Alternative Routes to Certification (ARC)Peterson Hall
The Alternative Routes to Certification (ARC) program at Seattle Pacific University integrates a Washington State Residency Teacher Certificate with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Candidates in the ARC program become effective teachers by:
Certification is earned in four academic quarters, from summer to spring. The MAT degree is earned through additional coursework, which may be completed concurrently with certification requirements or in subsequent quarters.
The certification component of the ARC program is 45 credits. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for a 43-week Internship. Completion of certification courses, Internship requirements, and passing program assessments qualifies candidates for a Washington state Residency Certificate. This certificate enables candidates to teach in public and private schools in Washington state. The master’s degree is earned by completing an additional 15 graduate level credits or five classes.
All credits are offered at the graduate level and are adaptations of courses offered in the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
COURSEWORK AND INTERNSHIP
Coursework begins in the summer with online and on-campus classes in learning theory, general teaching methods, curriculum design, and literacy strategies. Coursework varies depending on endorsement area to provide discipline-specific emphasis. Candidates typically enroll in classes with peers who are earning the same primary endorsement to promote collegial interdependence. The number of on-campus meetings for coursework varies by endorsement area. However, candidates endorsing in Special Education, Elementary Education, and K-12 Secondary may anticipate meeting on-campus once or twice a week, beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 7:05 p.m. or 9 p.m., depending on the class and quarter.
Candidates and mentor teachers follow a co-teaching model where responsibility for planning, instruction, management, and assessment is shared. Candidates begin internship with focused observations and progress to independent teaching. Across internship, candidates complete assignments designed to maximize field experiences, such as portfolio reflections, unit plans, and program assessments. Internship concludes with candidates returning control of classroom responsibilities to their mentor teachers.
COMPLETION OF THE MAT DEGREE
Candidates earn the MAT degree by completing five graduate level courses, totaling 15 credits. Classes required for the MAT degree are not needed for certification. However, most candidates complete degree requirements immediately following certification to increase their base salary.
Candidates may delay completion of degree requirements for up to five years following the quarter of admission as long as active enrollment status is maintained by completing one class every four quarters. Students admitted to the ARC program with a master’s degree may complete EDU 6085 to receive the MAT degree.
Students must be continuously enrolled in required SPU courses to earn a graduate degree or until the student is officially withdrawn from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by emailing the program chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A student who decides to no longer actively pursue a graduate degree may officially withdraw from the program and the university by emailing the program chairat email@example.com and the graduate programs manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A student may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the program chair. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in graduate coursework or be dropped from the program.
The Office of Student Academic Services (SAS) requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a graduate program. After four quarters of non-enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ARC PROGRAM
The ARC program recognizes the alternative routes to certification that have been identified by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). These routes are for individuals who possess a unique set of qualifications and wish to earn a Washington state Residency Certificate.
To qualify for the ARC program at SPU, a candidate must meet one of the following criteria:
Candidates in the ARC program must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree, preferably with a major aligned with a state-recognized endorsement area, and meet all residency certification requirements. Candidates with an undergraduate degree or major in a field not recognized as an endorsement area by Washington State may need to complete additional courses to meet content requirements.
Prospective candidates may apply to the Alternative Routes to Certification program through The Graduate Center. Applications are due February 1. Qualified applicants are invited to participate in group interviews mid-March.
In addition, prospective candidates must:
Financial aid is available for qualified applicants through Student Financial Services or by calling 1-800-737-8826.
Paraeducators, instructional assistants, and teachers employed through conditional or emergency certificates may be able to remain employed in their school district or private school while completing internship requirements.
Prospective candidates are encouraged to visit the Office of the Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Professional Educator Standards Board for additional information on becoming a teacher in Washington state.
APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONS QUESTIONS
Seattle Pacific University