What you can earn


2 years

Credits earned




Time commitment


A first of its kind, the groundbreaking Native Education Certificate Program empowers you to develop essential skills and knowledge for engaging Native students, families and communities. Through this program, you will learn how to tailor educational environments to the unique needs of Native communities

A visionary collaboration between tribal leaders, citizens, educators and the Indigenous Education Advisory Board , this program cultivates community-based teaching perspectives. Develop the knowledge needed to address the needs of Native American communities and ensure the academic success of Native students.

Over the two year program, you and your cohort will cover a range of topics including tribal history, sovereignty, child development, culturally responsive classroom management, subject matter instruction and more. The program culminates in an experiential project.

Most of your coursework can be completed online. Upon completion of the certificate, you will have earned 10 graduate level credits.


What you'll learn

  • Collaborating with peers and tribal leaders to support Native students
  • Fostering identity development for Native learners
  • Cultivating communities of practice that actively contribute to educational transformation for all Native learners and communities
  • Designing and implementing learning environments that respect and engage with Native students and peoples
  • Utilizing culturally responsive pedagogies that directly contribute to an effective education for Native American students

After graduation

Students who complete this program develop an understanding of tribal culture and traditions that align with work in Native communities. You can also use the experience of this certificate to:

  • Pursue additional training for continuing education and endorsements
  • Use your earned graduate-level credits for future educational programs
  • Serve underrepresented populations with cultural responsiveness
  • Work with non-profits and organizations in tribal communities to gain insights into tribal sovereignty, protocols, and cultural practices


    This is a comprehensive, two-year curriculum. In year one, you will explore tribal history, sovereignty, child development and culturally responsive classroom management. Year two delves into subject matter instruction and culminates in an experiential project, all while fostering collaboration and community engagement.

    For groups of 10 participants from the same community and/or school district, we offer a paid position for a participating Native liaison from your community to engage with your cohort.

    Technology requirements: computer access and high-speed internet connection

    Year One: EDPSY 581 Foundations of Native Education

    Understanding Tribal History and Sovereignty
    • Supporting the implementation of Senate Bill 5433: Explore the growing resources from the Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum and tribal specific content. 
    • Knowing Native American History: Identify historic events and documentation of treaties, trauma, and trials unique in Indian Country.
    • Understanding Tribal Sovereignty: Learn tribal government best practices and explore the historical and contemporary polices effecting Native learners. 
    Fundamentals of Native Education 
    • Leading Change in Native American Education: Focus on being a community based-teacher with issues in leadership skills, opportunities and challenges unique to working in Native Education.
    • Cultivating Native Child and Adolescent Identity and Development: Gain the foundational understandings of the emerging knowledge about Native child and adolescent development from early childhood education through late adolescence.
    • Engaging Native Children, Families, and Communities in Land Based Pedagogies: Learn Indigenous pedagogies with comprehensive family and community engagement plans.
    Perspectives of Disability and Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
    • Considering Special Education and Native Learners: Identify critical aspects of special education law, rights, and placement; knowing the factors that are influencing disproportional representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and considering the critical roles of family members and community in the education of students with disabilities.
    • Employing Culturally Responsive Classroom Management: Using a strength s based approach and drawing from the resiliency of students and families, this segment is grounded in honoring traditions and will focus on building healthy relationships.

    Year Two: EDPSY 581 Foundations of Native Education

    Teaching Subject Matter So Native Students Thrive
    • Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines: Increase science, math , and literacy achievement for Native students. This critical segment will focus on closing this gap by identifying best approaches towards specific content instruction with Indigenous students.
    • Delving Deeply: Cultivate culturally responsive instruction concentrating on effective approaches toward three instructional issues with Native students.
    Experiential Culminating Project

    Project of Choice: Students will develop and implement one culminating project, which builds student experience with tribal mentors and community engagement. Assignments are instrumental in establishment of the Indigenous Education Toolkit website.

    You will earn 10 graduate credits for completing this certificate. These credits may be applied to a matriculated degree program. Because policy for applying credits can vary, please check with your intended program before registering. Learn more about graduate nonmatriculated credits.

    Admission requirements and process

      • Professional resume
      • Personal statement (250 word max) describing relevant work and volunteer experience as well as transferable skills, knowledge within the field, and commitment to professional growth.
      1. Gather all required materials
      2. Complete the online application on the PCE website
      3. Pay the one-time $50 nonrefundable application fee

      Following the application review process, we will notify all applicants of their acceptance status. A waitlist will be created if needed. If accepted, we will provide welcoming details that include course payment information. Fees are due four weeks before the first class.

      To enroll, international students must have a visa that permits study in the United States. This program does not enable students to obtain or maintain F-1 visa status. For more information, see Admission Requirements for International Students.

      If you are a non-English speaker, you will need to have at least basic English language skills to enroll. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements.

      Costs and funding

        The estimated cost to complete the two-year certificate is $5,000. At $500 per credit, this cost is much less than typical graduate level credits.

        • Technology and registration fees apply and are not included in the estimate
        • In-state and out-of-state residents pay the same amount
        • All books and course materials are available in the online Canvas course at no additional fee

        Participants have found various options for funding tuition for the certificate program.

        • Check with your employer, school district or organization to see if there are professional development funds available to help fund tuition
        • Grants may be available, especially those offering support for those who work with Native programs
        • Many tribes offer their tribal citizens higher education assistance

        Can I earn clock hours instead of credits?

        The Native Education Certificate Program only offers academic credits. For information on applying academic credit towards the maintenance of a Professional Administrator Certificate, visit the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website.