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Peterson Hall

Rick Eigenbrood, Dean of the School of Education

School of Education Faculty


Teacher Certification
Elementary Certification Requirements

Integrated Studies Major: Elementary education teachers must select the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in one of the following areas:

    The Arts

    Health and Fitness

    Language Arts
    Natural Sciences
    Social Sciences

Secondary Certification Requirements

P–12 Certification Requirements for Art, Theatre, Music, and Health/Fitness Special Education (P-12)
Special Education Major
Special Education: Elementary Emphasis
Special Education: Secondary Emphasis
Special Education: General Emphasis
Special Education: Educational Ministry Emphasis


The vision of the SPU School of Education (SOE) is to influence the region, the nation, and the world through the equipping of educational leaders for public and private schools.

The mission of the SPU School of Education is to equip educators for service and leadership in schools and communities by developing their professional competence and character to make a positive impact on learning.

Students interested in exploring teaching or other professional education careers are encouraged to enroll in EDU 1200 Teaching: A Noble Profession.

School of Education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Certification programs in the School of Education are also accredited by the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board and meet residency requirements for Washington state elementary, secondary, and P–12 teaching certificates.

Candidates in the Undergraduate program learn essential knowledge and skills for i) centering instruction on high expectations, ii) demonstrating effective teaching practices, iii) recognizing and responding to individual student needs, iv) focusing on subject matter content, v) fostering and managing a safe and positive learning environment, vi) using assessment data to modify instruction and improve learning, vii) communicating with parents and the school community, and viii) exhibiting collaborative practices that lead to improvements in teaching and learning

The following categories shape the competency base for the residency certification programs at SPU as defined by Washington Administrative Code 181-78A-270:

         H - Honor student diversity, development, and their right to learn

                   Teacher candidates positively impact student learning by ...

                    Honoring student diversity and development,

                    Honoring student access to content materials,

                    Honoring the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning,

                    Honoring family/community involvement in the learning process, and

                    Honoring student potential for roles in the greater society.

         O - Offer an organized and challenging curriculum

                    Teacher candidates positively impact student learning by ...

                    Offering an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes, and

                    Offering appropriate challenge in the content area.

         P - Practice effective teaching, inquiry, planning, instruction, & assessment

                    Teacher candidates positively impact student learning by ...

                    Practicing intentional inquiry and planning for instruction,

                    Practicing differentiated instruction,

                    Practicing standards-based assessment, and

                    Practicing the integration of appropriate technology with instruction. 

         E- Exemplify service to the teaching profession

                    Teacher candidates positively impact student learning by ...

                    Exemplifying professionally informed, growth centered practice,

                    Exemplifying collaboration within the schools, and

                    Exemplifying an understanding of professional responsibilities and policies.

Overview of Residency Teacher Certification Program

The professional program leading to Residency Teacher Certification at SPU consists of three parts:

  • The Foundations and Methods courses
  • The Skills courses
  • The Applications courses

The Foundations and Methods quarters consist of the theory and background of teaching with appropriate application.

The Skills courses support the methods and application courses and students have some flexibility regarding when these courses can be taken, although these skills courses are prerequisites for progression in the Teacher Certification Program.

The Application courses focus on applying the theory and background learned in the Foundations, Methods, and Skills courses.

Degree Requirements for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students must complete all the requirements for a bachelorís degree in addition to the Certification Program.

Transfer Students

All transfer students are required to take the entire Certification Program at SPU. Any exceptions must be approved through substitution and petition processes in the School of Education.

If substitutions and petitions are granted, a minimum of 26 credits, including the internship, must be completed as a regularly enrolled student at SPU.

Upon arrival at SPU and prior to registration, transfer students should meet with the certification advisor regarding course substitution requirements and procedures.

Post-Baccalaureate Students

Students pursuing certification after receiving a bachelorís degree from an accredited institution recognized by the state of Washington do not earn a second degree.

However, they must still meet state certification and endorsement requirements that typically involves four quarters of coursework.

Post-baccalaureate students must pass the Washington state "basic skills" and endorsement testing requirements for Washington state teachers prior to being accepted into the Residency Teacher Certification program.

Post-baccalaureate students are strongly encouraged to contact the Certification Advisor at 206-281-2214 in the School of Education to discuss post-baccalaureate certification options prior to university enrollment.


To complete the Residency Teacher Certification Program in a timely manner, students have access to competent academic advice. During Foundations Quarter each student will be asked to schedule a time to meet with the certification advisor to develop a plan of study to complete Teacher Certification Coursework.

The School of Education provides individual sessions with the certification advisor to answer questions and help with the certification process. As soon as a student identifies a desire to be a teacher, he or she should arrange an advising appointment by calling 206-281-2214.

Admission to the School of Education

A student enrolling in the Foundations Quarter is considered a tentative candidate for admission to the School of Education. Before the Methods Quarter, the student is asked to prepare a formal application for full admission to the School of Education.

The student may continue the sequence of courses leading to certification upon full admission to the School of Education and fulfillment of the prerequisites to the appropriate quarters.

To achieve admission to the School of Education, a candidate must meet the following:

  • Complete the Foundations Quarter, achieving a B average with no grade lower than a C. The prerequisite coursework must be no more than five years old.
  • Receive a favorable recommendation from the Foundations team.
  • Pass School of Education interview.
  • Pass ENG 3301 with a grade of C or better (if admitted to the University autumn 2012 or later).
  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0, or a 3.3 GPA in the last 45 credits of college or university work.
  • Receive passing scores on the Washington state "basic skills" testing requirements for teachers.
  • Be accepted into a major.
  • Take the appropriate Washington educator skills endorsement test(s)
  • Complete fingerprint clearance through OSPI.
  • File a formal application for admission to the School of Education.


Most classes in the Certification Program require School of Education permission to register. Before registering, follow current procedures for contacting the School of Education to confirm appropriate prerequisites have been passed. No appointment is necessary for this process.


Upon successful completion of the Residency Certification Program, the Seattle Pacific University School of Education recommends candidates to the state of Washington for Residency Teacher Certification. Though SPU makes recommendations to the state, the state issues the certificate, not the School of Education.

All teacher certification candidates are subject to Washington requirements for the Residency Teaching Certificate. These requirements may be changed by the state and override anything stated in the Undergraduate Catalog. See the School of Education office for updates on state requirements.

A Residency Teacher Certificate will be accompanied by information outlining the steps for completing professional certification as the Residency Teaching Certificate is the initial certification and all teachers must eventually achieve professional certification.

Internship Placement and Supervision Policy

  • The School of Education arranges all student teaching placements. More specific information can be found in the Residency Certification Handbook which SPU students may access through the School of Education sharepoint site and following the link "Teacher Education Students"

Internship Professional Expectations

  • Interns are responsible for communicating their plans to the School of Education. They are also responsible for responding to queries from the placement and the certification offices. Failing to do so may jeopardize placement.
  • Specific expectations of professional behavior in placement can be found in the Residency Certification Handbook.

Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy

Teacher Certification Programs at SPU include experiences working closely with children in public and private schools. The protection of children is a paramount concern.

Consequently, the School of Education reserves the right to refuse placement of any SPU student in any field experience. Any SPU student registering for any School of Education course that involves working with children does so with the following understanding:

  • Admission to the course and subsequent placement with children may be denied if fitness for such a placement is questionable in the exclusive judgment of the University.
  • The student may be required to withdraw from the course, practicum experience, or the certification program should the School of Education receive information during the course of a practicum placement that raises a concern about the fitness of the person to work with children.
  • Information received about the fitness of the student working with children may be shared with the school district to determine if a placement can and should be made or continued.
  • Ultimately, the SPU School of Education cannot override school districts, and practicum placements are dependent on school district cooperation and subject to school-district approval.
  • Denial of, or removal from, a practicum setting due to lack of fitness to work with children will result in a denial of admission to the teacher education program or in being dropped from a program if a student has already been admitted.
  • In addition to satisfying the requirements of SPU, in order to receive certification, good moral character, and personal fitness must be established by each student with Washington stateís Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Office of Professional Practice.

Need to know when the course is being offered? Check the 2014-15 Time Schedule.

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