The Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching Department is comprised of four components: Special Education Teacher Preparation Programs in Bellingham, Bremerton and Everett; Alternate Route Teacher Preparation Programs at various sites; Education Administration Programs; and Exceptionality and Disability major, minor and undergraduate courses.
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 Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching programs. The courses of study in the Department of Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching are designed to prepare thoughtful, knowledgeable, and inclusive special education teachers, district and school leaders, and community leaders for a diverse society. Consistent with state and national standards, the curricula for the programs are carefully sequenced, and grounded in current research on effective teaching, learning, and leadership.
We, in the Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching Department at Western Washington University, believe that all people can live, learn, play, and work together in inclusive communities. Our mission is consistent with the mission of Woodring College of Education:
- Construct, transform, and convey knowledge by integrating research, theory, and practice.
- Cultivate student growth through extensive community and school engagement in collaboration with exemplary practicing professionals.
- Act with respect for individual differences, including taking a strengths-based view.
- Develop collaborative partnerships that promote the learning and well-being of individuals, families, and the community.
- Evaluate processes and outcomes to ensure continual program improvements.
- Education Leadership is composed of masters and/or residency administrator programs, Superintendent Certification and a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership that focus upon application of theory to the building-based environment.
Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching offers professional education programs that lead to recommendation to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for residency teacher certification in the State of Washington. The department offers two non-certification Bachelor of Arts in Education majors: (a) Early Childhood Special Education, BAE and (b) Exceptionality and Disability, BAE. Exceptionality and Disability courses offer a broader understanding of disability in our culture and connection to community service agencies. The department also offers an endorsement option for certificated teachers. (Please see program descriptions for further information.) Education Administration is composed of Master of Education, Doctorate of Education and/or residency administrator programs that focus upon application of theory to the building-based environment.
Individuals interested in teacher certification can obtain information from the website at wce.wwu.edu/admissions/teacher-education. Inquiries should be directed to Woodring College Teacher Education Admissions, Student Services, Miller Hall 150, 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.
Information about special education programs including the Exceptionality and Disability major may be obtained by visiting the department website at wce.wwu.edu/sped/special-education. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the faculty regarding these programs. Appointments can be made by phone (360-650-3330), by visiting the department in Miller Hall 200, or by e-mailing Summer Mitchell at Summer.Mitchell@wwu.edu.
Information about Educational Administration Programs may be obtained by contacting Carola McGowan, Program Manager at 360-650-3708 or at Carola.McGowan@wwu.edu. Information can also be found on the program’s website at wce.wwu.edu/edad/educational-administration.
CHARLES LAMBERT (2004) Chair and Professor. BEd, Gonzaga University; MA, San Francisco State University; PhD, Ohio State University.
WARREN ALLER (1993) Senior Instructor. BS, University of Idaho; MEd, Western Washington University.
TIM BRUCE (2016) Associate Professor & Director of Education Administration. BA, Whitworth College; M.Ed, Whitworth College; PhD, Gonzaga University.
GAIL COULTER (2008) Professor. BA, MA, California State University-Chico; PhD, University of Oregon.
LINDSAY FORMAN MURRAY (2019) Assistant Professor. BA, Reed College; MA, University of Chicago; PhD, Vanderbilt University.
JEFFERY L. HART (2017) Associate Professor. BS, Brigham Young University; MEd, Utah State University, PhD., Pennsylvania State University.
JOSEPH HUNTER (2012) Professor. BSEd, MSED, Southern Oregon State College; EdD, Portland State University.
KEITH J. HYATT (2002) Emeritus Professor. BS, MS, University of Idaho; EdS, EdD, University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
BRIDGET KELLEY (1995) Associate Professor. BS, University of Pittsburgh; MEd, Arizona State University; PhD, University of Washington.
DONALD E. LARSEN (2005) Professor. BA, Seattle Pacific University; MA, Pacific Lutheran University; PhD, Washington State University.
NATALIE NEWMAN (2018) Director Ershig Assistive Technology Resource Center (EATRC). BA, Western Washington University; MOT, University of Puget Sound.
AARON PERZIGIAN (2015) Professor. BS, Edgewood College, MS, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
WAYNE T. ROBERTSON (1992) Senior Instructor. BAEd, MEd, Central Washington University; EdD, University of Washington.
LEANNE K. ROBINSON (2002) Professor. BAE, Central Washington University; MEd, Western Washington University; PhD, Washington State University.
BETH STICKLEY (2003) Senior Instructor. BA, University of Northern Iowa; MEd, Western Washington University.
TRACY THORNDIKE (2005) Associate Professor. BA, MS, Western Washington University; PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Inclusive Teaching Programs
Students at Western Washington University may choose from five teacher preparation options that result in residency certification with an endorsement to teach special education in the State of Washington or from two non-teacher certification options.
Non-teacher certification options
The two programs listed below do not lead to teacher certification. Graduates seek employment in positions that do not require certification.
- Early Childhood Special Education BAE
Completion of this program results in a BA in Education. Students in this major typically seek employment in private child development centers and governmental agencies; they do not qualify for a teaching certificate.
- Exceptionality & Disability BAE
Completion of this program results in a BA in Education. Students who complete this major typically seek employment as para-educators or in non-school settings, such as health and human services and non-profit organizations; they do not qualify for a teaching certificate.
Teacher certification options
Completion of these majors / programs, and any additional WA State certification requirements, results in earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from WWU as well as recommendation to Washington State for Teacher Certification. Students who have already earned a BA or higher degree should consult with the department for clarification on eligibility for an additional degree.
- Early Childhood Special Education P-3 & Early Childhood Education P-3 (Dual Endorsement), BAE
Completion of this major results in earning a BA in Education with recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate endorsed in Early Childhood Special Education P-3 and Early Childhood Education P-3. Option to add Special Education P-12 with additional coursework.
- Special Education P-12 & Elementary Education (Dual Endorsement), BAE
Completion of this major results in earning a BA in Education with recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate endorsed in Special Education P-12 and Elementary Education K-8
- Special Education P-12 plus Content Endorsement (Dual Endorsement), BAE
Completion of this major results in earning a BA in Education with recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate endorsed in Special Education P-12 and a content endorsement (students must earn a second endorsement in an area other than Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Bilingual Education, or English Language Learner). View the list of endorsement options here: wce.wwu.edu/cert/endorsements.
- Special Education & Content Endorsement for post-baccalaureates
Completion of this program results in a recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate with an endorsement in Special Education P-12 and a content endorsement. Students must earn a second endorsement in an area other than Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Bilingual Education, or English Language Learner. View the list of options here: wce.wwu.edu/cert/endorsements.
- Additional endorsement in Special Education
Teachers who hold a valid and endorsable Washington State certificate may earn an endorsement in Special Education (P-12) by completing core coursework and meeting state requirements.
Special Education majors are academically rigorous programs aligned with the content and performance standards of the Council for Exceptional Children. Practical experience with children and youth is emphasized throughout the programs via a series of carefully designed and sequenced practica. Special Education programs include a significant amount of training in best practices with focus upon Curriculum-Based Evaluation (CBE) and Response to Intervention (RtI).
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 subject matter a teacher is prepared and authorized by the state to teach. Special Education endorsements must be paired with another qualifying endorsement for residency teacher certification. All courses required for a teaching endorsement and the professional education sequence must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.
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.
Time to completion varies according to the program. For example, the Exceptionality and Disability, BAE is approximately six quarters in length after completion of the General University Requirements (GURs). Special Education teacher certification programs after completion of all General University Requirements (GURs) or an Associate of Arts degree from a state of Washington community college, ranges from two to three years in length. Students earning both Special Education P-12 and Elementary Education endorsements should plan on approximately 10 academic quarters for completion.
Admission Requirements and Application Criteria
See the following programs for more information:
Early Childhood Special Education, BAE
Exceptionality and Disability Minor
Exceptionality and Disability, BAE
Early Childhood Special Education P-3 and Early Childhood Education P-3 (Dual Endorsement), BAE
Special Education — P-12 plus Content Endorsement (Dual Endorsement), BAE
Special Education — P-12 and Elementary Education (Dual Endorsement), BAE
Educational Administration Certification options
Initial Administrator Certificate (Superintendent)
Residency Administrator Certificate (Principal)
Educational Administration, with Comprehensive Assessment, Non-Thesis, MEd
Education Leadership, EdD
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. Upon acceptance, each student is assigned an advisor. Additionally, all accepted students must attend orientation the day before the start of the quarter.
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 Department of Youth and Family Services (DCYF), 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 DCYF, 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
- Students in a teacher preparation program must maintain at least a 2.75 quarterly GPA beginning the quarter they are notified of admission to Special Education. This requirement applies even to quarters when 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.
- Students must understand and demonstrate a high level of competence in use of the English language. Those who have difficulty in their verbal and/or written communications should expect to seek remediation.
- Students in a teaching preparation program must complete all certification and endorsement course work prior to the internship.
- Students 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.
Program Completion and Teacher Certification
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 internships.
Other Departmental Information
An important experience for teaching certification candidates is the student teaching internship. During the internship, students teach under the direct supervision of a certified teacher in a school setting. The internship(s) involve intensive practice in integrated methods, content area knowledge, and classroom organizational strategies.
Early Childhood Special Education majors seeking certification are required to complete one quarter of internship for 16 credits.
Students completing the Special Education and Elementary Education Dual Endorsement program complete two internships, one in a Special Education setting and one in a general elementary education classroom. The one-quarter Elementary internship is completed after the one-quarter Special Education internship.
Students completing SPED plus Content Endorsement, complete one internship.
Students in a non-teacher certification program will participate in an internship with an agency as arranged with their advisor.
The Office of Field Experiences (OFE) is the service agency of the Woodring College of Education that seeks placements for prospective teacher interns. Students apply for their internship approximately 9 months before they want a placement. Specific dates for informational meetings and application deadlines are published on the OFE website, wce.wwu.edu/ofe/office-field-experiences.
Students must have completed Prevention of Sexual Harassment Training, blood-borne pathogens training and Washington State Patrol/FBI fingerprinting before OFE will seek an internship placement.
Before starting an internship, 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 upon the following:
- Fulfillment of all program requirements (satisfactory academic work, education and endorsement program course work and training, practica, and faculty recommendations, and required professional activities)
- Submission of scores on the state-required content knowledge test(s)
- Availability of placements and supervision in specific subjects and grade levels
- Acceptance by P-12 school personnel
- Fingerprint/character and fitness clearance valid through certification
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.
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.
Education Leadership Programs
The Education Leadership Programs are designed to prepare effective principals, superintendents, and P-12 district-level leaders for a diverse society. Several program options are available: master’s degree in Education Leadership; Residency Principal Certificate for aspiring assistant principals and principals; Initial Administrator Certificate for candidates who aspire to district-level leadership positions, including the role of superintendent; and an EdD, which is typically linked to the Initial Administrator Certificate. Upon successful completion of program requirements, candidates receive a master’s degree and/or are recommended for Residency Administrator Certificate (Principal), or the Initial Administrator Certificate (Superintendent). Master’s and Residency Principal Certification programs are offered in Bellingham; as well as off-campus locations throughout the Puget Sound. The master’s degree and EdD in Education Leadership are also offered in British Columbia. The Initial Administrator Certification (superintendent) and EdD programs are offered in Everett. All programs are highly relational and professionally supportive. The programs emphasize leadership and management related to curriculum, school instruction, personnel, staff/community relations, school finance, and legal matters.
Applicants must complete the Graduate School online application. Candidates are directed to the Graduate School section of this catalog for more information or gradschool.wwu.edu; the program office is located in Miller Hall 417A, phone 360-650-3708.
Note: Washington Administrative Code (WAC 181-86-013) requires that a candidate for a certificated position show evidence of good moral character and personal fitness if the candidate does not hold a valid Washington educator certificate at the time of recommendation for certification. Instructions and forms for a Pre-Residency Clearance and Fingerprinting Background Check are available through the Woodring Certification office: wce.wwu.edu/cert/character-and-fitness.
ProgramsUndergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorGraduate
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Teacher Education Outreach Program
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.