Alternative Route to Teacher Certification

Next Start
July 2024
Mixed Mode (Edmonds, Tacoma, Vancouver, WA)
Total Credits
Price per Credit

Accelerate Your Time to Degree and Become a Teacher

City University of Seattle is approved by the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board to offer a shorter, alternative route to becoming a teacher. This program is designed for people who have prior experience and want to complete a teaching program in as little as one year. CityU has two variations of Alternative Routes. You can take the certificate only program, with undergraduate courses to reduce the price. Or you can take the graduate-level program, with the certificate courses fulfilling more than half of the required credits towards a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree.

Classes are available in a mixed-mode format.


Teacher Certification Programs at City University of Seattle strive to recruit, retain, and support a diverse educator workforce that mirrors the diversity of the PK-12 student population in schools. We aim to cultivate learning spaces in which all community members feel connected to and rooted in relationships within themselves, each other, and the environment. Our vision is to help future teachers align their instructional practices in culturally sustaining ways that foster the development of conscious, global citizens of the world who are at home in their place, environment, and communities.


Teacher Certification Programs at City University of Seattle provide relevant, relationship-based learning experiences rooted in culturally sustaining and identity affirming practices for future PK-12 teachers. We equip future teachers with tools, strategies, and awareness to effectively and equitably facilitate humanizing, healing-centered, and high-quality learning experiences for PK-12 students in the school setting.

The Alternative Route to Teacher Certification offers Saturday classes, so you can continue working while completing the program. You will also participate in a mentored internship program within your school district. There are four routes that students can take in this flexible and affordable program — each route has been developed to suit students in unique life circumstances. Alt. Routes 2-4 admission requirements per State requirements (BA and basic skills and at least one endorsement test taken) – no other pre-requisites. Route 1 applicants must meet BAEd admission requirements.

  • Route 1: For students who are employed by school districts as “classified instructional employees,” or paraprofessionals who have an associate degree. Students taking Route 1 will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Education.
  • Route 2: For students currently employed by a school district who have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Route 3: For students who have a bachelor’s degree, who are not employed by a school district, but have documented career expertise in a subject-matter shortage area such as Math, English Language Learner (ELL), Reading, and Special Education.
  • Route 4: For students with a bachelor’s degree who are employed by a school district at the time of application and hold a conditional teaching or emergency substitute certificate.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of the WEST-B exams
  • Completion of at least one of the WEST-E/NES subject matter assessments required by RCW 28A.410.220 (3) for the endorsements being sought
  • District or building validation of qualifications, including one year of successful student interaction and leadership as “classified staff” for Routes 1 and 2

Program Details

Routes 2, 3, and 4 prepare students to teach and create curriculum in shortage areas such as Math, English Language Learner (ELL), Reading, and Special Education.

CityU’s Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification are offered at our Everett, Tacoma, and Vancouver, Washington, locations. On-site portions of these programs start in summer quarter and are offered on the weekends.

CityU’s Alternative Route to Teacher Certification programs primarily serve Western Washington, although we are able to accommodate candidates and districts in Eastern Washington. If you work in one of seven school districts – Bellevue, Clover Park, Edmonds, Everett, Northshore, Renton, or Seattle, you may be eligible to receive grant funds to help pay your tuition and other expenses. Please contact Steve Brown at for more information on the Alternative Routes Block Grant.

If you are interested in preparing to add a teaching endorsement in Chinese or Korean through the “test only” process while you are participating in the CityU Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification program, investigate the Startalk program, funded by the National Security Agency. Along with matriculating through the CityU Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification program, this grant provides candidates with additional instruction in methods and hands-on teaching of non-traditional languages such as Chinese and Korean.

For more information contact the CityU Alternative Route Program Director, Steve Brown (206.239.4853,, with specific questions.



Founded in 1973, City University of Seattle offers over 60 on-site and online programs designed for busy working adults like you. When you enroll at CityU, you will have the support of a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to helping you finish your degree and reach your goals.