What to Think About Before Applying

Students entering teacher preparations program in the state of Washington have at least two important decisions to make, decisions that make all of the difference to their initial development as professionals.

1.  What Grade Level Do I Want to Teach?

The answer to this question is a fundamental, and it’s something that you’re in the best position to decide.  Do you want to work with teenagers, young children, or somewhere in between? The vast majority of students have a clear answer to this question. If you’re unsure, we’re happy to talk with you about it. Our School of Education, offers elementary and secondary endorsements.  An elementary credential enables you to teach grades K to 8.  A secondary credential allows you to teach grades 5 to 12. You’ll have to choose which credential you want before you start the Fall semester of the M.A.T. program.

2.  Am I Qualified to Teach?

The M.A.T. Program at the University of Puget Sound is a graduate program that leads to a teacher certification and a Masters degree.  That means you’ll need a bachelor’s degree before you start. 

The state requires that all students pass West Tests before they receive their credential.  All candidates must pass the West B, which focuses on basic skills. Elementary candidates take a West E test, which is a further test of basic skills and academic knowledge. 

Requirements for secondary candidates are a little more complicated.  Students must pass West E tests in a particular content area such as social studies, science, and mathematics.  These are fairly rigorous tests, and some students underestimate their difficulty.  We’ve found that students need college coursework almost equivalent to a minor in a discipline in order to pass a particular endorsement test. 

We advise that you look at sample test questions and test taking strategies. This will help you determine if you have enough preparation in a discipline before pursuing a certificate.

The School of Education at the University of Puget Sound offers secondary certificate programs in social studies, English, mathematics, science, and music.  We require that our M.A.T. candidates pass West B and E exams prior to the beginning of fall term.  We also follow state expectations in that we examine your transcript to determine if you have, at a minimum, something close to a minor in undergraduate coursework in the subject you plan to teach. 

Please contact us if you have any questions. We are more than happy to talk with you about your teaching goals, the West tests, and if your college coursework is sufficient for a secondary endorsement.