Resources for the Teacher Certification Program
Below you will find several categories of resources and frequently asked questions. Some of the answers apply to more than one question or section so search all the questions or topics for information. The scetions below are loosely organized chronologically as you move closer to certification; applications toward the top and certification process toward the bottom.
Teacher Certification Program Admittance Status
- Who advises education students?
There is A LOT to understand and navigate in order to become a teacher in Washington. Your Staff Advisor is going to be your best resource to help you plan your courses and keep you on track. They have been trained by the Teacher Certification Program on our requirements and can help guide you through the academic side of education courses as well as when to contact the Teacher Certification Program for help. If you need help identifying your staff advisor you can e-mail CEPSAdvising@cwu.edu or call 509-963-2077 for assistance.
- Do I have to pass the WEST-B tests before I can apply?
Nope! As long as you have 45 graded quarter credits and intend to become a teacher please apply to the Teacher Certification Program. The earlier you apply the earlier you get consistent communication from our program. Being on the program roster helps us keep you on track for your non-academic certification requirements so that you get the support you need to make it through to certification!
If you want to sign up for a TCP 101: I have 45 credits! Now What?! Zoom session, we would be happy to answer any of your questions!
- I sent my ACT/SAT scores to CWU, why do I have to take the WEST-B?
The state requires all candidates for certification to attempt a basic skills test in three subject areas. It is possible that you did not attempt a subject from the specific codes we get from College Board.
Option 1 to meet Basic Skills Requirement Subject WEST-B SAT ACT Math 240+
515 (prior to 3/4/2016)
27.5 (after 3/5/2016)
500 (prior to 3/4/2016)
27 (after 3/5/2016)
490 (prior to 3/4/2016)
28 (after 3/5/2016)
Did not exist before 2006
8 (prior to 8/31/2015)
8 (after 9/1/2016)
- Do I have to e-mail my WEST-B scores to the Teacher Certification Program?
No! When you completed your registration through the WEST site you should have been prompted to send your scores to CWU. If you did, then we will get them in the official score report sent to us from Pearson.
- I got my passing WEST-B Scores, but the "Basic Skills Requirement" item is still on my To-Do list?
We appreciate your patience. The Teacher Certification program is staffed by two people who maintain records for over 1000 active students in any given quarter. These results and updates are done by hand and it could take up to a week to get the system updated for all changes. If it has been more than a couple weeks you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and student ID number and ask for help.
- What happens if I don't pass the WEST-B?
There are additional test + course options to provide multiple ways to demonstrate your understanding in reading, writing and math. Please review the Program Admission webpage. You can schedule an TCP 201 zoom session with one of our program staff to ask any questions you have about the Basic Skills Requirements.
- I did great in my courses last quarter! How do I get my GPA re-evaluated?
First we ask for your patience. GPAs are re-evaluated each quarter after grades have been posted. This is a process done by hand for a few hundred students and could take a few weeks. If after the third week of the quarter the to-do item is still on your checklist, you can e-mail email@example.com with your full name and student ID number and ask for help.
Field Experience Requirements
- How do I get fingerprints for my practicum course?
Check out our Fingerprinting page for information. Fingerprint clearance is valid for two calendar years.
- How do I purchase liability insurance?
Check out our Liability Insurance page for information and a link to purchase this requirement annually.
- How do I make an e-cert account for OSPI?
You need to make an account on OSPI to be a certified teacher in Washington. Directions can be found on page 5 of the E-Cert User Guide(pdf)
- How do I complete the Pre-Residency clearance application?
Pre-Residency clearance is one way OSPI requires you to demonstrate good moral character. This is a student teaching application pre-requisite but more school districts are requiring this early for all practicums. The application is FREE and valid for two years so it doesn't hurt to complete it early! Please do not send the Teacher Certification Program notification or confirmation that you have completed this task. We are the people who clear it in OSPI and therefore know when it is done!
Directions can be found on page 7 of the E-Cert User Guide(pdf) or you can follow along with the video.
- I don't know how or where to log my hours
Please review the Office of Field Experiences website for a detailed guide on where to log your hours in MyCWU. You can also watch the Field Experience Log Tutorial Video for directions and common troubleshooting issues.
- The Field Experience Log is not working?
There are dozens of reasons this could be the case. Most of the common issues are discussed in the Field Experience Log tutorial video.
Please e-mail SOEdata@cwu.edu for additional assistance. Please include a detailed description of the problem, and a screen shot of any error messages you are getting.
- My school and/ or mentor teacher is missing from the Field Experience Log
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for assisstance.
Please include the following information in your e-mail
Last Name of Mentor
First Name of Mentor
Name of School District
Name of School
- Where do I register for WEST- B tests?
You can register online for the exam(s). All three subtests are availble for the online proctoring option so you can take the exam from the convience of your house. If you would like to take advantage of this option and have more than one test or subtest to take, you will need to complete the registration process for each section separately. Please note than you cannot use scratch paper for the math test if you use the online option.
- How do I know what WEST-E/NES test(s) I need to take?
In order to be a certified teacher you need to pass the required content exam. Typically you will take only one test that is either an NES test or a WEST-E test. If you are attempting to be certified in more than one endorsement, then you will need to pass those additional tests as well. Study guides for each test are linked in the center column on the table below.Check out our Required Tests & Voucher Applications page for more information.
Which Test Do I Take?
NES Test Code
Art Education Art 503 Biology Biology 305 Business and Marketing Education Business Education 309 Chemistry Chemistry 306 Computer Science Computer Science 315 Early Childhood Education (major or minor) Early Childhood Education
Earth and Space Science/Geology Earth and Space Science 307 Elementary Education
Elementary Education Subtest 1 and Subtest 2
(You must pass both subtests)
102 AND 103 English Language Arts English Language Arts 301 Literacy Minor Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction 104 Secondary Math Mathematics 304 Middle Level Science Middle Grades General Science 204 Middle Level Math Middle Grades Mathematics 203 Broad Area Music Education Music- General 504 Physics Physics 308
WEST-E Test Code
- IF you are bilingual and wish to teach in a dual language classroom, you will also need to take the ACTFL oral (OPI) and written (WPT) tests in the language you wish to be certified.
- Must rate at Advanced Mid level or higher
50 Dance Minor Dance 54 TESL/ELL/TESOL
(if you wish to teach students learning English but not teach in a different language)
51 Family and Consumer Sciences Education Family and Consumer Sciences Education 41 PESH Health and Fitness 29 Middle Level Humanites
Middle Level Humanites Subtest 1 and Subtest 2
(You must pass both subtests)
052 AND 053 Broad Area Music Education- Choral specialization Music: Choral 56 Broad Area Music Education- Instrumental specialization Music: Instrumental 57 History/Social Studies Education
(this test will let you teach History and Social Studies)
Special Education (Major or minor)
For Special Education majors: you will not be recommended to OSPI for your teaching certificate without passing your content test for your minor.
Special Education 70 Technology Education Technology Education 40 Theatre Arts/Drama Theatre Arts 55
- Where do I register for WEST-E/NES tests?
You can register online for the exam(s) you are seeking endorsement(s) in. Most tests are availble for the online proctoring option so you can take the exam from the convience of your house. If you would like to take advantage of this option and have more than one test or subtest to take, you will need to complete the registration process for each section separately.
- What does proof of registration of WEST-E NES exam mean? I need this for my Student Teaching application.
In order to be a certified teacher you need to pass the required content exam. Typically you will take only one test that is either a NES test or a WEST-E test. If you are attempting to be certified in more than one endorsement, then you will need to pass those additional tests as well. Check out our Required Tests & Voucher Applications page for more information.
As part of your application for Student Teaching, you need to send the confirmation e-mail from Pearson that shows the date, location and test code. Please do not send us the reciept.
- What happens if I can't pass my NES/WEST-E test?
CWU offers a Case-by-Case Exception Program. You can look at requirements on our Required Tests page. Please do not apply until your official scores been sent by Pearson. If you apply before you recieve your official scores and diagnostic report, you will have to do this again. Test report dates can be found online for both NES and WEST-E tests.
Recommendation to OSPI
- Should I e-mail Teacher Certification right after graduation to process my information?
We know this is an exciting step in your journey and you are eager to have your own classroom, but please be patient. Degree Checkout could take up to 6-8 weeks for your degree to be awarded. When the Teacher Certification Program sees your degree has been awarded, we manually review your file for recommendation. If you have met all of the certification requirements, we will recommend you to OSPI and send you an e-mail with instructions on how to claim your certificate.
We monitor this process daily at the end of every quarter and process recommendations in batches a few times a week.
- Can I look for jobs before my Teaching Certificate is issued?
Absolutely! After you have successfully passed student teaching you are ready to start looking for jobs! Most school districts are aware that the recommendation process typically takes a 6-8 weeks after your recommendation has been entered. Check out Career Services for resources and information about applying for employment.
You will need to contact the HR department of jobs you are applying for to get information on how they prefer you indicate your certificate is pending. Your Washington Cert # was issued when you completed your Pre-Residency Clearance and will not change when your certificate is issued so you can include that in your applications. When you log in to your e-cert account on the "Educator Main" tab on the far left, you can find your WA Cert # right under your name.
- My e-cert account says I am missing my WEST-B tests
If you used SAT scores or the WEST-B remediation courses to satisfy your basic skills requirements, those tests have been loaded into OSPI. After you have been recommended to OSPI it can take up to 6-8 weeks for your certificate to be awarded.
As long as your application status in OSPI reads PENDING then the error you are given about missing WEST-B results has not been verified by a Certification Officer at OSPI. If you recieve an e-mail from OSPI saying your application is deficient then please reach out so we can help with any questions.
- Adding minor or second major endorsement later
Have you recently passed the NES/WEST-E test for your minor or second major and want to add that endorsement to your teaching certificate? Complete the Finishing Original Endorsements form to notify us of your request.
- Endorsement vs. Major/Minor
Endorsement: An endorsement is the specific subject matter or content area listed on your teaching certificate in Washington State. All certificates must have at least one endorsement, and some endorsement areas cannot stand alone and require dual endorsements.
Major/Minor: Academic course work that covers the competencies required by the state that will lead to an endorsement
- Graduation vs. Certification
Graduation: Meeting the graduation requirements of CWU based on course catalog and Major/Minor program requirements.
Certification: Is independent of graduating. Items like passing the NES/WEST-E test, account balance, hours logged, will not prevent students from graduating but will delay recommendation to OSPI.
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