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Curriculum, Supervision, & Educational Leadership

College of Education and Professional Studies

MAT Routes & Endorsements


Alternative Routes to Teaching


What are alternative routes?

Alternative routes to teacher certification are designed for career changers and for individuals already working in the school system who want to earn a residency teacher certificate. Compared to a traditional route, where candidates complete their preparation program as part of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, alternative routes allow people to get their teacher certificate through shorter, more flexible, and more affordable programs.

Alternative route programs prepare candidates to meet the same rigorous standards and requirements as traditional bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Programs require candidates to seek certification in a geographic or content shortage area, complete a one-year mentored internship, known as a residency, and 650 hours of practicum and student teaching.


The three routes we offer at Central Washington University:

Route 2: For district staff with a bachelor's degree
Route 2 is designed for district staff with bachelor’s degrees


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Employment at a school district when applying for a program
  • District or building validation of qualifications, including one year of student interaction and leadership

Route 3: For "career changers" with a bachelor's degree
Route 3 is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree, who are not employed in the district at the time of application.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • External validation of qualifications, such as reference letters and letters of support from previous employers. This includes demonstrated experience with students or children.

Route 4: For district staff with a bachelor’s degree and a limited certificate
Route 4 is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree, who are employed full-time in the district with a limited certificate or emergency substitute certificate as a "teacher of record" for one year or more.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Employment full-time at a school district with a limited certificate, such as a conditional or emergency substitute certificate, when applying for a program
  • External validation of qualifications, such as reference letters and letters of support from previous employers. This includes demonstrated experience with students or children.

When selecting a route on the MAT Application, please select the route that currently applies to you. A candidate’s route can change during the MAT program depending upon their employment status. If this occurs, please inform us.

Teaching Certificates & Endorsements


Teaching Certificate

Teaching certificates, or licenses, are granted by the state of Washington. Teacher preparation programs recommend candidates to the state upon successful completion of all programmatic coursework, documented internship hours, and state required examinations.

At CWU, this process is handled by the Teacher Certification office. There is no need for you to contact them, they will reach out during the program to ensure that all requirements are met. At the end of your program, after they have recommended you for certification to OSPI, their office will reach out again to inform you of your final steps.



An endorsement is the specific subject matter or content area(s) listed on a teaching certificate. Earned endorsements appear on the educator’s certificate. All licensed certificates must have at least one endorsement, and some endorsement areas cannot stand alone.

A candidate can obtain up to two endorsements with our MAT program.

As part of the application process – prior to submitting the application – prospective candidates must successfully complete the WEST-E or NES exam for each endorsement area in which they are seeking certification. Passing numerical scores must accompany the MAT application. Scores must be received by the application deadline.

For additional testing information, and to register for your tests please visit Washington Educator Skills Test.

Endorsement Area Grades Test Type Test Name & Number Min. Passing Score
Bilingual Education* P-12th WEST-E Bilingual Education 050 240
Biology 5-12th NES Biology 305 220
Chemistry 5-12th NES Chemistry 306 220
Choral Music P-12th WEST-E Music: Choral 056 240
Computer Science 5-12th NES Computer Science 315 220
Dance P-12th WEST-E Dance 054 240
Designated World Languages P-12th WEST-E Designated World Languages 100 240
Earth & Space Science 5-12th NES Earth & Space Science 307 220
Elementary Education K-8th NES Elementary Education 102 & 103 220
English Language Arts 5-12th NES English Language Arts 301 220
English Language Learners* P-12th WEST-E English Language Learners 051 240
General Music P-12th NES Music 504 220
PE/Health* P-12th WEST-E Health/Fitness 029 240
History 5-12th WEST-E History 027 240
Instrumental Music P-12th WEST-E Music: Instrumental 057 240
Library Media* P-12th WEST-E Library Media 042 240
Mathematics 5-12th NES Mathematics 304 220
Physics 5-12th NES Physics 308 220
Reading P-12th NES Reading Instruction 104 220
Science 5-12th NES General Science 311 220
Social Studies 5-12th WEST-E Social Studies 028 240
Special Education P-12th WEST-E Special Education 070 240
Theatre Arts P-12th WEST-E Theatre Arts 055 240
Visual Arts P-12th NES Art 503 220


World Languages Note:

  • In addition to the designated world languages WEST-E test above, candidates must complete the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in the specific world language, scoring Advanced-Low or higher. Please visit ACTFL at Language Testing International

Bilingual Education Note:

  • Candidates will not only need to complete the WEST-E test in bilingual education but will also need to complete the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test and the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview at the Advanced-Mid level in a world language area. Please visit ACTFL at Language Testing International

English Language Learner & Bilingual Education Note:

  • Those seeking either of these endorsements must pair it with a second content area endorsement. The second endorsement cannot be Special Education, Bilingual Education, or English Language Learner.

Science Note:

  • Candidates seeking an endorsement in General Science must add an at least one endorsement in the following areas- Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth & Space Science.
  • You may pursue an individual subject endorsement alone. However, we recommend that you add general science or another individual subject endorsement to have a greater chance of finding employment. It is rare that a high school will have the need for a full-time teacher who only teaches physics.
  • Which test you take is completely up to you; however, you may have a greater chance of finding employment if you are endorsed in a wider range of subjects.

Middle Level Note:

  • We recommend that candidates take the regular endorsement test, and not the middle level tests.
  • Middle level tests only endorse for grades 5-8th; whereas the regular secondary ed test endorses for grades 5-12th.
  • Which test you take is completely up to you. However, you may have a greater chance of finding employment if you are endorsed in a wider range of grades.

History & Social Studies Note:

  • We recommend that if a candidate is only pursuing one endorsement, Social Studies is preferable to History.
  • The Social Studies endorsement allows teaching of multiple subject areas: history, civics, geography, and economics.
  • The History endorsement allows teaching of only history.
  • Which test you take is completely up to you; however, you may have a greater chance of finding employment if you are endorsed in a wider range of subjects.

Theatre Arts Note:

  • Those seeking endorsement in Theatre Arts must pair it with a second content area endorsement.

Program + Test Endorsement Area Note:

  • If you plan to endorse in Bilingual Education, English Language Learner, PE/Health, or Library Media - you must have completed coursework from an accredited University in the area in which you plan to endorse prior to applying to the MAT program.
  • Please note that completion of an accredited program in your planned endorsement area does not guarantee admission to the MAT program. (posted 10/31/22)


Only one endorsement area test, with a passing score, is required for admittance to the program. You may add a second endorsement at any time before the start of classes for your program.

Additional Endorsements

Once you obtain your initial teaching certificate with your initial endorsement(s) you may add additional endorsements to your certificate.

  • Some endorsements can be added through Test ONLY, others require a Program + Test.
  • We recommend pursuing Program + Test endorsements through this MAT program.
  • If you would like to pursue more than two endorsements, we recommend ensuring that your additional endorsement is listed as Test Only.
  • Test Only endorsements can be added to any Teaching Certificate by passing the WEST-E/NES test and submitting an application with fee to OSPI.
  • More information from OSPI about adding an endorsement.

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