Intern Substitute Certification

The Intern Substitute Certificate authorizes the intern to substitute teach "only while assigned as a student teacher/intern and only in the classroom(s) to which assigned".

Eligibility Criteria

Woodring College of Education will approve an Intern Substitute Certificate for candidates who:

  • complete at least three weeks in the fulltime internship;  
  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and disposition to serve as the sole teacher in the assigned classroom as determined by the Woodring College of Education;
  • have support from the school district, principal, cooperating teacher (CT), University Intern Coordinator (UIC) or Field Supervisor and are approved by the Department Chair. 

Intern Substitute Certificate Application Process

  1. Advise your principal, cooperating teacher (CT), and University Intern Coordinator (UIC) or Field Supervisor of your interest. Ask your principal and CT to sign the School Request form. 
  2. Email the signed School Request form to CertOffice@wwu.edu, (a scan or clear photo is OK). Alternatively, you may fax or mail it to the Certification Office
    • Include your name, Western # and the first date you have an opportunity to substitute, if known. 
    • If the midterm evaluation has been completed, include a copy (a clear photo is OK).
    • Provide a copy of the School Request form to your School District. 
  3. Contact your school district human resources office to ask for the “District Request for Intern Substitute Certification” to be initiated with OSPI and to complete new employee hire forms. Some districts request Emergency Certificates and/or some interns already hold a valid certificate.  If so, the intern still needs to to get Woodring permission to work in the internship placement by submitting a School Request form to the Woodring Certification Office: CertOffice@wwu.edu.
  4. The Certification office will seek a recommendation from your UIC/Field Supervisor and a determination from your program's Chair.
  5. If approved, the Certification Office will authorize OSPI to issue the Intern Substitute Certificate through the OSPI eCert system. You will not upload a form.
  6. You will apply for the Intern Substitute Certificate and pay a $44 fee through E-Cert. Do not apply until instructed to do so.
  7. OSPI will issue the Intern Substitute Certificate after you have applied and Woodring has approved your application. If necessary, the school district can request a rush.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woodring College of Education interns who have successfully completed at least three weeks (15 full days) in the fulltime internship and are ready to assume responsibility for teaching on their own.  The University Intern Coordinator must have observed the intern enough to provide feedback regarding the intern's performance.

Woodring College of Education will make every effort to review and process the Request for Approval within 3 - 5 days. The timeframe for issuance of the certificate by OSPI may be several days. If necessary the school district can submit a Rush Request to OSPI.

The professional education permit will state "valid only in the classroom(s) to which assigned for student teaching" and will have the state's uniform expiration date of the next June 30. This means you can use the certificate to substitute as long as you are an intern in the classroom for which you were approved, but not beyond that time and not beyond June 30.

The Woodring Certification Office will recommend you to OSPI for a Residency certificate when all program requirements are verified as being successfully completed and both grades and Bachelor’s degree are posted to your transcript.  The Woodring Certification Office will also email you regarding the timeline for completion during your internship.  You may also contact CertOffice@wwu.edu with questions on the process or your certification status. 

Depending upon the schedule of your substitute teaching assignment, which cannot conflict with your student teaching responsibilities in the other classroom, it is possible that you will not be able to use the Intern Substitute Certificate. You can use this certificate in either classroom if there are no scheduling conflicts.

If approved, the intern will receive an email notification to apply for the intern substitute certificate through the OSPI E-Certification system. If not approved, the intern will be advised of the rationale behind that decision, which is not subject to appeal.

Although your UIC is familiar with the process and should be advised of your interest in this optional certificate, please contact CertOffice@wwu.edu with any questions.