Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) may, or may not, be offered in association with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) course Careers in Education (CIE). The resources on this page will be most important for districts planning to meet OSPI’s CTE/CIE requirements. However, any teacher, district, college, or community partner interested in forming a high school teacher academy may use all or parts of the resources.
CTE Careers in Education (CTE/CIE)
CTE is a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begin with the exploration of career options. It supports basic academic and life skills, enables students to achieve high academic standards, and provides opportunities for student leadership, employment preparation, and advanced and continuing education. Every CTE course falls into one of 16 “career clusters.” A career cluster is a group of jobs and industries that are related by skills or products. Within each cluster, there are cluster “pathways” that correspond to a collection of courses and training opportunities to prepare students for specific careers. Choose the Education and Training career cluster for information about the education profession and the Careers in Education course. The 16 clusters are consistent and recognizable across the nation from middle school to high school, in higher education, and the workforce. Learn about current national initiatives and general CTE information from the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education consortium.
If you plan to operate your teacher academy as an approved CTE/CIE course, you must submit the required approval forms to OSPI. OSPI also offers annual professional development for new and continuing CTE programs. Contact the OSPI CTE office for more information.
Using the CIE framework to design your program
High school teacher academies using the CTE/CIE course designation must submit a completed CIE framework to OSPI.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a framework template.
The framework is more than a high school syllabus or a course outline. It serves as a guide and tool to support your overall plan. Your framework will align with:
- National and industry standards (Washington teacher preparation standards and the CIE principles of practice);
- Washington State K-12 learning standards (including Common Core content standards); and
- 21st Century Learning Skills standards (including leadership, employability, relevance to work, and thinking skills).
The crosswalk of RWT curriculum with CIE and related standards shows how the standards align.
Your completed framework will:
- Identify an overview of the outcomes that students will meet in your course;
- Ensure student outcomes are relevant to the current industry needs and national standards (Washington teacher preparation standards);
- Include performance-based assessments that require students to demonstrate an understanding of defined outcomes; and
- Support the continuous improvement of your CTE program, as the framework should be reviewed annually by your program advisory committee and program supervisors at OSPI.
Districts report they also found the following standards helpful in their program planning:
- Family and Consumer Science (FCS) standards
- The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards
Note: In 2015, a statewide task force revised the Careers in Education curriculum to create the Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) curriculum, the teacher academy curriculum for the state. The RWT curriculum aligns with CTE/CIE standards while incorporating standards of cultural competence and a focus on equity pedagogy. Districts should use the RWT curriculum and Washington State teacher preparation standards to meet current industry standards. We provide publicly available professional development to help you implement the RWT curriculum.
Expanding leadership opportunities
OSPI publicizes ways to expand leadership opportunities in your teacher academy on the Education and Training career cluster page. There is information on careers, affiliated student leadership organizations, education and training options for students after high school graduation, and other related student resources.
In order to meet the program’s focus on recruiting diverse future teachers who are passionate about impacting the opportunity gap,1 you should work with your district to compile annual opportunities for high school students to engage in discussions and presentations on issues of equity in education. The following are examples of future teacher leadership opportunities:
- The annual Teaching Equity Conference, usually held at Highline Community College; and
- The State of Washington Center of Excellence for Careers in Education, located at Green River Community College, posts resources to support high school CTE programs.
Get to know, or create your own, locally developed, engaging, and equity-focused leadership opportunities for students who want to make a difference in their communities. Local community-based organizations are a great place to start networking.
Finding the right teacher
Recruiting and retaining exceptional teachers to coordinate and instruct the course is essential because these teachers will be the “face” of the program. If you are considering teaching a teacher academy course, or you are an administrator looking for a teacher to teach and coordinate your program, consider if they are able to do the following:
- Recruit and retain a diverse group of students;
- Implement classroom strategies and wrap-around programmatic services that meet the needs of diverse students;
- Coordinate relevant leadership opportunities that extend beyond classroom learning;
- Collaborate with building leaders and other partners to leverage existing supports;
- Demonstrate appropriate and current knowledge about a career in education;
- Convey a passion for helping and being a role model for future teachers; and
- Effectively use culturally responsive and asset-based teaching methods in an effort to eliminate the opportunity gap in education.
We are committed to helping teachers learn and grow in the areas of identity, culture, and equity, as well as supporting the implementation of the curriculum. Professional development specific to the RWT course is publically available through our website.
Assembling a team of key professionals and community partners
Finding the right teacher to teach the course is one step closer to assembling a team of key professionals and community partners. Renton school district describes the collaborations their program facilitates with their education partners:
Building and district staff support the teacher-coordinator to: recruit students, coordinate the Family Information Night, supervise during the Summer Academy visits to Central Washington University (CWU), facilitate the Recruiting Washington Teachers coursework, implement and advise the Future Educators Association (FEA) activities, coordinate the students’ practicum experience, collaborate with community partners, plan and supervise field trips and present at various education conferences and stakeholder meetings.
Your district may choose different ways to compile a supportive team. Here is one list to consider, provided by Dr. Michael Hillis of Pacific Lutheran University, member of the RWT, 2014-15 research team.
Internship supervisors or mentor teachers
A challenge for all programs is to develop partnerships with district schools to provide a place for internships. Data gathered from RWT program sites indicate the importance of finding key people in the schools who will advocate for the program. For example, in the Burlington-Edison school district program, the elementary school principal talked at length about how the teacher academy students are known in the community and, as a consequence, it has been relatively easy to place them in the classrooms.
However, as one of the cooperating teachers for the Renton Teacher Academy commented, “It’s critical that the mentor teachers understand the expectations of the internships. There is additional work (and also benefits of course) that will be required if they are to agree to place a student in their classroom.”
High school counselors
It is essential to establish a strong working relationship with the high school counselors. Since counselors are the ones who are directing students into various curricular choices, the teachers and coordinators of the course need to ensure that counselors are fully aware of the program and are actively promoting it. For example, a Burlington-Edison student commented that her advisor helped her because “….when I read the description of the program in the catalog when scheduling, I knew that it was speaking to me.” (personal communication, March, 2016).
Students who are the first in their families to attend college are at greater risk of being unprepared for the rigors of college. Counselors are consequently key partners to support students to create a career pathway plan that includes appropriate and challenging coursework.2
The role of a supportive administrative staff is evident in the research on the RWT program. While the administration does not need to be directly involved in the program, ensuring that the school administrators are aware of the work, support the goals of the program, and understand that students will potentially be future teachers who could be hired by their districts. These understandings will help to solidify the program’s support and advocacy. For Tacoma public schools’ teacher academy program “Teach 253,” school administrators have been present on panel discussions, at year-end ceremonies, and involved in advisory groups.
Programs that provide wraparound advising, leadership, and college access supports require additional resources of the district. This includes transportation, meeting spaces, and monies for various field-based learning activities. Consequently, there is a need to elicit support from central administrators who can help coordinate the work or support fundraising efforts. For example, in Renton, the Executive Director at Renton school district is a critical partner by providing additional monies and advocating for the many logistical demands of the program.
Community colleges and universities
One of the primary goals of a teacher academy program is to ensure that the students are aware of pathways to higher education. This includes both community colleges and universities.
For many of the students, a route to teaching through a community college will be the most practical option. Consequently, establishing strong relationships with local community colleges is a critical element for student success. At the Renton Teacher Academy (RTA), they partner with key people at Highline Community College (HCC) who work closely with the high school students. This is facilitated first in a “summer academy” when the students are brought to the HCC campus. They experience two days of orientation to the expectations of college with specific sessions on scholarships and financial aid processes and opportunities. Additionally, the high school works closely with the admissions department to help facilitate their entry into the college.
Universities can provide experiences for students that might not be available in other high school programs. For example, the summer academy in Tacoma brings students to the Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) campus where they receive admissions information, interact with college students, and get a glimpse of what is possible in their educational careers. Additionally, students have also come to campus during the school year and participated in panel discussions with PLU teacher candidates. At the RTA, the program brings students to the Central Washington University (CWU) campus where they spend a night in the residence halls.
Even if teacher academy students decide to pursue a path that is different than becoming a teacher, these experiences are important in helping them imagine what it would be like to attend a university and to realize that it is within their grasp. As one of the Burlington-Edison students stated: “If I hadn’t been a part of [this program], I wouldn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.” (personal communication, March, 2015).
You and your district can establish a strong community presence in many ways. For example, program leaders at the Tacoma Teach 253 program have been intentional in their effort to reach out to community groups who support students of color. The Teach 253 Steering Committee consists of people from the district, the College Success Foundation, Achievers Program, the Northwest Leadership Foundation, and university personnel. Additionally, during its first year, the program hosted a “listening post” that invited people from various groups within the community to solicit their feedback into how the program was being set up. The rationale for this approach is that with broader community knowledge and support of the program, there is a greater likelihood that members of the community will encourage students to enroll. From a practical perspective, students are advantaged with community mentors, scholarship information, and other business support.
Statewide networks of teachers and program partners
Another important partner within this work is the state. While it’s obvious that CTE funding is an important help in initiating and sustaining these programs3, equally as important are the networks that have been established to share the knowledge gained about these programs. For example, during the first year of the Tacoma Teach 253 program, the teacher traveled to Skagit Valley observe the work of the Burlington-Edison program. By participating in this visit, the teacher started to imagine a far different program than the one she had been teaching in the previous years.
Certification pathways for CTE/CIE teachers
CTE/CIE teacher academy courses must be taught by a CTE-certified teacher. See the OSPI CTE certificate webpage for more information.
1 Educational Opportunity and Oversight and Accountability Committee (2015). http://www.k12.wa.us/Workgroups/EOGOAC.aspx
2 Vegas, E., Murnane, R.J., Willett, J.B. (2001). From high school to teaching: Many steps, who makes it. Teachers College Record, 103(3), pp. 427-499.
3 OSPI. Carl D. Perkins Act . http://www.k12.wa.us/CareerTechEd/PerkinsGrant.aspx