Enrolls In
Summer Only
Mixed Mode (Everett, Tacoma, Vancouver)
Total Credits

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 and be well prepared to take the edTPA exam. 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 special education, English language, or math.
  • 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

  • Passage of the WEST-B statewide basic skills exams
  • Completion 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), 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 six school districts – Bellevue, Edmonds, Lakewood, Marysville, Mukilteo, or Seattle, you may be eligible to receive grant funds to help pay your tuition and other expenses.

CityU has been awarded a Startalk grant, funded by the National Security Agency (NSA), to assist in increasing the number of fluent speakers of Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese earning teacher certificates in the state of Washington, with initial certificates earned through our Alternative Routes program in one of the shortage areas that we regularly offer. Along with matriculating through our program, candidates receive additional instruction in methods and hands-on teaching of Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese.

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

This Alternative Route to Teacher Certification is for individuals who want to pursue a career as teacher and help alleviate the teacher shortage crisis in the state of Washington.

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or finaid@cityu.edu.

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.


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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’ll 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.


CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide.1 In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the national rate.2


Develop marketable, real-world skills in courses taught by faculty who are practitioners working in your field.


Expand your expertise and your global perspectives in on-site and online courses with students from around the world.


Network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies, including Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.