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.

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.


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