Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate Program

This program is designed for those who wish to earn Washington residency certification to teach in middle and/or high schools. For general program information, contact us at seced@wwu.edu. For information about application requirements, contact Woodring Admissions at TeacherEd.Admissions@wwu.edu, or to request an advising appointment, call 360-650-3310. Early advising is highly encouraged, and required for Music or Physical Education & Health majors. 

We believe that effective teachers must possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions to successfully facilitate learning for students of diverse backgrounds and abilities. The essays and interview, are intended to reveal aspects about you as a person- including the knowledge, abilities and the personal experiences that you will bring into the complex demands of teaching. 

Application Deadlines
Applications and all supporting materials, including the WEST-B requirement scores, must be received by the following deadlines:

  • Fall quarter:  February 1 
  • Winter quarter:  September 1


Pre-Application Requirements:

Evidence of academic preparation

  • Undergraduate applicants- an approved academic major and/or academic preparation for an endorsement.
  • A signed endorsement evaluation is required with your application, including any additional endorsement(s) you may be earning. No more than 10 endorsement credits may be outstanding once you begin the SEC program- this includes any content methods credits; if you plan to complete more than one endorsement, the 10 credit limit applies to all. The evaluation should indicate any courses that are in progress or planned. To obtain a signed evaluation, take the evaluation form and unofficial transcripts (and a transfer equivalency report) between Oct.-May to your academic endorsement advisor.  During summer months, contact Woodring Admissions at TeacherEd.Admissions@wwu.edu.
  • Post-bac. applicants- have an official passing WEST-E or NES endorsement/content test score by the application deadline. Take exam at least 4-6 weeks prior to application deadline and request scores be sent to WWU. If you are not sure which WEST-E/NES content test to take, review the endorsement you are seeking at https://wce.wwu.edu/admissions/approved-endorsement-programs-secondary-education, or contact Woodring Admissions at TeacherEd.Admissions@wwu.edu. Physical Education & Health or Music applicants do not need the endorsement test for their application but prior to internship.
    • Applicants may be advised to take courses to help them with specific knowledge to Washington secondary schools- this is especially important if your major does not directly align with the endorsement you are pursuing. If you are unsure if your academic history will meet the requirements for the content test, talk with an advisor about recommended coursework to take before applying to the SEC program. Or, request an endorsement evaluation and receive notice of recommended courses to take prior to applying- send unofficial transcripts to TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu (be sure to indicate the endorsement you are seeking). The policy limiting outstanding endorsement credits applies for post-bac. applicants.
  • Passing scores to meet the WEST-B requirement must be on record by the application deadline. The requirement may be met by passing a) WEST-B exam, b) SAT min. scores, and/or c) ACT min. scores. For details, see the WEST-B requirement website wce.wwu.edu/admissions/west-b-requirement.
  • Applicants seeking the Music or Physical Education & Health endorsements require pre-advising from their academic major advisor.
  • Completion of an English composition course with a grade of "B-" or higher; or, certain exam scores.
    • Courses include ENG 101, COMM 101, JOUR 106. For other courses, check with Teacher Education Admissions.
    • Exams include AP English Literature or Language, or IB English, with minimum score of 4. 

Evidence of youth experience and multicultural knowledge

  • Experience working with youth in an educational setting, with preference to public secondary schools.
  • Experience with youth and families in diverse socio-economic, cultural, linguistic settings, and/or evidence of experience and academic knowledge with multicultural and social justice issues and challenges.

Additional Application Requirements:​

  • Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (and a transfer equivalency report, if applicable).
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher overall or for the last 45 credits.
    • GPA is calculated using the WWU grade point system.
    • Includes failing grades; does not include S/U graded credits or a repeated course.
    • Upon request, a GPA can be evaluated prior to applying to the program.
  • Two letters of recommendation addressing your potential for success in teacher education.
    • Letters must come directly from the individual providing the recommendation; see the application for information on how to submit letters.
    • One letter must be from someone who has supervised your experience with youth in an educational setting.
    • One letter must be from someone (such as a professor) who can attest to your academic ability and knowledge in your major/endorsement
  • Essays that address the prompts on the SEC application form (see below).  
  • Woodring Secondary Education Undergraduate or Post-Baccalaureate Application form (see links above) and all supplemental materials.
  • Post-bac. applicants must also apply to Western Admissions by the application deadline; admissions.wwu.edu/post-bac.
  • On-campus, small group interview, typically 3-5 weeks after application deadline (details provided after application reviewed).


Other information:  Applicants meeting all requirements are eligible for admission consideration but does not guarantee admission. Application materials will be reviewed by academic major and Secondary Education faculty. Admission decisions are made from the review of all application materials, academic preparation, the scope of experience with adolescents, evidence in recognizing and valuing diversity and inclusiveness, and observation of interactions/communication during the on-campus interview. Final admission decisions are made on the basis of combined scores gathered from faculty, and priority consideration may be given to candidates with endorsements in academic areas of current critical need (including sciences, Mathematics, and English Language Learner). Admission decisions take 6-10 weeks to complete after the application deadline (up to 12 weeks for fall applicants). 

Upon admission, each teacher candidate will receive information on how to meet pre-residency and fingerprinting clearance and professional expectations. New candidates attend a mandatory orientation prior to beginning the first quarter in the program. Retention in the program requires continuous demonstration of competence in standard oral and written English in all coursework. Retention also requires maintenance of a 2.75 quarterly GPA for each quarter once admitted to the Woodring College. The State of Washington requires teacher candidates to earn a “C” or better in all major endorsement and education sequence courses. 

Essay Prompts:  Note- the most up-to-date essay prompts will be found at this website. Prompts were updated in July 2018.

The essays will be reviewed based on the following criteria:  academic preparation, experience with youth, experience working with diverse populations, a commitment to social justice, and writing proficiency. Each essay should address the prompt, include your name, title of essay, and be 1-2 pages, 12pt, double-spaced.

Essay 1
Tell us why you wish to pursue a career in teaching. How do your experiences and disposition prepare you to be successful in the Secondary Education program? 

Essay 2
How might an educator’s unacknowledged biases or taken-for-granted assumptions affect their ability to create a safe, inclusive, and culturally responsive learning environment?

Essay 3
Describe your experiences with youth and families in diverse socio-economic, cultural and linguistic settings. Comment on any experiences with academic courses that have provided you knowledge of multicultural and social justice issues and challenges. How does this knowledge and experiences prepare you to be an effective teacher?


Content Tests:  WEST-E, NES, and/or ACTFL.  Prior to entering the student teaching internship, undergraduate candidates are required to take a content knowledge test for each endorsement to be earned. This is an application requirement for post-bac. applicants. For more information, visit the Content Test website at wce.wwu.edu/cert/content-test-resource-site.


Course Sequence    

Below is the course sequence which most candidates will take; Music and Physical Education & Health candidate sequence varies- ask advisor for specifics. Academic content methods course(s) are also required.  Click here for catalog information or ClassFinder

Quarter 1
  • SEC 303 - Teaching Adolescents: Development and Identity
  • SEC 310 - Education, Culture, and Equity (plus minimum 15 hours/qtr. service-learning required)
  • SEC 410 - The Dynamics of Teaching
  • SEC 430 - Secondary School Methods I: Instructional Strategies, Daily Planning & Standards
  • IT 344 - Basic Instruction Technology Skills (take during first or second quarter as a prerequisite to IT 444)
Quarter 2
  • SEC 411 - Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • SEC 425 - Developmental Reading, Writing & Learning in Secondary Schools
  • SEC 431 - Secondary School Methods II: Assessment and long Term Planning
  • SEC 435 - Secondary Practicum 1
Quarter 3
  • SEC 432 - Secondary School Methods III: Management, Motivation and Discipline
  • SEC 433 - Teaching and Learning Laboratory 
  • SEC 436 - Secondary Practicum II
  • IT 444 - Teaching & Learning with Technology
  • SPED 363 - Secondary Students with Special Needs
Quarter 4 - 18 credits
  • SEC 495 - Internship