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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is Northwest Educational Development?

A: NWED is a Washington state Professional Education Standards Board approved teacher education program dedicated to improving education for all by providing professional development, conditional teacher placement, teacher certification and teacher retooling.

Q: Does NWED issue credits or clock hours?

A: Since NWED is not a college or university we do not issue credits. However, NWED does issue clock hours for currently certified Washington state teachers adding the SPED and Elementary Endorsements.

Teacher Certification

Q: Who can apply?

A: You must also have a completed 4 year degree from a regionally accredited college/university and be at least 18 years old.

Q:  What endorsements do you offer?

  • Biology (5-12)

  • Chemistry (5-12)

  • Early Childhood Education (P-3)

  • Elementary Education (K-8)

  • English Language Arts (5-12)

  • Mathematics (5-12)

  • Social Studies (5-12)

  • Special Education (P-12) 

  • World Languages (P-12)

Q: What's the difference between a certificate and an endorsement? 

A: In the State of Washington a teaching certificate means you can teach, while the endorsements specify the subject and grade level. For example:  Someone with their residency certificate and an endorsement in Elementary Education can teach general education subjects in any grade K-8.  However, this person would not be qualified to teach a specialized subject in those grades like Music or Special Education without additional endorsements. 

Q: Do you require any prerequisite coursework?

A: NWED does not require any prerequisite coursework for the program or endorsements.

Q: When can I start?

A: NWED has an open entrance process. Candidates can begin at anytime during the year.

Q: What tests do I need to have completed to be admitted to the program?

A: In order to be admitted all candidates must have taken the WEST-B or equivalent. Candidates must also pass the NES/WEST-E in their content area to be fully admitted.  While candidates may be allowed to begin on a conditional basis before these tests are complete, the amount of work a candidate can do is limited and all candidates are strongly encouraged to have the NES/WEST-E test scheduled before entering the program. NWED may require candidates to pass their content tests before being offered admission to the program if scores on the WEST-B are low.  World Language candidates must also pass the ACTFL OPI and WPT tests with a score of Advanced Low or Higher.

Q: How will my application be evaluated? 
A: NWED takes a holistic approach to the evaluation of each application. We consider a candidate's background, experience, motivations and skill level to determine, to the best of our ability, if the program is a good fit for each candidate. Our goal as an admissions team is to admit those candidates with the best chance of success in our program. NWED does not use a point based system.  Some factors we consider when evaluating an application:

  • Academic background (test scores, undergraduate GPA, etc.)

  • Previous experience with, and understanding of, children or young people

  • Writing and communication skills

  • Technological skills and ability to work independently

  • General disposition of the candidate and how that aligns with program values

The NWED team works together to determine if this program is right for you. Not being admitted to the NWED program does not indicate a lack of skill or ability to become a teacher; it simply means that another program may be a better fit. 

Q: What are my chances of being admitted?

A: NWED is a competitive program and each year about 60% of candidates that apply are admitted. Candidates that are well prepared and complete the application in a timely manner have a better chance of being considered than those that complete applications before they are actually prepared to being the program. Make sure you reach out to us and get your questions answered so you know what to expect through the process!

Q: What happens if I'm denied?

A:  If you feel there is significant information that wasn't presented in your application you can appeal.  However, if your appeal is denied the decision is final.  Alternately, you may want to find ways to improve your application through increased experience, completing tests successfully, etc., and reapply.  Candidate's must wait a minimum of 6 months before reapplying. Contact Bree Van Horn for more information about filing an appeal. 

Q: Is there financial aid offered for this program?

A: Since our program is not a college or university program we do not qualify for financial aid. However, we do offer payment plans and our program is always pay as you go, allowing candidates to pace their program as necessary to meet their financial contraints. More information on payment options available upon request.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: The single endorsement program is $9,900. For a single endorsement there are 20 paid modules that are $300 each and the field placement (with coaching/supervision) is $3,900. 

Q: How long is the program?

A: The program is designed to be flexible to the needs of the candidate. It can be done in as little as 6 months or up to two years.  

Q: Where can if find information on the required testing (WEST-B and NES/WEST-E tests)?

A:  On our Testing Information page here

Q: What does it mean when it says I need to be "active" to remain in the program? 

A: Candidates are required to complete a minimum of one module or reflection per month to remain a candidate in our programs unless preapproved by a member of the administration. If you are on a conditional certificate we would have to notify your district that you were no longer a candidate in the program. 

Q: How do I get a program verification form (4050E) from NWED? 

A: Candidates in Special Education that need a program verification form (4050E) in order to receive a conditional certificate need to complete the following criteria: 

  • Be admitted to the program

  • Schedule the WEST-E SPED within 30 days

  • Complete the following modules: 99, 116, 601, & 606

  • Enroll in the field experience

Once these have been met, the certification officer will complete the form and upload it to OSPI for the candidate. 


Q: How long is the student teaching?

A: Each candidate must complete a minimum of one full semester in their student teaching placement. Fall semester is typcally September - February and Spring semester is January - June. However the program and fieldwork is competency based and a candidate may be required to remain in their placement for a longer period of time if they have not shown competency in all areas.

Q: Can I work while I'm in the program?

A: It depends on the nature of your work and how long you want to take to complete the program. The program fully supports candidates on conditional certificates in their own classrooms, so you can continue in that position as long as it matches the endorsement you are pursuing. If you are working as a para-educator or substitute teacher, you would need to speak with your district's HR department to see if it will be possible to continue working while you're student teaching. Student teaching must be done in one classroom; you can't substitute in multiple classrooms while student teaching. If you have a job outside of the school, you could continue to work as long as it still allows you to be in a classroom full time for that semester of student teaching.

Q: What districts can I student teach in?

A:  Our model is dependent on support at all levels and strong partnerships are what allow us to deliver this support.  We currently have partnerships with more than 30 Washington school districts including, but not limited to:

  • Puyallup

  • Bethel

  • Tacoma

  • Sumner

  • Lake Stevens

  • Evergreen

  • Auburn

  • Highline

  • Federal Way

  • White River

  • Warden

  • Hockinson

  • Seattle

  • Highline

  • Bellingham

  • Olympia

  • Shelton

  • Bainbridge Island

  • Spokane

  • Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1

This list is not comprehensive as we add additional districts regularly. Please contact us if you would like to know if we have a contract with a specific district.

Q: Where can if find information on the required testing (WEST-B and NES/WEST-E tests)?

A:  On our Testing Information page here

Q: Does NWED require the edTPA?

A:  As of May 5, 2021 the edTPA is no longer a program requirement.


Q: Is the money paid to NWED tax deductable:

Since NWED is a certification only program, it does not qualify to issue IRS 1098 T forms.

Check with your tax adviser to see if they are still deductible.


Teacher Retooling


FAQ's Coming Soon!

Teacher Certification
Teacher Retooling
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