The essence of the UW Accelerated Certification for Teachers (U-ACT) program approach to teacher development is a focus on learning in the context of direct and daily practice. The program is designed to support candidates who are teachers-of-record in schools in WA. Our coursework grounds teachers’ learning in the context of the school community as well as the realities of daily teaching practice.
Our ultimate goal in U-ACT is to ensure that you begin your teaching career with a strong foundation of what ambitious equitable teaching means and looks like. Ambitious teaching includes developing skilled ways of drawing out and responding to all students in a classroom setting so that they learn worthwhile content and view themselves as competent sensemakers. Ambitious teachers are committed to children, embrace content areas as important tools through which to understand the world, and seek opportunities to continually grow and build their knowledge of children and teaching.
The U-ACT Program is an alternative teacher education program (routes 3 and 4), so that means that teacher candidates enrolled in it are full-time teachers-of-record (if hired by a public school/district, then teaching with a "conditional" certificate). While we have only been able to accept Teach for America teachers in past years, we have now expanded the U-ACT Program to partner directly with schools/districts to support teachers who aren't also involved with Teach for America. To be eligible for the U-ACT Program, an individual needs to be hired in a full-time teaching position. The U-ACT Program partners directly with TFA, additional public schools/districts, and some independent schools. Teachers who aren't affiliated with these organizations can apply to the U-ACT Program, however, there are limited numbers of open positions in the program for teachers who aren't affiliated with one of these direct partnerships.
- Certification & Endorsements
The U-ACT Program is approved to support individuals in earning their Washington state “residency” teaching certificate with an initial endorsement in one of the following general education areas:
Elementary (K-8) Middle & Secondary Endorsements: to be eligible for earning one of these endorsements, an applicant must meet requirements of the Endorsement Evaluation process, as required of all applicants seeking a secondary endorsement through the Teacher Education Programs in the College of Education.
- English Language Arts
- History/Social Studies
- Middle-level Mathematics
- Earth & Space Sciences
The U-ACT Program includes 2 years of coursework:
Year 1 coursework earns enrolled teachers a WA state “residency” teaching certificate.
- 31 graduate-level credits including both Methods coursework (in the content area that a teacher is working to earn an endorsement) and Foundations coursework
- The estimated cost of these credits is about $15,000 and students are eligible to apply for financial aid (loans and relevant scholarships).
- A prerequisite requirement of eligibility for an alternative route 4 program includes an “intensive” summer learning experience. The U-ACT Program provides this for all eligible teachers in the summer prior to their beginning the program.
Year 2 coursework earns enrolled teachers a Master’s in Teaching (MiT) degree.
- 22-25 graduate-level credits including both content/context-specific coursework (relevant to the content/context that a teacher is working in), Foundations coursework, and a culminating Capstone Project course.
- The estimated cost for these credits is about $11,500 and students are eligible to apply for financial aid (loans and relevant scholarships).
Because the U-ACT Program supports teachers across the state, coursework is most-often administered in a hybrid in-person and virtual synchronous model. When applicable, instructors require enrolled teacher candidates to meet in community with others (in partnered school district locations or at the University of WA, Seattle campus). Teachers meet weekly for 3-4 hours in content-like groups with talented instructors to focus on research-based instructional practices. Additional flexible online coursework is required (some independent modules and additional sessions offered at a variety of times to allow for flexibility and choice among enrolled teachers).
Key components of the U-ACT Program:
- Coursework and assignments are grounded within your practice and specific context and school community, advancing your practice as an ambitious and equitable teacher.
- Partnership between instructors/coaches and school community (e.g. administrators, mentors) to best align and support teacher learning.
- Focused coursework in the content area where you are seeking an endorsement as well as integrated practice and support within foundations in teacher education.
- Assessments are aligned to school/district evaluation processes with specific, data-driven feedback provided by instructors.
The U-ACT Program is directly partnered with the following organizations. For more information about their recruitment and/or hiring processes, please directly contact them.
Teachers who aren't affiliated with these organizations can apply to the U-ACT Program, however, there are limited numbers of open positions in each cohort for teachers who aren't affiliated with one of these direct partnerships. To be eligible to apply, an applicant must have a full-time teaching position in a WA state school and meet all application requirements.
For more information:
- Download the application checklist.
- Attend an upcoming information session.
- Visit the College of Education's calendar for dates and registration. Contact the U-ACT Program Director, Megan Kelley-Petersen (email@example.com), with specific questions.
- For more information on the range of alternative route pathways in Washington, please see the Professional Educators Standards Board website around alternative pathways to certification.
- Ready to apply? The U-ACT application can be started here.