May 19, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog 
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Secondary Education


The Department of Secondary Education offers professional education programs that lead to recommendation to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for residency teacher certification in the state of Washington. The programs in secondary education are designed to prepare thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective middle and secondary school teachers for a diverse society.

Consistent with state and national standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, the secondary education curriculum is a carefully sequenced professional program that is firmly backed by current research on effective teaching and learning. The program reflects a framework which embraces the artistic, scientific, and professional aspects of teaching.

Programs which address residency teacher certification require students to complete an academic major, the teacher certification sequence and a semester internship. Upon completion of the program successful candidates will be recommended to the Certification Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to receive a certificate to teach in their endorsed field.


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

Information about secondary education programs may be obtained by visiting the department website at Advising related to the academic major or endorsement will take place in the academic major department. Students should meet with an academic major advisor before consulting with a secondary education advisor. Questions may be directed to the secondary education department in Miller Hall 400, by phone at 360-650-3327 or by e-mail to

Those persons interested in graduate programs should consult the Graduate School section of this catalog or contact the graduate school directly, phone 360-650-3170, e-mail Written inquiries may be addressed to the Graduate School, Old Main 530, Western Washington University, MS-9037, 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. MSEd, State University of New York, Cortland; PhD, University of British Columbia.
ANGELA HARWOOD (1997) Professor. BA, University of Utah; MA, PhD, Emory University.
LORRAINE KASPRISIN (Educational Foundations) (1979) Professor. BA, MA, The College of the City of New York; MPhil, PhD, Teachers College, Columbia University.
TIMOTHY KEIPER (1997) Associate Professor. BA, University of Northern Colorado; MA, EdS, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia.
LAUREN MCCLANAHAN (2000) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, The Ohio State University.
VICTOR NOLET (1997) Professor. BA, MEd, University of Maine;Ph.D., University of Oregon
ROSALIE ROMANO (2008) Assistant Professor. BA, PhD, University of Washington
CHRISTINE SCHAEFER (1996) Affiliated Teaching Faculty. BA, Whitman College; MEd, PhD, University of Washington.
SHELBY SHEPPARD (Educational Foundations) (1997) Associate Professor. MA, BGS, PhD, Simon Fraser University.
MOLLY WARE (2007) Assistant Professor. BA, Principia College; MEd, University of Georgia.
RAY WOLPOW (1994) Professor. BA, Wagner College; MA, Columbia University; PhD, Pennsylvania State University. 

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 
    • 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 a qualifying endorsement, and a full semester internship
  • Master’s in Teaching with Residency Certification (MIT) 
    • This program is designed for candidates who have already completed a baccalaureate degree and academic preparation for a qualifying endorsement and who wish to complete a master’s degree while gaining teacher certification. The MIT program is available on the Western campus or at the off-campus site in Everett.


The Washington Administrative Code specifies the requirements for earning a Washington state teacher certificate. State-approved preparation programs and certification requirements align with state learning goals and essential academic learning requirements, 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. Second-level professional certification programs are designed around the standards of effective teaching, professional development, and professional contribution. 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 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

Candidates for residency certification must pass a subject knowledge assessment, the Washington Educator Skills Test — Endorsements (WEST-E), to receive an endorsement for certification. WWU requires submission of a passing WEST-E 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 the WEST-E Resource Website, Candidates for residency certification must also complete the state of Washington Performance-based Pedagogy Assessment 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 is valid until completion of two consecutive years of certificated employment and acceptance of a third year contract with a Washington State public school district or a state-approved private school. Application is then made for a reissued residency certificate, valid for an additional five-year term.

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. 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 students earn a qualifying endorsement by completing a state-approved program delivered through an academic major or approved equivalent. Students 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 students to teach at the secondary level. The secondary education department also offers an additional endorsement in Humanities — Middle Level. 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 students are advised to speak with an academic department advisor. 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 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) “highly qualified teacher” requirement may impact eligibility for certain middle school teaching assignments in a core academic subject(s). Students are responsible for consulting with an advisor for further information on NCLB.

Content Methods Courses

Content methods courses are required for all endorsements. For specific course numbers and schedule information, students are advised to contact their academic department advisor.

Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program

Program Length

While it is possible, in some majors, to earn a bachelor’s degree and residency teaching certificate in four academic years, most students require closer to five years. Undergraduate students usually take certification courses while completing their academic major during their junior and senior years. Students who apply to the undergraduate certification program should have satisfied all of the General University Requirements and should have completed at least 60-80% of the coursework toward their academic major.

Students in the post-baccalaureate program usually complete the certification sequence in three academic quarters plus a one-semester internship. This time frame could be extended if additional course work is needed to meet department or state endorsement requirements. Applicants to the post-baccalaureate program who have completed a baccalaureate degree and academic preparation for a qualifying endorsement with a minimum 3.0 GPA are strongly encouraged to consider the MIT program outlined below.

Admission Requirements

All applicants to the Woodring College of Education programs must be formally admitted to and currently enrolled at Western Washington University or must apply to Western for the same quarter they apply to teacher education. Woodring College teacher education program application materials are available in Miller Hall 150 and are also printable from

The requirements listed below are minimum application criteria. Enrollment restrictions apply to teacher education programs. Meeting the following requirements makes the applicant eligible for admission consideration but does not guarantee admission. Students will be evaluated on all information provided with the application, including required copies of transcripts from all prior colleges. Application criteria:

  • Undergraduate candidates should have completed all GURs and 60-80% of their major endorsement credits
  • Post baccalaureate candidates should have a degree in their academic major.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher over all college-level work or over the last 45 credits
  • Passing score on all three subtests (reading, mathematics, writing) of the Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B). Visit the WEST-B Website at www.west.nesinc. com for more information
  • Completion of an English composition course with a grade of B (3.0) or higher
  • Adequate academic major preparation. Please see an advisor from the academic major department prior to submitting an application to Secondary Education or consulting with a Secondary Education advisor. The academic major departments will participate in review and recommendations for admission
  • Consideration will be given to those applicants with endorsements in academic areas of current critical need

Advising and Orientation

Upon acceptance, each student is assigned a secondary education faculty advisor. All newly accepted students must attend a required orientation and advising session before beginning first quarter classes. Students may be dropped from Secondary Education for failing to attend the required orientation.

Program Continuation

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

  • Completion of an Institutional Application for a Teacher’s Certificate and Character and Fitness Supplement, and background checks as described below under 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

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:

  • Institutional Application for a Teacher’s Certificate and Character and Fitness Supplement, provided to students upon acceptance into the program. The application for certification requires candidates to answer questions regarding professional fitness, criminal history and personal conduct. Students with “yes” responses must report to the certification officer in Miller Hall 150 before registering for classes.
  • Washington State Patrol and FBI background checks through a fingerprinting process. 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 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 specified time frames. 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 and Requirements Agreement, which is submitted with program application materials.

General Retention Requirements

  • Students must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA (graduate students 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 receive a letter advising them that they have been 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 successfully complete a minimum of one certification course each calendar year
  • Students 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
  • Students are responsible for compiling a portfolio illustrating the quality of their work in each professional education class.
  • Students must complete all certification and endorsement course work
  • Students 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

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 an endorsable subject area, teaching methodology, and an internship
  • Evidence of good moral character and personal fitness
  • Minimum scores set by the state of Washington on the Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-E) for the qualifying endorsement area(s) required by the teacher preparation program
  • Completion of the Washington Performance-based Pedagogy Assessment
  • Successful completion of the student teaching internship as shown by performance on the WWU Intern Development and Evaluation System (IDES)
  • 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

Other Departmental Information 


All secondary internships are a semester in length and require students to teach under the direct supervision of a certified teacher in a school setting. While sequences of activities differ within different placements, generally speaking, interns spend time early in the semester being acclimated to the school, students and affiliated clinical faculty (cooperating teacher), and begin teaching by assuming responsibility for one class per day for a period of time and gradually work toward assuming responsibility for teaching four to five classes per day for the final eight to ten weeks of the semester.

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 semester internship and review the portfolios of any students whom they feel may not be competent to student teach.

Recommendation by the secondary faculty is based on an evaluation of the student’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
  • Teacher Education Standards and Secondary Education Department Code of Ethics

Should the faculty question the readiness of the student for the internship, a conference with a faculty review committee will be arranged, at which time faculty concerns will be presented to the student. The student 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 student from the program.

The semester internship spans two academic quarters. Students must successfully complete the entire semester to receive credit for the internship and recommendation for certification.

Application for Internship

The Office of Field Experiences is the service agency of the College of Education which seeks placements for prospective interns. Students 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 WEST-E 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. Students 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 students 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

Students 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. Students 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.

Students must submit an application for an internship placement to OFE in January prior to a fall/winter internship or in April prior to a winter/spring 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.




      Secondary Education

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