How to Qualify for Certification
For a first-level regular certificate in Washington, all candidates must:
- Earn a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Complete a state-approved educator preparation program OR complete a state-approved alternative pathway educator preparation program; verify at least three years of K–12 teaching experience outside of Washington and hold a regular certificate in another state.
- Pass the Washington assessment requirements for admission to educator preparation programs, the Washington Educator Skills Tests-Basic (WEST-B).
- Pass the Washington Educator Skills Tests-Endorsements (WEST-E) for designated content endorsements.
For further information on other types of educator certificates, including advanced professional certification, access educator certification requirements links.
Changes to professional certification requirements
- In April 2009, the Washington legislature passed a bill that significantly changes the way teachers earn the professional certificate. Beginning September 1, 2011, applicants need:
- two years of teaching experience with at least 1.5 full time equivalent
- a new professional teaching assessment (portfolio of evidence) known as the Washington ProTeach Portfolio
- a course in issues of abuse
For comprehensive information about the new legislation, including Washington ProTeach Portfolio and Washington educator professional certificate information, access the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction's educator certification website.
- The Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) asks for a Social Security number (SSN) as part of the certification process in order to accurately identify applicants and ensure that the appropriate test score is properly included in your applicant file. ETS does not require your SSN for its own purposes but will submit it to OSPI with your test results. Providing this information is voluntary. Failure to provide your SSN could delay processing of your certification application.
- The Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) redeveloped the tests needed for P–12 educator endorsements. The new tests are known as the WEST-E (Washington Educator Skills Tests-Endorsements). Use of the The Praxis Series® tests were phased out. For information about new assessment requirements for endorsements, go to the State of Washington Professional Educator Standards Board of Education testing information.
- To be certain that you are taking the content knowledge test that will meet the requirements specific to your situation, access the Washington Educator Skills Test Endorsement page, or speak to the admissions staff at the institution of interest.
- Only The Praxis Series tests for the education staff associate (ESA) certificates for Professional School Counselor and School Psychologist will be used by the state of Washington.
Who Must Take the Tests?
Prior to entering an educator preparation program at your college or university, you may be required to take the Washington Educator Skills Tests-Basic (WEST-B) tests to demonstrate your qualifications.
In Washington, you must take the Washington Educator Skills Tests-Endorsements (WEST-E) for designated content endorsements.
- About the Praxis® Tests
- The Praxis Series® Information Bulletin
- Prepare for a Test
- Register for a Test
- Washington ProTeach Portfolio information
- Accommodations for Test Takers with Disabilities or Health-related Needs