To meet the Professional Educator Standards Board’s (PESB) objective of strengthening educator recruitment, preparation programs, and employment, PESB administers various grants and programs. These programs have the goal of making a career in teaching more accessible to a wider variety of people through targeted outreach and recruitment.
PESB also maintains information about pilot programs and innovative grants like the Bilingual Educators Initiative, Collaborative Schools for Innovation and Success, Advancing Equity Grant, Teaching Equity Grant, Alternative Route Block Grant, and the “Grow Your Own” initiative.
Becoming an educator
This page provides an overview of the various pathways to becoming an educator, teacher, paraeducator, administrator, or Educational Staff Associate (ESA) in Washington State.
Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification
Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification are designed for career changers and for individuals already working in the school system who want to transition to full-time teaching. Compared to traditional educator preparation programs, alternative routes tend to be shorter, more convenient, more affordable, and more practically oriented.
Higher education institutions, community colleges, and other non-profit organizations who are approved by PESB to operate an Alternative Routes to Certification program can apply for the Alternative Route to Teaching Block Grant to provide funding for alternative route preparation programs, districts, and candidate scholarships engaging grow your own teacher strategies to address district need.
PESB maintains a list of institutions currently offering alternative route programs.
Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) program
The RWT program is a collection of curriculum and resources for high school teacher academies. The overarching goal of RWT is to “grow our own” diverse group of future teachers who more closely reflect the population of today’s children and youth. RWT is founded in equity pedagogy and helps students to explore cultural identity and educational opportunities through the lens of the teaching profession.
Inspired by the effective practices of the RWT pilot programs from the first eight years of the grant, and charged by a special proviso from the state legislature, the Professional Educator Standards Board commissioned a task force to revise and develop the model framework and curriculum for high school careers in education courses to incorporate standards of cultural competence, new research on educator preparation, as well as curriculum and activities from the RWT program. This work resulted in the RWT teacher academy curriculum, for use in all Washington teacher academies.
Pipeline for paraeducators conditional loan scholarship
The pipeline for paraeducators conditional loan scholarship program (parapipeline program) provides financial support to classified instructional staff, with at least three years of classroom experience, to pursue their Associate of Arts degree in order to qualify, enroll in, and complete a two-year Alternative Route 1 program at a participating university, earning a residency teaching certificate.
“Grow Your Own” initiative
The “Grow Your Own” initiative support the efforts of districts, Educational School Districts, and educator preparation programs with increasing educators in the district’s need areas and who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the student population.