What is ESD-U?

ESD-U is a teacher certification program operated by ESD 112 that offers alternative routes to teacher certification, as well as a ‘retooling’ route for currently certified teachers seeking to add an endorsement. ESD-U supports a “grow your own” partnership with local districts and is designed so individuals working in schools can use their regular position to fulfill part of the field experience requirement.

Our Mission

ESD-U provides aspiring educators an efficient alternative pathway to teacher certification in order to serve the diverse needs of the students and districts in our service area, centering the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and focusing on practical, hands-on experience in active classrooms.

Our Vision & Values

ESD-U strives to provide students in Washington with self-aware, culturally competent, diverse, talented and skilled teachers, to ensure their P-12 education is transformational and prepares them for full, active lives. We will do this by becoming the premier provider of non-traditional teacher certification and professional development in southwest Washington and beyond. Our teacher preparation and professional development will be characterized by these values:

  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in education.

    All candidates who are recommended for certification will demonstrate an awareness of the harmful impact of structural racism, an understanding of the importance of equity and inclusion throughout the student life cycle, a commitment to practicing in ways that consistently address systemic injustice, and evidence of developing knowledge, skills, and strategies to address inequities.

  • An awareness of self.

    Teachers create the environment in which students either thrive or decline. A teacher with a healthy understanding of self and a commitment to continual self-improvement will be more able to create welcoming and affirming environments for all students. All candidates who are recommended for certification will have demonstrated an ability to critically reflect on their own practice, and to continuously improve based on reflection and feedback.

  • A commitment to practical, lived experience.

    There is no substitute for doing the work and learning from those with experience. All candidates who are recommended for certification will have directly served in classrooms, will have worked with mentors and advisors, will have received observations and feedback from experienced educators, and will have demonstrated improved practice based on feedback.

  • An orientation toward growth and leadership.

    Teachers exist in ecosystems that require collaboration, teamwork, and leadership. ESD-U focuses on providing training in high-need endorsement areas, so candidates will naturally have opportunities to provide leadership in specific and important content areas. All candidates who are recommended for certification will have engaged leadership theory and practice and will have been required to incorporate personal leadership practices in their own lives.

ESD-U is the best use of your time and resources. The instructors are outstanding and classes are engaging and informative.

ESD-U candidate, 2018-19 cohort

Career Connect Washington Career Launch Program Endorsed

Career Connect Washington Career Launch Program

As of July 20, 2023, the ESD-U program is approved as an endorsed Career Launch programs on behalf of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

About ESD-U