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Program Outline: Alternative Routes to Certification

Program Components


The Alternative Routes to Certification (ARC) program at Seattle Pacific University combines a Washington State Residency Certificate with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Candidates in the ARC program become effective teachers by

Demonstrating effective teaching practices

Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement

Recognizing and responding to individual student learning needs

Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum

Fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment

Using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning

Communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community

Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instruction and learning

The certification component of the ARC program is 45 credits. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for a 38-week internship. Completion of certification courses, internship requirements, and passing program assessments qualifies candidates for a Washington State Residency Certificate. This certificate enables candidates to teach in public and private schools in Washington State. The master’s degree is earned by completing an additional 15 graduate level credits or five classes.

Please note that tuition rates for the certification portion of the program and the master's component of the program are differentiated. While certification courses are offered at a reduced rate, students across all masters programs take the master's component classes at the regular graduate tuition rate. 

Coursework and Internship

Coursework begins in the summer with online and on-campus classes in learning theory, general teaching methods, curriculum design, and literacy strategies. Coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis. Candidates typically enroll in classes with peers who are earning the same primary endorsement to promote collegial interdependence. The number of on-campus meetings for coursework varies by endorsement area.

Internship begins in late August as K-12 teachers return to school for in-service training. Candidates intern across the school year, while completing online and on-campus coursework. On-campus and online coursework integrates internship experiences to assist candidates in applying educational theory and research to planning, instruction, and assessment.

Candidates are paired with a mentor teacher and university coordinator in a supervised school setting. Internship is five days a week, for an entire K-12 school year, approximately 38 weeks, including in-service and end-of-the-year activities.

Candidates and mentor teachers follow a co-teaching model where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. Candidates begin internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Across internship, candidates complete assignments designed to maximize field experiences, such as portfolio reflections, unit plans, and program assessments. Internship concludes with candidates returning control of classroom responsibilities to their mentor teachers.

Completion of the MAT Degree

Candidates earn the MAT degree by completing five graduate level courses, totaling 15 credits. These classes are taken at the regular graduate tuition rate. Classes required for the MAT degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements immediately following certification to increase their base salary. Candidates may delay completion of degree requirements for five years following the quarter of admission, as long as active enrollment status is maintained by completing one class every four quarters. Students admitted to the ARC program with a master’s degree may complete EDU 6085 to receive the MAT degree.

Required Courses

EDU 6918 Introduction to Teaching (2)
EDU 6150
General Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment (3)
EDU 6132 Learners in Context (3)
EDU 6133
Diversity (3)
EDU 6134 Professional Issues: Child Abuse and Others (2)
EDU 6139 Leadership in Teaching (3)
EDTC 6000
An educational technology course (3)
EDU 6945 ARC Internship (14)
Courses for MAT Degree
EDU 6085  Moral Issues in Education (3)
EDU 6120 History of American Education (3)
EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies (3)

K-12 Secondary

EDU 6130
Classroom Management (3)
EDRD 6530
Teaching Reading: Strategies of Instruction (3)
EDU 6160 Applied Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment (3)
EDU 6136
Content Area Methods (3)
Courses for MAT Degree
EDU 6524
Curriculum Design (3)
EDSP 6644 Educating Exceptional Students (3)

EDU 6130
Classroom Management (3)
EDU 6136
Content Area Methods (3)
EDMA 6432
Elementary Math Methods (3)
EDRD 6529 Teaching Reading Strategies of Instruction (3)
Courses for MAT Degree
EDU 6524
Curriculum Design (3)
EDSP 6644
Educating Exceptional Students (3)

Special Education
EDSP 6657 Behavior Management (3)
EDSP 6651 Special Education Assessment (3)
EDSP 6642
Individual Education Programs (3)
EDSP 6658 Issues in Special Education (3)
Courses for MAT Degree
EDRD 6530
Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (3)
EDSP 6652
Learning Disabilities & ADHD (3)

Program Schedule

The ARC program begins in the summer with four classes. On-campus classes meet one or two nights a week each quarter, from either 4:30-7:00 or 5:00-9:10.

Find information about this Program Overview, Program Outline, and Admission Requirements.

Did You Know?

Help Icon SPU also offers a two-year, part-time MAT program to earn teacher certification and a master’s degree concurrently.