Secondary Certification in the Sciences or Mathematics

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The Master of Education Program with a focus on Secondary Certification partners with local schools to prepare future teachers to help students in middle and high school gain knowledge and success in science or mathematics. The preparation of secondary teachers in science or mathematics education addresses among the most significant gaps in the teacher corps today.

The Secondary Certification program begins in summer quarter only and is four quarters of full-time (mostly evening) study and clinical practice (or approx. two years part-time) for the certificate only. Students wishing to also obtain a master’s degree can usually complete this in an additional year of part-time evening study which is conducive to a working teacher’s schedule.

This program is based on the most current educational research and theory. Our goal is to ensure that our graduates have a positive impact on student learning.

Students will earn certification in a content area:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Students will also have an option to receive Middle Level Endorsements in one or more of the following subject areas during the first year of the program (you will not declare this option within the application process):

Secondary Science students:

  • Middle Level Humanities (English Language Arts and Social Studies)
  • Middle Level Mathematics

Secondary Mathematics students:

  • Middle Level Humanities (English Language Arts and Social Studies)
  • Middle Level Science

These endorsements cover grades 4-9 and would be ideal for those who wish to teach these subjects in middle school. Adding these endorsements does require passing the state content knowledge test (WEST-E or NES) in the subject area(s). We also recommend completing a teaching methods course for each subject area added.

Priority Application Deadline

Summer Quarter 2020: February 21, 2020

Because the program of study must be completed in sequence, students are admitted for Summer Quarter only. The application process is completed entirely online within the UW Graduate School Application. All materials will be either uploaded or completed online. Your application will not be reviewed for admission until all materials have been received. Complete applications received by the application date will be assured of a review; complete applications received after the application date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Current UWT Undergraduate students: Learn about the advantages of declaring a Teaching, Learning and Justice Minor

Admission requirements

Current UWT Undergraduate students: Learn about the advantages of declaring a Teaching, Learning and Justice Minor

Because the program of study must be completed in sequence, students are admitted for Summer Quarter only. The application process is completed entirely online within the UW Graduate School Application. All materials will be either uploaded or completed online. Your application will not be reviewed for admission until all materials have been received. Complete applications received by the application date will be assured of a review; complete applications received after the application date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Bachelor's Degree

from a regionally-accredited university or college. Applicants who are in the final quarter or semester of their undergraduate work may apply for provisional admission, but must hold a bachelor's degree before beginning the Secondary Certification Program.

3.0 Grade-Point Average

calculated from the applicant's final 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be eligible for admission depending on the quality of their complete application file.

UW Graduate School Application

When applying online, be sure to choose "Graduate" from the pull-down menu of application types, then "Education - Tacoma (MEd - Secondary Education)" from the pull-down menu of graduate programs. The School of Education does not accept Graduate Non-Matriculated applications for admission to the Teacher Certification programs.

Unofficial transcripts

From every college or university you have attended must be uploaded into the online application. If admitted to the program, one official transcript from your bachelor's degree college (except if UW) will be required by the UW Seattle Graduate Admissions Office.

Courses in the Following Subject Areas

The applicant must have earned at least a 2.0 ("C") grade in all Mathematics or Science prerequisite courses and at least a 2.7 ("B-") grade in Developmental Psychology. All prerequisite courses must be completed before the Secondary Education program begins in summer quarter:

Program Selection Document

requires that you indicate the certification option that you will pursue.

Personal goal statement

The mission and values of the University of Washington Tacoma School of Education underscore our primary goal of building educator capacity to understand and meet P-12 student needs. In this context, please include the following in your 2 page double-spaced goal statement:

  • A discussion of: 1) Your experiences in seeking to understand and meet the needs of children and youth; 2) and how those experiences shape your professional ambitions.
  • A discussion of how UWT graduate studies in the program will help meet your professional goals.

Holistic criteria will be used for goal statement evaluation and will include attention to clarity and quality of discussion, example specificity, and mechanics.

You may wish to review UWT School of Education mission/values for guidance.

Resume

of professional experience, educational background and other relevant information including volunteer experience.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be secured from non-relative persons (no family or friends) who can describe your professional potential for working with children and/or for managing the academic requirements of a rigorous graduate school program of study. The letters of recommendation are incorporated into the online application and you will identify your recommenders within the application.

40 hours of documented experience

(minimum) within the last 5 years in a school classroom or group instructional setting. The experience should closely match the subject and age level you wish to teach. This requirement must be completed by the time the program begins in summer quarter.

WEST-B, SAT, ACT (or other state approved test) scores

In April 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed HB 1621 which changes the WEST-B (Basic Skills) testing requirement for Washington state teaching certification. Before HB 1621, all teacher candidates were required to pass all three WEST-B subtests with a score of 240 or higher (or corresponding state approved test scores) for admission to a teacher preparation program. This new law still requires that teacher candidates take the WEST-B or an equivalent basic skills exam like the SAT or ACT, but no longer requires a passing score for admission or to become a certified teacher. Therefore, we only require a test to be taken once. NOTE: All three sections (Reading, Writing and Math) must be taken no later than May 1st of the year you apply. Here is a link to the WEST website.

For information on state approved WEST-B alternatives Click here!

National Evaluation Series (NES) Test

NES Test in content area: Biology, ChemistryEarth and Space Science, Physics, or Mathematics. Applicants must take the test no later than May 1 of the application year to be considered for admission.

For more information on the NES, please visit the WEST Website.

To review the WEST-B and NES test schedule for required test dates click here.

Personal Interview

Be prepared for a March to early April interview which will be conducted in a group format. You should prepare as you would for a job interview. This means you should dress as you would for teaching. In addition to responses to interview questions, faculty will be considering communication skills, professional behavior and your current perspective regarding teaching. This is an opportunity for you to shine as a prospective member of the cohort and to demonstrate professional skills. Please consider this in your planning and preparation for the interviews. The interview is required as part of the admissions process.

Important Immunization Information

All enrolled students are required to provide proof of immunity. Students will not be allowed to register for any classes until the UW Tacoma Registrar's Office confirms that they have satisfied this requirement. Students born before 01/01/57 are considered to be immune and therefore do NOT need to submit proof of immunity.

How to apply

Because the program of study must be completed in sequence, students are admitted for Summer Quarter only. The application process is completed entirely online within the UW Graduate School Application. All materials will be either uploaded or completed online. Your application will not be reviewed for admission until all materials have been received. Complete applications received by the application date will be assured of a review; complete applications received after the application date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Current UWT Undergraduate students: Learn about the advantages of declaring a Teaching, Learning and Justice Minor

The application checklist is a helpful document to ensure that all items are complete.

Download the Application Checklist

UW Graduate School Application

Prerequisite Worksheet - Please submit the prerequisite worksheet for the subject area (endorsement) you will be pursuing.

Program Selection Document

Documentation of Classroom Experience

Questions? Contact the Pre-Admission Advisor: Carla Van Rossum (carlavr@uw.edu; 253-692-4437)

Information sessions

Day Date Time Location  
Thursday August 8, 2019 4:00pm – 5:00pm Science (SCI) 104 RSVP
Tuesday October 15, 2019 12:30pm – 1:30pm Science (SCI) 104 RSVP
Thursday November 14, 2019 4:00pm – 5:00pm Science (SCI) 104 RSVP
Wednesday December 11, 2019 4:00pm – 5:00pm Science (SCI) 104 RSVP
Tuesday January 7, 2020 12:30pm – 1:30pm Science (SCI) 104 RSVP
Wednesday February 5, 2020 4:00pm – 5:00pm Science (SCI) 104 RSVP

Please contact Carla Van Rossum (carlavr@uw.edu) for program and admission information

For Information on how to get to campus Click Here!

Frequently asked questions

Where do I start the process of learning about the program?
It is highly recommended that you attend one of the information sessions listed in the tab above.

How long is the program?
The Secondary Certification program begins in summer quarter only and is four quarters of full-time (mostly evening) study and clinical practice (or approx. two years part-time) for the certificate only. Students wishing to also obtain a master’s degree can usually complete this in an additional year of part-time evening study which is conducive to a working teacher’s schedule.

What endorsements are offered?
Upon successful completion of the secondary education program, students will be recommended to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for a Residency Teacher Certificate in your chosen endorsement area:

NES Test in content area: Biology, ChemistryEarth and Space Science, Physics, or Mathematics.

Students will also have an option to receive Middle Level Endorsements in one or more of the following subject areas during the first year of the program (you will not declare this option within the application process):

Secondary Science students:

  • Middle Level Humanities (English Language Arts and Social Studies)
  • Middle Level Mathematics

Secondary Mathematics students:

  • Middle Level Humanities (English Language Arts and Social Studies)
  • Middle Level Science

These endorsements cover grades 4-9 and would be ideal for those who wish to teach these subjects in middle school. Adding these endorsements does require passing the state content knowledge test (WEST-E or NES) in the subject area(s). We also recommend completing a teaching methods course for each subject area added.

How do I know if I have satisfied all of the prerequisite courses required for admission to the program?
Depending upon the subject area (endorsement) you are pursuing, complete the corresponding prerequisite worksheet listed below. Contact the pre-admission adviser for prerequisite course evaluation: Carla Van Rossum at carlavr@uw.edu or 253-692-4437.

Where will I be placed for the clinical practice in the program?
We have contracts with several districts in the South Sound area. Students are not allowed to arrange their own clinical practice placements.

How much is tuition?
Please visit the tuition webpage for current tuition rates.

How do I get information about scholarships and other financial aid opportunities?
Please visit the Student Financial Aid website for Graduate Students and the School of Education Scholarship webpage.

Questions? Contact the Pre-Admission Advisor: Carla Van Rossum (carlavr@uw.edu; 253-692-4437)

Program plans

The Secondary Certification program is a 43-credit (teaching certificate only) or a 55-credit (teaching certificate with master's degree) program. Most courses are offered in the evening and may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The clinical practice requirement during winter and spring quarters takes place during regular school hours.

Secondary math certification program plan

Secondary science certification program plan

Courses are subject to change at the discretion of the School of Education