Washington needs special-education teachers and City University of Seattle has partnered with King, Snohomish and Skagit county schools to help paraprofessionals earn a bachelor degree and become dual-endorsed teachers (K-12 special education with a K-8 elementary education endorsement).
The Alternative Routes program is a two-year field-based program that begins in July 2008. The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is providing students in the program with a $16,000 “tuition offset” forgivable loan for those who commit to teach special education for four years in Washington after graduation. Previously, City University of Seattle partnered with Seattle Public Schools, PESB and Seattle Education Association in a similar Alternative Routes program.
Currently, there are more than 109,000 students enrolled in special-education programs throughout Washington, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. With the growing number of students in these programs, more teachers are needed. By enrolling in the Alternative Routes program, paraprofessionals who work within the public schools with three or more years of full-time experience, hold a transferable AA degree or higher and have passed or can pass all sections of the WEST-B are eligible to apply to be a part of the program.
For information, visit www.cityu.edu.