What is the STEM professional development requirement for certificate renewal?
Educators submitting renewal applications for residency, professional, initial, and continuing teacher and CTE teacher certificates with STEM-related endorsements must document completion of at least 15 clock hours, the equivalent in credit, or at least one goal from an annual professional growth plan (PGP), with an emphasis on STEM integration.
STEM integration is the authentic combination of at least two STEM components (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Whether or not a teacher needs to meet this requirement depends on their certificate’s endorsements, not on their job assignment. Teachers with one or more of the following endorsements must meet this requirement:
- Agriculture Education
- Business and Marketing Education
- Computer Science
- CTE (All Areas)
- Designated Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth & Space Science
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education
- Family and Consumer Sciences Education
- Mathematics; Middle-Level Mathematics
- Science; Middle-Level Science
- Technology Education
NBCTs meet the STEM certificate renewal requirement by maintaining a valid National Board certificate.
View a list of all endorsements (spreadsheet) and if they are subject to the STEM certificate renewal requirement. This list includes endorsements that are no longer offered but may still be held by current educators.
When recording the clock hours, credits, or PGPs in OSPI eCertification, teachers need to check a box confirming they met the STEM certificate renewal requirement. Educator records may be audited.
Teachers with the relevant endorsements who do not complete this requirement will have their certificates expire. Teachers may not serve in their role without a valid certificate.
- RCW 28A.410.2212
- WAC 181-79A-244
Professional growth plans (PGPs)
An educator may develop a professional growth plan goal that integrates at least two of the four STEM components. Educators implement a STEM activity in a classroom or other educational setting, such as a PLC or professional learning event, and collect evidence from the activity for their PGP. Learn more about PGPs.
Guidance for professional development providers
The intent of RCW 28A.410.2212 is to ensure students have exposure to authentic STEM integration experiences that align with state learning standards and includes information about STEM-related career choices. The intent is for educators to incorporate STEM learning within their professional practice, such as a classroom or professional development opportunity (PLC, staff meeting, district-level workshop, or related). The educator must participate in or implement a STEM activity that demonstrates authentic integration of at least two of the four STEM elements. Incorporating only one STEM element in the learning experience is not considered an authentic STEM experience.
Guiding questions for providers
To be considered an authentic integration, providers must integrate at least two STEM components. When designing workshops or courses, providers should be able to answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Will the STEM activity have an impact on STEM experiences for students?
- Does the STEM activity provide examples or resources to use with students or with other educators?
- Does the STEM activity provide examples or resources about STEM-related career choices to use with students?
STEM certificate renewal examples
This is not an exhaustive list.
- Completing a PGP that integrates two STEM components
- Completing a clock hour course aligned to the STEM certificate renewal requirements
- Incorporating a STEM design challenge within your classroom
- Attending a STEM workshop at a conference
- Participating in a workshop that demonstrates STEM integration
- Collaborating with a math, science, technology, or CTE teacher to implement a project integrating science and technology, or math and technology, or a design challenge that uses math and science.
- Participating in professional development offered by a district, ESD, educational organization, or other clock hour provider that demonstrates STEM integration.
- Participating in professional development offered by a district, ESD, educational organization, etc. that demonstrates the integration of STEM.