Alternative Route to Certification for School Employees (ARCSE)

About the program

The Alternative Routes to Certification for School Employees (ARCSE) is a one-year certification program designed specifically for candidates working in partner school districts as paraeducators, instructional assistants, or teachers under limited certification (i.e.,  conditional or emergency).

Candidates in the ARCSE 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

Coursework and internship

The program includes 24 credits taken at the 6000-level and an additional 21 credits taken at the 5000-level. The program is 45 credits total.

  • Fifteen of the 24 credits taken at the 6000-level are reserved for student teaching.
  • Nine of the 6000-level credits are for coursework in core areas including lesson design, professional issues, professional development, and program assessments. 

Credits complete at the 5000-level are based on a Teacher Development Plan (TDP), which is organized by program administrators according to endorsement and prior experience. Partner districts may offer TDP courses, or collaborate with the Center for Professional Education, in developing and staffing courses.

Students may also enroll in regular program courses for meeting TDP requirements. Students enrolled in the ARCSE program earn a Washington Residency Certificate after completing all program requirements and passing program assessments. 

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college and/or university attended.
    • If your degree is not from a U.S. college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript evaluation company such as WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or MAT (Miller Analogies Test) scores taken within five years of application.
    • On the former GRE exam, preferred minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 950
    • On the revised GRE exam, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147
    • On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400*
  • Two to four letters of recommendation, at least one of which must come from an administrator and one from a teacher
  • Passing WEST-B and scores including 240 on each sub-test: reading, writing, and mathematics.
    • Applicants may use a combination of SAT, ACT, and WEST-B scores to meet the WEST-B requirement (reading writing, mathematics). Please contact Graduate Admissions if you have questions.
    • Minimum SAT scores required: Math: 515, Reading: 500, Writing: 490.
    • Minimum ACT scores required: Math: 22, Reading: 22, Writing: 8.
  • Passing the State Endorsement Test.
    • Those endorsing in designated world languages or bilingual education must also pass oral and writing proficiency tests (OPI and WPT) in their language area.
    • Several NES study guides are located on the main floor Reference section of SPU’s Ames Library.
  • Endorsement Verification form
    • Endorsements are the content and grade levels a teacher is prepared to teach. The Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) provides a comprehensive list of all endorsements offered at SPU.
    • If your college major matches your intended endorsement, complete the Endorsement Verification form in the application.
    • If your major does not match your intended endorsement, please contact Kristi Kanehen, certification officer. Complete the Endorsement Verification form only after contacting Kristi Kanehen. On the form, indicate that you have been in contact with her and list your “Approved Plan of Study” if one has been developed.
  • Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy form (found in the online application).

*The GRE or MAT will be waived for students who achieved at least (a) a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or (b) a 3.0 in the last 45 quarter credits.

Applicants with complete files submitted by the deadline are screened for interviews, held on the SPU campus in March. Invitations to interview are sent by email. Applicants are advised to add these email addresses as contacts to avoid inadvertent delivery of correspondence to spam or junk folders.

Enrollment policy

  • Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn this master’s degree, or until officially withdrawing from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the program director.
  • Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program director. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
  • SPU’s Student Academic Services requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a graduate program. After four quarters of non-enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.
  • If a student decides to no longer pursue a master’s degree, the student may officially withdraw from the program and SPU by notifying the program director and the associate director of graduate programs.

Questions?

Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs:

Peterson

School of Education Graduate Programs