What is ESD-U?
ESD-U is an alternative pathway to certification that supports a “grow your own” partnership with local districts. This residency-based teaching certification program offers Route 2, 3, and 4, as well as a “retooling” route for a currently certified teachers seeking to add an endorsement.
ESD-U is a hybrid program, with all courses held virtually with real-time instruction plus opportunities for in-person participation in select sessions. The program is intended to be completed within 1 year (July to June) with courses occurring in the summer, on Saturdays, and occasionally Wednesday evenings. Courses begin in July, spanning 3-5 weeks, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. For the remainder of the year, courses occur 1-3 Saturdays per month with occasional Wednesday evenings. Number of weeks in the summer, number of Saturdays per month, and number of Wednesday evenings are dependent on route and endorsement. Candidates will finish in early or late June, depending on endorsement area. For specific dates/times of courses based on route/endorsement, refer to the Year-at-a-Glance Calendars in the Resources section at the bottom of this webpage.
All courses will occur virtually with real-time instruction, utilizing the Zoom and Canvas platforms. Opportunities for in-person participation in select sessions will be provided throughout the year and will be held at the ESD 112 Vancouver campus (2500 NE 65th Ave. Vancouver, WA, 98661).
Participation in the program includes attending courses, completing field experience hours in a classroom environment setting and passing a state-required assessment. The program is designed so individuals working within a school system can use their regular position to fulfill a majority of the field experience requirements, as long as the position matches the endorsement pathway (ex: a special education paraeducator getting a special education endorsement).
ESD-U is operated by ESD 112 and has been approved by PESB.
Routes to Certification
- Route 2: Individuals with baccalaureate degrees who are currently employed classified instructional staff working with the district for at least one year, and are seeking a residency teacher certificate with endorsements in a locally determined shortage area.
- Route 3: Individuals with baccalaureate degrees who are not employed in the district at the time of application or who are currently employed by a district but have been working with the district for less than one year at the time of application, and are seeking a residency teacher certificate with endorsements in a locally-determined shortage area.
- Route 4: Individuals with baccalaureate degrees for whom the district will secure a conditional or emergency substitute certificate and employ as a teacher of record while seeking a residency teacher certificate with endorsements in a locally-determined shortage area.
- Retooling Pathway: Individuals who currently hold a Washington state teaching certificate and are employed as a teacher in a Washington school district, and are seeking an additional endorsement. Priority shall be given to those currently employed in partnering districts.
- English Language Learners
- Special Education
- Elementary Education
Starting in the 2019-2020 cohort, residency teacher certificates with endorsements in ELL must be dually endorsed in a second area of certification. In future years, we may also offer additional endorsements based on district partner requests.
ESD-U offers a variety of payment plan options to provide financial flexibility to our candidates. Scholarships are available for candidates; more information can be found under the Certification and Endorsement tabs, as well as at informational sessions. Updated tuition rates for 2023-2024 are listed below:
- $5,250 for adding retooling endorsement
- $9,000 for Residency Teacher Certificate with stand-alone endorsement (Elementary Education or Special Education)
- $12,000 for Residency Teacher Certificate with dual endorsement
District Partners and Contacts
Currently, ESD-U exclusively partners with districts in the ESD 112 region in southwest Washington. To view individual districts, visit https://www.esd112.org/schooldistricts/