Apply to Student Teach - Special Education
- Fall Start - February 15
- Winter Start - May 15
- Spring Start - November 15
We are excited that you are about to embark upon the final portion of your Teacher Preparation Program. You have worked long and hard and now you will have the opportunity to more fully put into practice all that you have learned. The student teaching internship is a required capstone project for the program and is a state requirement (Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 181-78A-264). The information below is intended to guide you through the internship application and the internship placement processes.
Please be advised that interns may not contact teachers, schools, or districts to inquire about student teaching. Direct contact in which interns attempt to secure a placement are not permissible in any circumstance. Read more in the Internship FAQ.
The Placement Process
- Apply to student teach by the due date above according to the application directions below.
- OFE personnel will coordinate a student teaching placement during the term prior to the internship start term. This is a complex process that may take the entire term to complete.
- Schedule an interview with school personnel after you are notified via WWU email that your tentative placement has been arranged.
- Inform OFE when the interview is scheduled.
- Once the interview is completed, inform OFE about the interview status.
- Once both parties agree on a placement, the OFE Director and school administrator must confirm and agree to the placement.
- Carefully read the confirmation email with next steps that you and your Cooperating Teacher (CT) will receive.
Professional Paperwork Standards
OFE briefly reviews each document for the standards below. If your resume and cover letter don't meet these standards, they will be returned to you for revision. OFE cannot provide individualized feedback on your documents so you are highly encouraged to assure that your paperwork meets the following standards prior to submission:
- Free from grammatical and spelling errors
- Proof-read by another person
- Adheres to length requirements
- Clearly worded, professional content
- Not overly personal
It is your responsibility to ensure your paperwork meets the above standards. Prior to submission, you are highly encouraged to utilize the Career Services Center and the Writing Center where you can find resources and exemplars for cover letters and resumes. They also offer individual supports and will review and provide feedback on your paperwork.
Paperwork that does not meet standard will be returned and may delay your placement.
Part 1: Prepare Cover Letter, Resume, Transcript and Signature Page
The cover letter should be a professional document in which you briefly introduce yourself, provide a short summary of your relevant experiences, and speak about the experience you hope to have in your internship. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to impress future colleagues and should be written in a professional and pleasant manner.
- Meets standards listed above
- One page only
- Do not make any statements about the district and/or school you desire for placement. That is not appropriate for this document.
Content of cover letter:
Paragraph 1: Brief professional introduction of yourself (steer away from personal information), including pertinent reasons that led you to become a teacher.
Paragraph 2: Experiences that you have had in practica or other jobs related to working with children that highlight your talents as an educator.
Paragraph 3: Goals for your internship experience.
Closing: make a statement of thanks for reviewing your documents and considering you as an intern.
This resume will likely serve as the foundation for your future job search resumes, so take your time and be thoughtful!
- Meets standards listed above
- One page preferred
- Readable format or style (use bullets, avoid narratives)
Content of resume:
- Required: Name and contact information; education; program; school-based experiences (do not include CT's name. Include school, district, number of hours if you know them, and highlights of important experiences.)
- Optional: Purpose statement; additional non-program work with children/youth; brief summary of other types of work; honors, awards, community service; other skills
Unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate institutions should be included.
MIT students should include unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
To access a WWU transcript:
- Go to Web4U via MyWestern
- Click on Student tab, Student Records and Unofficial Transcript
- Take a screenshot or use the snipping tool and then copy/paste to a blank Word document (do not attempt to copy/paste the text directly)
- Save as a Word document
We must have your permission to share confidential information about you to school personnel.
- Open the Signature Page document below and carefully read the statement
- Sign by typing your name and entering the date
- Save as a Word document
Part 2: Combine into a Single Document
After you have prepared all of the separate documents above, they must be combined into a single file. By submitting these documents in a uniform and predictable way, we make it easier for our school district partners to review your materials!
Your documents must be combined into a single document in order for school districts to easily review your information.
- Cover Letter
- Signature Page
- Copy and paste the four Word documents together as ONE document in the order listed above
- Fix any formatting issues and complete a final edit
- Save the Word document for your records.
- Save as a PDF
Name for Submission
NAME the single PDF using the following conventions. The term should reflect your internship term, not the term you apply:
- Example: SMITH.Sammy.SPED.Spring.2022
Part 3: Submit the Application
Once your single PDF is complete, click on the link below. You will be directed to an Esign form where you will complete the required information, attach your document and submit.
- Successful completion of all pre-internship coursework and field experiences.
- Adherence to all professional expectations.
- Good standing status with the program and university.
- GPA requirement must be met.
- At least one attempt to pass endorsement content exam prior to the start of full-time student teaching.
- Department Chair and faculty approval to student teach (obtained by OFE).
- Current fingerprint and character clearance.
- Confirmation of placement made by OFE.
- Fulfillment of time requirements specified on internship calendare (start/end dates, work "teacher" hours).
- Logged all internship hours.
- Adhered to all professional expectations.
- Current fingerprint and character clearance maintained at all times.
- Met all InTASC Standards and program requirements through a progression of increased responsibility including observation, planning, instruction, assessment, and reflection to be demonstrated through successful scores on the IDES (Intern Development and Evaluation System).
- Completed Self-Assessment and Pre-Professional Growth Plan (PGP) submitted to UIC/Field Supervisor.
Who Makes the Placements?
All student teaching placements are made by OFE personnel, in collaboration with your program. Interns may never search for their own placements.
Where Will I Be Placed?
Placements are chosen with the intention of:
- maximizing diverse experiences
- adhering to program and state requirements
- expanding opportunities based on your goals and input
See your program information for details and any restrictions that apply to your specific program.
Will I Be On WWU's Schedule?
Please review your program information for details on your internship sequence. You can download an internship calendar when it becomes available for your term.
Who Will Supervise Me?
- Your Cooperating Teacher (CT) will be well-versed in your endorsement area(s) and have 3+ years full-time teaching experience and experience mentoring adult learners.
- Your University Intern Coordinator (UIC)/field supervisor will collaborate with you and school personnel to aid in successful evaluation, support, and mentorship..
Can I Be Placed In A Familiar School?
In certain circumstances, the Office of Field Experiences will consider a student’s request to be placed at a familiar school. We are required by law (State WAC 181-78A-125(1(b)) to assure that a candidate can be fairly and objectively evaluated, and placement at a school which the candidate has attended or has a personal connection may interfere with that. In addition, student teaching in a school where you have a personal connection could be viewed as favoritism or inequity.
If you have a very specific reason for requesting a placement at a familiar school, you must indicate the nature of your connections at that school on the Placement Information Form. An individual assessment of the connection and access to an objective evaluation will be conducted by the Office of Field Experiences and a final determination will be made regarding the viability of the candidate’s request.
May I Request a Specific School or Teacher?
If a classroom teacher and/or school administrator asks you about possibly student teaching, simply inform them that you will provide this information to WWU. Send that information to firstname.lastname@example.org. This does not guarantee the placement.
How Do I Request an Accommodation?
Students with identified disabilities may request reasonable accommodations during student teaching. To request an accommodation:
- Register with WWU Disability Access Center (DAC)
- Indicate need for accommodation on Internship Placement Information Form
- Contact the OFE Director at email@example.com or 360.650.3309
Specific accommodations are determined on an individual basis and are modified to meet the unique needs of the student, the program, and state student teaching requirements.
Accommodation requests are treated as confidential information by OFE personnel.