Education is the fifth largest industry in Washington State. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education and health services provide over 13% of the job in the state of Washington- beat only by trade transportation and government job opportunities, and jobs in the field of education are projected to grow by 6%. According to U.S. News, Washington State ranks as the 6th best state for education where higher education ranks 3rd. Higher education institutions span the state with some of the top-ranked universities located in Seattle, Spokane, Olympia, Ellensburg, Bellingham, Walla Walla, and Tacoma. There are 6 institution offering at least one online education degree:
- Seattle University
- University of Washington
- City University of Seattle
- Washington State University
- Heritage University
Higher education is not the only highly acclaimed educational service in the state of Washington. Washington State also ranks 6th for early childhood education*, and there are a number of districts with top notch public institutions including Bellevue, Camas, Seattle, Tahoma, and Spokane among others.
*Source: U.S. News
Requirements for Teacher Licensing
The “traditional” route to certification in Washington State involves three main steps:
1.) Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Education
Complete a bachelor’s degree in education. Usually, a bachelor’s degree in education requires about 120 credit hours of general education courses, education courses, and electives. The common curriculum usually means about 30 or more major classes that correspond with state certification requirement, and additional course material that centers on theory and methods of teaching. We suggest you check the Washington Professional Education Standards Board for approved programming.
2.) Complete a State-Approved Teacher Preparation Program
For the traditional route, a “state-approved” teacher preparation program means working in an educational facility- typically a public school with a supervisor. Essentially it’s like having supervised on-the-job training before you are actually on the job. Teacher preparation programs are an important step into the field of education. Here you will gain exposure to the school system, learn how to work with a team, and learn how to put education theory into practice.
3.) Pass the State-Mandated Exams
Generally, in the state of Washington, you must complete a minimum of three state-mandates exams: two Basic Skill Tests, and a Subject Area- Specific Competency assessment. To fulfill the Basic Skills Tests, you will likely have to prepare for the Washington Educator Skills Test Basic (WEST-B) as well as the Praxis 1 Pre-Professional Skills Test. Depending on the subject area, you may be required to complete additional Praxis exams.
Are you finished with your bachelor’s in education, teacher preparation, and exams? Here’s a helpful checklist to ensure you have everything in order for licensure:
- Complete a Background Check
- Demonstrate Proof of Degree Completion with Official Transcripts
- Demonstrate Proof of Teacher Preparation Completion
- Provide Passing Scores for State-Mandated Exams
- Complete an Application for Teacher Certification in the State of Washington
- Pay a non-refundable Certification Processing Fee
If you have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education or are simply looking for other methods that lead to licensure check out these alternative routes towards teacher certification for the state of Washington.
Online Education Program Admission Requirements
Every school varies when it comes to admission and furthermore, admission requirements will differ depending on whether or not you are looking to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree. Let’s first take a look at general admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree in education.
Generally speaking in order to gain admission to a bachelor’s degree in education you must have a high school diploma or have passed a GED with an acceptable GPA. College entrance exams like the ACT and SAT are still very common and score requirements vary per instituion. Once you have the scores you need, the next step is to fulfill application requirements. In general, the application requirements include the application itself, the 2 or 3 letters of recommendations, an entrance essay demonstrating how you are good fit with the institution and occasionally an interview.
Admissions into a master’s program also varies but many require: a bachelor’s degree with least a 2.75 GPA, 2 years of teaching experience, 2-3 letters of recommendation from academic and professional supervisors, written essays of intent/ demonstrated passion and desire to attend program, and a GRE score. It’s important to check with your institution as some schools do not require a GRE score.
For Common Educator Roles in Washington
- Preschool Teacher: $28,410
- Primary School Educator: $59,680
- Secondary School Educator:
- Higher Education Administrator: $61,210
- Principal: $105,533
- Special Education Teacher: $59,120
- Math or Science High School Teacher:$59,884
- ESL Teacher: $51,350
- School Psychologist: $53,145
Scholarships for Future Educators in the State of Washington
Future Teachers of Color Promise Scholarship
The 5 Best Online Education Degree
Providers in Washington
Washington has a total of 6 education degree-granting institutions that provide online education degrees. These range from community colleges offering associates in early childhood development or human services, to nationally ranked universities that offer a wide spread of masters level and education endorsement-level programming. While future students may want to go to the “best” online institution in their state for education degrees, they should take some to double check what exact degrees are offered by their institution of choice at the directory of all online education degrees at the bottom of the page. To select the following top five universities, we’ve looked at two factors: the number of fully online education degrees offered by an institution, and an “academic prestige” score. The academic prestige score takes into account metrics such as average amount of financial need received, average class sizes, admissions standards, and the percentage of faculty holding terminal degrees in their field. Also note that the tuition numbers below are just indicators of relatively how expensive or affordable a college is. The tuition numbers below, specifically, are the in-state (where applicable) undergraduate yearlong tuition rates for education degrees. Many universities, however, have similar tuition rates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Seattle University is a private Roman Catholic University located in Seattle, Washington. There are 7,487 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits Seattle University to award bachelor’s master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S. News, Seattle University ranks as the 7th best school in the West, 4th best college for veteran, and 15th best value school. Seattle University offers a wide range of academic programs in the fields of the Arts, humanities, and sciences. A number of their academic degrees are also vocational- in fact, their most robust programs come from their schools of health, business and education. Seattle University currently offers five online master’s degrees in the field of education.
The Seattle University College of Education offers a number of degrees and certifications to help you reach your career goals. You may follow a graduate degree course, take a K-12 certification program, complete a professional certification, or enroll in an online program. In fact, there are 6 fully online master’s degrees available from Seattle University College including the following:
- Master’s Degree in Educating Non-Native English Speakers
- Master’s Degree in Adult Education and Training
- ELL Endorsement Academy
- Special Education Endorsement Academy
- Secondary Math Endorsement Academy
Seattle University College of Education made it to the top of our list for the high number of online programs available, and high quality of academic offerings.
University of Washington Seattle is a public research university. There are 45, 591 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Northwest Commission on College and Universities accredits UW to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S. News UW ranks as the 56th best university in the nation, 18th top public school, and 24th for best college for veterans. Students are afforded the full gambit of support including academic and career counseling and placement for graduates. Carnegie classifies UW as an R1 research institution (having the highest level of research activity). Currently, UW ranks as the 10th best university in the globe- tied with Yale. U.S. News also placed 45 of UW’s academic programs in the top 10 in the world- above MIT! As you may have deduced, UW has a wide array of academic programming in various fields. Some of their most impressive and unique offerings are in acoustics, infectious disease, immunology, family studies, emergency medicine, hematology, women’s studies, and social work. When it comes to online programs, UW currently offers degrees in the fields of business and education.
The University of Washington School of Education provides educational opportunities for undergraduates, and graduate students as well as those preparing to become a teacher or leader in the field of education. There are a number of quality online education programs as well including:
- Bachelor of Arts in Early Care & Education
- Masters in Education in Special Education: ASD
University of Washington made it to our top 5 for their high quality of academics as well as for the number of available online programs. UW’s school of education ranks third among public universities.
City University of Seattle is a private nonprofit institution. There are 1,874 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools accredits City University to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S. News City University ranks 31st for best online bachelor’s programs. When it comes to student support services, this university offers employment opportunities, academic counseling, career counseling, and credit for life experience. All academic programs are offered either on campus or online and include a number of vocational degrees in the fields of business, communication, computer information sciences, education, health, homeland security, and psychology. There are 13 fully online education-related degrees and professional certifications alone.
City University of Seattle offers a number of opportunities for individuals looking to make their career in the field of education. If you are looking to become a teacher you may do so through their BA in education, an alternative route towards teacher certification, master’s in teaching, or through their TESOL certificate program. Additionally, there are 4 master’s in education programs, 2 programs for school counselling, a number of teacher certification programs, a doctorate in certification and these online programs:
- Bachelor of Arts in Education
- Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
- Master of Education in Reading and Literacy
- Master of Education in Special Education
- Master of Education in Adult Education
- Master of Arts in Counseling – Professional School Counseling
- Master of Education in Professional School Counseling
- Executive Leadership: Superintendent Certification
- Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership: Administrator Certification
- Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Administrator Certification
- Master of Education in Leadership
- Doctor of Education in Leadership
We selected City University of Seattle for their high number of online degree opportunities.
Washington State University (WSU) is a public research university located in Pullman, Washington. There are 30,142 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. The Northwest Commission on College and Universities accredits WSU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications. According to U.S News, WSU ranks as the 140th best school in the nation, 89th best college for veterans, 12th for best online MBA programs, 23rd for best online bachelor’s programs, and 29th for best online graduate engineering programs. Carnegie lists WSU as and R1 Research university with the “highest level of research activity.” It may come as no surprise therefore that WSU offers robust academic offerings that include molecular biology, viticulture, higher education, human nutrition, chemical physics, and music theory. Their online offerings include programs for both undergraduates and graduates alike such as their online master’s in elementary education, online bachelor’s in applied psychology, and online doctor’s in business management .
The Washington State University College of Education offers a number of undergraduate, graduate, and research opportunities for both budding and veteran educators. Undergraduates may pursue a general education degree or focus on athletic training. Master’s candidates engage with advanced studies of the following fields: athletic training, curriculum and instruction, cultural studies, educational psychology, language and literacy, STEM, special education and sports management. Additionally the following programs are offered online:
- Master of Education: Higher Education
- Master of Education: Literacy
- Master of Education: Master Teacher
- Master of Education: School Administration
- Master of Education: Special Education
We selected Washington State University College of Education for their high quality of academics and high number of online degree offerings.
Central Washington University (CWU) is a public institution located in Ellensburg. There are 11,971 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 18:1. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits CWU to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as post-master’s certifications. U.S. News ranks CWU as the 44th best university in the region, 51st best value school, and 10th top public school. With more than 135 degree programs, CWU offer something for every type of interest with extensive programming in the performing arts, sciences, liberal arts, and education. Currently, there are 21 online degrees and professional certifications the most popular programs by enrollment are in the social sciences and education. In fact, there are 10 online degrees offered in the field of education alone.
Central Washington University school of Education has prepared excellent teachers for over 125 years. Their primary focus is on early childhood education, special education, and elementary education. Two additional schools, the College of the Science and the College of Education and Professional Studies also offer programs – one in biology education and the other in business and marketing teacher preparation. The following program is offered online:
- Masters in Educational Administration
We selected CWU for their high quality of academic programming and online degree offering.
Directory of Online Education Degree
Providers in Washington
|Seattle University||Seattle, WA||Online Ed Degrees: 6|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||Seattle, WA||Online Ed Degrees: 2|
|Washington State University||Pullman, WA||Online Ed Degrees: 2|
|Central Washington University||Ellensburg, WA||Online Ed Degrees: 5|
|Heritage University||Toppenish, WA||Online Ed Degrees: 1|