Character and Fitness

Evidence of good moral character and personal fitness is provided by candidates in a WWU certification program as follows:

  • Residency teacher candidates - upon program admission
  • Residency school counseling candidates - before the first field experience
  • Educators who do not hold a valid Washington State educator certificate - before the first field experience

Character and fitness is established through two separate but related processes and maintained through certification:

  • Character and Fitness Supplement. Any reportable incidents must be fully disclosed and documentation provided. The supplement is valid for two years, however if the answer to any question on this form changes prior to certification notify the Woodring Certification Office immediately.
  • Fingerprinting Background Check. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) receives and arranges for a criminal background check to be conducted by the Washington State Patrol and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The fingerprinting background check is valid for two years.

Clearance by the OSPI Office of Professional Practices

Incidents reported through these two processes are reviewed by the WWU Certification Officer and investigated by the OSPI Office of Professional Practices. No student may participate in a University-sponsored activity in the public schools until cleared by the Washington State Patrol record check, and if applicable, investigated and cleared by OSPI. Clearance by OSPI is valid for two years and must be maintained until program completion and recommendation for certification.

Other Evidence of Character and Fitness

Students must abide by their program's conduct policies. Toward the end of a Residency candidate’s program and prior to recommendation for the first certificate, the Dean of Woodring College of Education is required by Washington Administrative Code to sign an affidavit affirming that faculty and staff "have no knowledge related to the applicant’s character and fitness that would adversely affect the applicant’s ability to serve in a certificated role."