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Program Outline: Alternate Routes to Certification ARC-Online


The Alternative Routes to Certification (ARC) Online program at Seattle Pacific University combines a Washington State Residency Certificate with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Candidates in the ARC program become effective teachers by

Demonstrating effective teaching practices

Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement

Recognizing and responding to individual student learning needs

Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum

Fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment

Using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning

Communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community

Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instruction and learning

The certification component of the ARC program is 45 credits. Approximately one-third of these credits are allocated for a 38-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.

Please note that tuition rates for the certification portion of the program and the master's component of the program are differentiated. While certification courses are offered at a reduced rate, students across all masters programs take the master's component classes at the regular graduate tuition rate. 

Coursework and Internship

Coursework begins in the summer with online 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.

Internship begins in late August as K-12 teachers return to school for in-service training. Candidates intern across the school year, while completing online coursework. Coursework integrates internship experiences to assist candidates in applying educational theory and research to planning, instruction, and assessment.

Candidates are paired with a mentor teacher and university coordinator in a supervised school setting. Internship is five days a week, for an entire K-12 school year, approximately 38 weeks, including in-service and end-of-the-year activities.

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. These classes are taken at the regular graduate tuition rate. 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 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.