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Teacher Certification

About

Meeting the Need I Is The APT Program Right For Me? | Job Placement Statistics I What Can I Expect? I Credits & Course Work Choosing your Internship Route | Tuition & Financial Aid I Inquiry Form | Applying I Contact 

 

Meeting The Need

Black Hall in front of mountain landscapeWashington has a shortage of teachers in the areas of special education, English language learners, mathematics, and the sciences. While the need for these teachers is widespread across the state, rural districts have the most difficulty recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. Merely preparing more teachers is not the answer to meet current demands. The solution is to address teacher placement and retention in rural schools.

Central Washington University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers a hybrid online alternative certification program for individuals with a bachelor's degree to teach high need subjects in rural districts across the state.

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Is The APT Program Right For Me?

Are you an individual with a bachelor’s degree who would like to obtain a teaching license? Are you interested in teaching in high need subject areas and/or in a rural district in the State of Washington? Are you passionate about educating our nation's young people as a means to creating a more just and equitable society?

If you answered yes to these questions, then our online Alternative Pathways to Teaching (APT) program could be the right choice for you.

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Job Placement Statistics

In general, the majority of candidates who complete the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program secure employment in the schools.  Our job placement rate based on graduates from the three previous years is 94%.

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What Can I Expect?

You begin the program with a ten-day intensive "boot camp" held on the main CWU campus in Ellensburg. This "boot camp" occurs the first two full weeks after the Fourth of July every year and is taught by university faculty from across the CWU Education Departments. Featured seminars include orientation to teaching, classroom management, exceptional learners, lesson planning, assessment, culturally relevant teaching practices, and English Language learners, to name a few.

After the boot camp, you complete a mentored internship in a school close to where you live. This mentored internship progresses so that you assume more and more responsibility for lead instruction and culminates in six weeks of student teaching. You proceed through the mentored internship at your own pace, completing a minimum of 720 field experience hours (combined observation and teaching), in your endorsement area(s).  Most teacher candidates spend a full year in their internship, dedicating the first quarter to observation, the second quarter to guided instruction or teaching a short lesson segment, the third quarter to teaching one class or prep, and spending the fourth quarter student teaching full time. This progression is flexible and is developed in concert with a university field supervisor and your mentor teacher.

During the internship, you complete online course work designed to supplement the learning that occurs during your school day. You will be asked to complete focused observations, write reflections, read case studies around various education topics, write your own case study, conduct video conferences with peers in your cohort, and more generally, critically reflect on your process of learning to teach. 

A capstone of the program is the successful completion of the edTPA, a statewide requirement for certification.  Modeled after the National Board Examination, the edTPA asks you to prepare a learning segment, videotape your teaching of that segment, and then reflect on your teaching practice.

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Credits & Course Work

Completion of the program will confer twenty-four (24) graduate-level credits.

Summer

ECTL 470: Teaching Seminar (3 cr)
ECTL 480: Curriculum Planning (3 cr)

FallECTL 490: Internship (6 cr)
WinterECTL 490: Internship (6 cr)
SpringECTL 490: Internship (6 cr)

 

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Choosing your Internship Route

CWU's APT program offers three internship routes in order to accommodate diverse levels of education and experience.  Candidates in each of these three internship routes must already hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited university.
 

Route 2:

  • As an applicant, you currently work as an instructional aide or paraprofessional. In this route, you remain employed by your school district in your IA or Parapro role but gradually assume more and more responsibility for lead instruction.  You and the lead teacher adopt more co-teaching roles. Route 2 applicants are advised to consult with their school district before applying.

Route 3:

  • As an applicant, you are a mid-career professional or someone who has decided to change his/her career.  You work alongside a mentor teacher in an unpaid internship and are placed into your internship after receipt of your application materials, and prior to the start of the summer "boot camp". It is recommended that Route 3 applicants indicate school district placement preferences upon application to the program. It is also recommended that Route 3 applicants spend some time in the year prior to entering the program observing one or more teachers in a potential placement district.

Route 4:

  • As an applicant, you have been hired on a contractual basis with a school district to teach as the teacher of record in an area of need. Your district has extended a conditional or emergency license (also termed a limited teaching certificate) to you, and you have a window of time to earn your initial teaching residency license.  As an APT candidate, you are assigned a mentor teacher who works with you, but not alongside you, as you have your own classroom of students. More information about the contracted conditional and emergency license types is provided here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/teacher/limited.aspx#contracted.  It is recommended that Route 4 applicants consult with their school district before applying.

 

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Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the program is $12,000 or $3,000 each quarter. 

The program is financial-aid eligible. To receive financial aid for the summer quarter, you will need to complete a current academic year FAFSA.  For the fall, winter, and spring quarters, you'll complete a FAFSA for that academic year.

CWU's financial aid page is here: http://www.cwu.edu/financial-aid/

Other possible financing:

1. Conditional Loan Scholarships

These are offered by the Washington Student Achievement Council and a specific number of scholarships are allocated to Alternative Certification Programs.  If you qualify for these scholarships, the APT program will let you know.  There is no specific application process. Qualified applicants are awarded scholarships based on a list of state-determined priorities, which include being 1) being a veteran; 2) working as a paraprofessional or instructional aide (route 2); 3) working in public schools characterized focus or priority schools; and 4) seeking endorsement in a high need content area.

2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The teacher loan forgiveness program is a federal program offered to teachers in various content area, which forgives loans up to certain amounts in return for teaching in high-need schools.  More information about this program is available here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/teacher

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Applying

1. Undergraduate Work

Candidates to the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program must document the following prerequisites by providing unofficial transcript(s) from degree-granting universities along with their application to the APT program:

    Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Degrees attained from foreign institutions must be translated and evaluated for U.S. equivalency by an accredited agency.

    Cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher in last thirty credits of college course work.

2. Content Area Knowledge

Candidates to the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program must take and pass the WEST B sub tests (writing, reading, and mathematics) prior to applying to the program. Official score reports should be sent directly to Central Washington University and copies of the score reports should be included in application to the APT program.

As a demonstration of content-area knowledge, candidates to the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program must take and pass the appropriate WEST-E or corresponding NES test in the content area(s) for which he/she seeks endorsement.

http://www.cwu.edu/teacher-certification/west-b-and-west-e-exams

Information regarding the WEST-B and WEST-E can be found online at www.west.nesinc.com. Information regarding the new NES (National Evaluation System) exam can be found online at www.nestest.com.

When you have decided to apply to the Alternative Pathways to Teaching Program at CWU and have completed the above prerequisites, please submit the following application materials:

3. APT Application Materials

  • application to the Alternative Pathways to Teaching program
  • resume
  • two letters of recommendation attesting to your aptitude for the education profession
  • cover letter attesting to your interest in becoming a teacher
  • Character and Fitness Form
  • unofficial transcripts from degree-granting universities
  • score reports of WEST B, ACT, or SAT, as appropriate
  • score reports of WEST E or NES tests, as appropriate

 

APT application materials should be mailed directly to:

Alternative Pathways to Teaching
Central Washington  University
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7415

4. CWU Application Materials

In addition to your APT application, interested candidates also need to apply and be accepted to Central Washington University. 

To do so, please complete and submit an undergraduate application online.
Submit official transcript(s) from ALL colleges or universities previously attended directly to the CWU admissions office.

Link to CWU Admissions Office: http://www.cwu.edu/admissions/

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Online Program for Prospective Teachers

For additional information contact:
Jesslyn Hollar
Office: 509-963-1490, Fax: 509-963-1049
E-mail: APT@cwu.edu
 

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