Become A Teacher In Washington

Interested in becoming a teacher in Washington, but not yet certified in the State of Washington?

RCW 28A.410.025 requires that all teachers must hold a valid Washington State teaching certificate or permit issued by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)’s Certification Office.

New To The Profession

As you are starting your research, the Professional Educator Standards Board is a great resource for information about approved teacher preparation programs, alternative routes to teaching, and testing requirements for certification.

Contact OSPI’s Certification Office for questions about your individual situation to see if you are eligible or steps you need to take or to start your application.

Out of State Teachers

If you currently hold a teaching license in another state and would like to become certified in Washington, you will need to apply directly with the OSPI Certification Office. You will want to begin this process early in order to ensure you will have a valid certificate before your employment begins.

For information on how your out-of-state endorsements may translate to Washington State endorsements and required testing equivalency information, visit the Professional Educator Standards Board Out-of-State License Transfers resource page.

Certification Programs For Current NSD Employees

Washington State has four approved alternative routes to certification:

  • Route 1: For classified instructional employees (e.g., paraeducators) with Associate’s degrees
  • Route 2: For classified staff with Bachelor’s degrees
  • Route 3: For “career changers” with Bachelor’s degrees
  • Route 4: For district staff with Bachelor’s degrees employed on conditional or emergency substitute certificates
Northwest University Grow-Your-Own (GYO) alternative route program

Northshore School District has partnered with Northwest University for a Grow-Your-Own (GYO) online alternative routes program for NSD paraeducators and those with conditional certifications employed in our district. The program offers pathways at undergraduate and graduate levels for teaching certificates with endorsements in the following areas:

  • Elementary Education and Special Education
  • Elementary Education and English Language Learning
  • Secondary Mathematics and Middle-Level Mathematics
  • Secondary Biology and Middle-level Science

Learn more about this program

Western Governors University

Northshore School District as part of  PSESD 121 has partnered with WGU Washington. Partnership benefits for NSD employees include 5% discount on tuition for up to 4 terms and eligibility to apply for the WGU Washington K-12 Partners Scholarship. 

Learn more about this program 

Pipeline for Paraeducator Conditional Loan Scholarship

This PESB scholarship provides funding for paraeducators who are currently employed with a minimum of 3 years classroom experience and does not hold a degree interested in obtaining their AA and then pursuing their teaching certificate. More information on the requirements and responsibilities of candidates can be found below. Applications are being reviewed by PESB March 6, 2018 and again May 8, 2018.

Learn more about this scholarship