FAQ

No, at this time we do not offer such a program.  Our master’s program is set up specifically for those who have their teacher’s certificate and can be currently teaching while taking our program.  See our Graduate Program page for further information.

Yes you do, for every college attended except Western, but we can work with unofficial transcripts.

No, but you are encouraged to attend one of the quarterly meetings that will give you tips on applying to Elementary Education.  Typically, these occur Monday before or during Finals Week, late in the afternoon.  Look for the most up-to-date schedule announcement on the Admission website or contact Elementary Education at 360-650-3336 or Teacher Education Admissions at 360-650-3313.

We calculate your GPA two ways; over all college-level courses you have taken at all colleges, and over the last 45 quarter credits.  You should apply if you meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.75.  Currently, the average for applicants is about 3.2.  Remember, this is an average score, and many students are admitted who have earned less than that.  Our application form includes questions that ask you to share other strengths you have as well.  Once admitted to the Elementary Education program, you must maintain a 2.75 GPA or higher every quarter thereafter; including the quarter you were admitted.

Each quarter and year is different, so it is impossible to predict.  We are now accepting about 100 students per year, with the quarterly numbers varying slightly.

In order to earn your ELL endorsement, you must have the equivalent of at least one year of college-level foreign language study and have met our cultural study requirement through academic class work or through extensive living in a single foreign culture. This can be earned in a variety of ways. One year of high school language is equal to 1 quarter at Western. So you might have two years of high school and one quarter of college language. Or you might have two years of high school French and one year of high school Spanish. You might also be able to count language study living abroad. You will want to check with Marsha Riddle Buly, LLC advisor, if you have a question about what counts for your particular situation and what options you might have.

The state reviews the cut-off scores periodically.  For now, it remains at 240 for each sub-test.

No.  WEST-B scores do not expire, but you must be certain that your official WEST-B scores were sent to Western.  If they were not sent to Western at the time you took the WEST-B, you must order an official score report.  Forms for this are available on the WEST-B website.

You may take some classes on a space-available basis; Courses in the TESOL sequence (ELL endorsement) can be started before you are admitted to the LLC major. We recommend taking TESL 401 and/or 410 prior to being accepted into the Elementary program. To take these courses you will fill out the regular TESOL application (not the LLC short form). Ellen can help you with this paperwork.

Elementary Education is not a major in itself.  You will need to choose an approved academic major (see list on the Elementary Education Program sheet) and the Elementary Education certificate will entitle you to teach grades K-8.  If you are completing certification as part of your undergraduate degree, you should be able to finish in eight or nine quarters depending on the size of your academic major.  The majority of the program is a regular on-campus, daytime program.  Post baccalaureate students can expect to take about 6-7 quarters depending on if additional coursework is needed to meet department or state endorsement requirements.  

No, it is not flexible.  If you are unsure whether your overall GPA or "last 45" GPA meets this requirement, contact Teacher Education Admissions for help.

You must have taken TESL 425 before you take the TESL 432 and TESL 435 courses. Also, you need to have completed ELED 481 or the equivalent before you take TESL 425, if you are an LLC candidate. Non-LLC candidates must complete TESL 421 before taking TESL 425.

We recommend that students who plan to do the Queretaro Mexico option do so during their first summer in the program, if at all possible. In order to be prepared for this, a student must take TESL 401 or either ENG 370 or LING 201, along with TESL 403, and finally, TESL 420 before leaving for Mexico. In addition, if you have already been accepted into the Elementary Certification program, you must take ELED 480 before you leave for Mexico. This ensures that you are ready to take the TESL 421 offered in Mexico, along with ELED 483 which covers content from ELED 481 by means of assignments that you will complete before, during, and after your TESL 421 course. Taking TESL 421 in Mexico will mean that you do not need to take ELED 481 on campus. This is the ONLY time that TESL 421 can be considered as a replacement for ELED 481. Advance advisement is required.

You will need to complete the requirements included in your letter of acceptance.  They are also listed on the Admissions website.

The fingerprinting will need to be done and Character and Fitness questionnaire completed before you can register for any class that takes place in the public schools. Once cleared, the fingerprinting will be valid for two years but often you will need to renew it in order to be in compliance for your student teaching internship. The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Workshop and Blood Borne Pathogens Training are always offered at the beginning of the quarter. You will need to meet all of these requirements upon being admitted to the program.  Check with the Office of Field Experiences for dates and times.

No, we do not collect Teacher Academy portfolios for review.  We do value these experiences and expect that you will include them as you respond to the questions on the application.

Students applying to teacher education programs in the State of Washington must, by Washington State law, meet the WEST-B (Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic) requirement. This may be done by: a) passing the West-B exam, b) SAT minimum scores, c) ACT minimum scores. See our West-B website for details: www.west.nesinc.com  Passing scores must be on file by the application date.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS SPECIFIC FOR SUMMER 2012 and could change in the future.

Students may opt to do all or part of the Mexico summer program. There are several options for time spent in the Queretaro, Mexico summer program. (Please refer to the handout on this program for more detail on the three summer options.)

The first 5 weeks of summer study take place in Bellingham. Courses offered are TESL 404, TESL 405 and TESL 420. If you are doing the TESL 421 and ELED 483 option in place of ELED 481, you will also work on that before leaving for Queretaro.
The next 4 weeks are in Querétaro, with TESL 421 and ELED 483 to replace ELED 481. During this timeframe, you will also take TESL 497E, which is a Spanish class for Teachers taught by the local faculty in Queretaro.

Finally, if you choose to stay for the 4 week intersession, you could take the TESL 432 and 435 along with another session of TESL 497E, Spanish for Teachers. For the summer of 2013, each of the two sessions in Mexico will cost approximately $2000 (+ airfare). You make the decision of whether you want to do both sessions, or only the first session-which means you will incorporate your TESL 432 and 435 into your internship year in ELED certification program.

Summer in the Queretaro Mexico program could count as one of your cultural studies courses. This would be done with prior approval from Dr. Riddle Buly.

Please note that it is not required that students do the Mexico summer. All the courses can be taken here on campus during the academic year and during summers. This would just be considered an option.

You may want to choose another study abroad option rather than attending the TESL/LLC summer program in Queretaro, Mexico. This would also be an option. Should you choose to pursue this option, you would work closely with Dr. Riddle Buly for credit advisement. Be sure to check with the International Studies office to see various other international opportunities available for Western students. There are many.

If you are going to Queretaro and will be staying for the TESL practicum during the same time that you would be doing your September Experience, we will work with you to be sure you get the coursework for September Experience completed in a timely manner. This will require a combination of work done in JUNE before the summer session in SEPTEMBER, as soon as you return. It will also require careful communication with your collaborating teacher. Of course, you will also complete some of your September Experience in Mexico if you choose this option.

We expect you to plan ahead so this won't happen; however, if you know that your WEST-B results will arrive less than a week past the application deadline, you must submit a Petition to Elementary Education asking that you application be reviewed without WEST-B scores and state the date your scores will arrive at Western. 

During the summer of 2013, we offer a Literacy summer option, and we hope to have this option available in future summers. Depending on where you are in the program, a student may take all or part of this option during one summer. There are several courses offered. Please talk with Ellen about which courses would work for your plan of study and your personal goals. Ellen can work with you to schedule your courses so they work best into your schedule.

Students seeking teacher certification must pass the knowledge assessment for each subject in which they are seeking an endorsement prior to their full time student teacher quarter. Visit the WEST-E website for full information on this test.

All undergraduate and post baccalaureate students must apply and be accepted by both WWU and the Elementary Education Department of Woodring College of Education (WCE). Western undergraduate students apply to Elementary Education  for admission once they have completed at least 45 credits. Transfer students may apply to WWU and Elementary Education at the same time (highly recommended) or soon after transferring if they have met all of the admission requirements to Elementary Education. Applications are accepted for fall, winter, and spring quarter.

When you have successfully completed all the requirements for the major, including state-required assessments, you will have earned a Residency teacher certificate with endorsements in Elementary Education, ELL, and Reading and either a minor in TESOL or in bilingual education (you must choose only one). However, if you are ALSO bilingual, you can additionally earn a bilingual endorsement but NOT two minors. (Wow, that’s a lot of information and confusing! So please ask if you need clarification. You can apply for the minor when the cultural language requirements are met).