Washington offers state-approved teacher preparation programs with a variety of characteristics and options. Although all of these programs undergo the same process for approval by the PESB, each has its own unique characteristics. Consideration of the following are helpful for selecting a program.
Candidates for teaching credentials are often hired near their programs and/or in the districts where they student teach. The majority of Washington's approved teacher preparation programs are in the western region of the state; however, several teacher preparation programs are also located in the central and eastern parts of the state. Many programs have branch campuses in other parts of the state. Currently, one online institution has approval to offer a Washington teacher preparation program.
Some programs offer a traditional 2-3 year model that usually results in a bachelor's degree. Other programs offer master's-level degrees typically earned within 1-2 years. Also, if a candidate holds an undergraduate degree, it is possible to earn a teaching certificate without adding a degree.
Programs have different levels of performance on the standardized assessments required by the state. This performance might be due to selectivity. It might also be attributed to the level of support provided by the program to enrolled candidates in preparation for the tests.
Diversity exists in the types of candidates completing specific programs in Washington.
There are many costs to consider, including grants and loan repayment opportunities. Private colleges typically have higher costs than public colleges. This may not be the case for candidates coming from another state.