Department of Special Education and Education Leadership, Woodring College of Education
141–144 credits (professional program and major)
Special Educators need to have extensive knowledge in four areas: they need to know about students and how they learn; they need to know about effective instruction; they need to know about the content of the lessons they will teach; and, they need to know about the context (social, legal, and political) in which they will work. Therefore, training to become a Special Educator will include work in each of these areas. The program includes coursework and extensive supervised practicum experiences in the public schools. The program is rigorous and the expectations are high. However, the rewards are also high. This program will prepare you to be an excellent teacher in whatever position you eventually choose. Our graduates are actively recruited by school districts to teach in both elementary classrooms and special education settings.
Students seeking a bachelor’s degree with teacher certification and an endorsement in Special Education - P-12 through Teacher Education Outreach Programs located in Bremerton, Everett and Seattle must complete the Elementary Education Professional Program - Outreach Program and the Special Education (P-12) - Outreach Program requirements. Program coursework listed below is delivered through a cohort-based, integrated model designed specifically for outreach program sites. Graduates may earn an endorsement in special education by completing a second internship (16 credits) through the special education additional endorsement program. Courses must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.
Elementary Teacher | Special Education Resource Room Teacher | Special Education Teacher | Consultant | Inclusive Classroom Teacher | Behavior Interventions Specialist
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Before students may begin taking courses in education, they must be admitted to both Western Washington University and Teacher Education Outreach Programs. Admission to our programs occurs once a year in the fall. Program admission requirements include:
- Transferable A.A. degree from a Washington state community college, or satisfaction of Western’s General Education Requirements
- Minimum grade point average of 2.75 overall or for the most recent 45 quarter credit hours
- Meet the West-B basic skills requirement. This may be met by: a) Taking the West-B exam, b) SAT minimum scores, c) ACT minimum scores. See the West-B webpage for details: wce.wwu.edu/admissions/west-b-requirement.
- English composition course, completed with a B- or better
- Three letters of recommendation
- Reflective essay
For more details about program admission, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page at wce.wwu.edu/teop/teacher-education-outreach-programs.
Enrollment restrictions apply in all teacher education programs. Meeting the above criteria makes the applicant eligible for admission, but does not guarantee admission. Students who meet all criteria are further evaluated by the department to determine the most qualified applicants. Retention in the program requires continuous demonstration of competence in standard oral and written English in all coursework. Retention also requires maintenance of a 2.75 quarterly GPA for each quarter after admission. The State of Washington requires students to earn a “C” or better in all major endorsement and most education courses.
See the Teacher Education Outreach Programs section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.
Prospective elementary education students are invited to meet with an advisor for more information about the program (see above for site contacts). At all TEOP sites, the student advisor is the Academic Program Director. Students will be assisted and monitored by their advisors and their program coordinator on a regular basis throughout their program.
Students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in the elementary education professional program and in all courses required for the endorsement.