Skagit Valley College

Becoming a Teacher

In order to teach in a K-12 public school classroom in Washington state, a teaching certificate must be earned at a four-year college or university. There are several steps to complete this.

  • Skagit Valley College offers a 90-credit transfer degree (AA-DTA) that prepares students for entry into education certification and baccalaureate degree programs in Washington state.
  • Upon completion of the AA-DTA degree, students may transfer to any of the 22 teacher certification programs in Washington state, public or private.
  • Completion of the teaching certificate at a college/university is the last step toward employment as a teacher.

Plane Ahead — See a Counselor First

By consulting with a counselor or faculty advisor and the intended four-year college/ university program, a clear plan for successful transfer can be established. Courses that meet prerequisites for teaching programs and AA-DTA (transfer) degree requirements are:

  • English 101 and/or English 103/104 (with a minimum of a B-)
  • Communication Studies 220

Not all secondary education programs require Communication Studies 220, Public Speaking. Please consult with a counselor or the four-year transfer college that you are planning to attend. Please request information on the requirements from the college of your choice to ensure that application and course requirements are met.

Courses within the transfer degree which are recommended for teaching certification, and meet A AUCT requirements are:

  1. Natural World courses
    • Astronomy
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Science
    • Geology
    • Physics
  2. Culture/Social Science courses
    • Education 121, 202, 223
    • Economics-any course
    • Geography 100
    • History 116, 117, 118, 126, 127, 128, 146, 147, 148
    • Political Science—any course
    • Psychology 100, 200, 210
  3. Arts/Humanities
    • Art (any introduction or history course)
    • Drama 101 or English 114

The above courses are suggested, based on college readiness. Some students may need developmental math, reading and/or English courses to enter college level courses. Consulting with a college counselor/advisor is recommended to plan the most efficient and effective path for degree completion.

Most education certificate programs require a special application in addition to the university/college application. Admission is competitive, with 2.75 being the minimum and higher GPA’s recommended for admission to the education program. Applications are accepted quarterly at most schools.

The WEST-B (Washington Education Skills Test-Basic) is offered by a national company and is required for ALL education programs applicants in the State of Washington. Completion of the WEST-B is recommended as soon as math and English courses are completed at Skagit Valley College. Test results must be received by the university/college as part of the application by the stated application dates. Please consult the WEST-B website at: or call 1.800.784.4999 for details and a testing schedule.