Related information: Alternative Route to Teaching Block Grants
Alternative routes 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 to a teaching certificate in Washington tend to be shorter, more convenient, more affordable, and more practically oriented. Enrollment in an alternative route program is through an alternative route provider. Please see the list of providers below and contact a provider for more information.
Four alternative routes
Washington State has four alternative routes that cater to specific populations:
- Route 1: For classified instructional employees (e.g., paraeducators) with Associate’s degrees
- Route 2: For classified staff with Bachelor’s degrees
- Route 3: For “career changers” with Bachelor’s degrees
- Route 4: For district staff with Bachelor’s degrees employed on conditional or emergency substitute certificates
All four alternative routes to a teaching certificate in Washington lead to full residency certification (the first level regular teaching certificate).
For more information about the routes and their entry requirements, see the Route Descriptions page.
Alternative route providers
Use the Find an Alternative Route Program tool to locate a provider. There are currently multiple alternative route programs offered by institutions across Washington State. Program details vary, so please contact the providers directly for more information.
Additionally, you can use the Alternative Route Program Map (Document), which visually represents what programs work closely with what school districts in Washington State.
If you are a district or preparation provider that is interested in offering an alternative route, please see our Provider Resources page.
More alternative route in Washington information
- Alternative Routes “Cheat Sheet” (Document)
- Washington Administrative Code on Alternative Routes programs (WAC 181-80-020)
- PESB handout on Alternative Routes (Document) (Updated May 2016)
- Offer an Alternative Route program