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Secondary Education

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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, promoting student learning, and providing 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/sec/admission-registration. Prospective applicants are encouraged to seek early advising for program application requirements with the Woodring Admissions Office, wce.wwu.edu/admissions/contact. Sophomores and transfer students should also seek advising with their academic major department. Inquiries should be directed to Woodring College Teacher Education Admissions, Student Services, Miller Hall 256A, phone 360-650-4887, 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.

Further information about secondary education programs may be obtained by visiting the department website at wce.wwu.edu/sec, e-mailing seced@wwu.edu, or contacting Janna Cecka, Program Manager at 360-650-3347 or at ceckaj@wwu.edu.

Those persons interested in the graduate program should consult the Woodring Admissions Office or other contacts noted above, and review the Graduate School  section of this catalog. The Graduate School can also be contacted directly for general application questions, phone 360-650-3170, e-mail gradschool@wwu.edu.  


A LONGORIA (2015) Chair and Associate Professor. BA, San Francisco State University; MIT, Seattle University; PhD, University of Washington.
DONALD BURGESS (2004) Professor. BA, Western State Colorado University; MSEd, State University of New York, Cortland; PhD, University of British Columbia.
BRUCE LARSON (1996) Professor. BAE, Pacific Lutheran University; MEd, PhD, University of Washington.
LAUREN MCCLANAHAN (2000) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, The Ohio State University.
TRACEY PYSCHER (2016) Associate Professor. BA, Eastern Michigan University; MA, PhD, University of Minnesota.
KEVIN ROXAS (2014) Professor. BA, University of Notre Dame; MA, University of San Francisco; PhD, Michigan State University.
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. A new program will begin in spring 2023 in Renton designed specifically with a multilingual education emphasis for working professionals employed by school districts in South King County 


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 student’s program will supersede those outlined in this catalog. These changes may affect the time it takes for a student to complete the teacher education program.

Residency Teacher Certification

  • The first-level residency certificate is awarded to new teachers upon the completion of these generally stated 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.
  • 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 five-year reissuance certificate is then issued by the state. 


An endorsement identifies the grade level and subject matter in which a teacher is prepared and authorized by the state to teach. One 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 256A.

Secondary Level (Middle and High School)

  • English-Creative Writing Emphasis
  • English-ELL/Bilingual Education Emphasis
  • English-Literature Emphasis
  • Mathematics - Secondary
  • Sciences:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Chemistry/Biology - Secondary
    • Chemistry/Mathematics - Secondary
    • Chemistry/Physics - Secondary
    • Computer Science - 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. The MIT Everett program is 6 quarters of coursework plus a 14-week internship. The MIT program for South King County paraprofessionals is 6-7 quarters of coursework including internship. 

Admission Requirements and Application Criteria

See the following for more information:

Master in Teaching, Everett, MIT  

Master in Teaching, Bellingham, MIT  

Master in Teaching, South King County - Multilingual Education Emphasis, MIT  

Secondary Education Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Professional Program  

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.” Students 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 into the program. The application requires candidates to answer questions regarding professional fitness, criminal history and personal conduct. Students 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. Teacher candidates admitted to an Early Childhood Education endorsement program complete a background check through the DEL, and submit the results to OSPI. Procedures and fee information are provided to students 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 DCY, Washington State Patrol, or in some cases, investigated and then cleared by the OSPI. Clearances are valid for two years. Students 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 could seek additional support.
  • 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, students 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 the required endorsable subject areas, teaching methodology, and an internship.
  • Evidence of good moral character and personal fitness.
  • Complete the state required content knowledge test(s) for the qualifying endorsement area(s).
  • Successful completion of the student teaching internship.

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 Woodring 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 256A.


    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.

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