Initial Teacher Certification Application Checklist (Routes 2, 3, 4)

Ten-Step Application Checklist: Clarifications & Instructions

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. After submitting the application you will receive an email with next steps. For application questions, email


Connection with District

If you are not yet connected to a school, district or other learning institution, we recommend applying for open positions. The ESD-U program is designed for individuals who are already working or volunteering within a school/classroom system. If you interview for positions, you should indicate your intent to apply for the program. To view job postings at districts in the ESD 112 region, visit ESD 112 Job Openings. You may also consider applying for the Paraeducator & Explorer Program (PEP) as you take steps to get connected to a district.

Note: ESD-U does not take an active role in placing applicants who are not yet connected. If you have questions about establishing a connection after reviewing open positions, email and program staff can provide input (as appropriate).


Communicate with District

If you are employed with a school, district, or other learning institution, we recommend that you communicate with your building supervisor and your district Human Resources (HR) department regarding your intent to apply for the ESD-U program and share the ESD-U Info Sheet for HR & Administrators with them.


Online ESD-U Application

Submit the online ESD-U application located on the ESD-U website. Be prepared to provide contact information, demographic information, program details (endorsement, route, *district connection, etc.), how you will be sending your *official transcripts, who is completing your *Field Experience Agreement Form, and *testing prerequisite information.

*For more details on this application item, refer to the specific instructions for that item on this checklist.


Qualifications Form

Submit the Qualifications form to the ESD-U application uploads section located on the ESD-U website. This form outlines your qualifications in the areas of education, work experience, references, and security questions. All sections and all fields are required (as applicable).

  • In the Education section, include information for up to four (4) degrees, with the highest completed degree listed on top.
  • In the Work Experience section, provide information for your three (3) most recent positions. You are encouraged to include information that is most relevant to teaching and/or working with students/youth.
  • In the References section, provide contact information for four (4) references for ESD-U staff to contact regarding your skills/dispositions. One reference must be a professional supervisor (current or previous). You are encouraged to provide references who can speak to your skills relating to teaching and/or working with students/youth (if possible). ESD-U staff will send a short survey, and we will be looking for responses from at least three (3) references.
  • In the Security Questions section, please answer the questions with Yes/No responses, and provide explanations for any questions answered ‘Yes’.

Expectations & Understanding Form

Submit the Expectations form to the ESD-U application uploads section located on the ESD-U website. This form indicates that you have reviewed and understand the ESD-U program expectations. You must initial next to each expectation and sign/date the form.


Essay Questions

Write responses to the ESD-U Essay Questions located on ESD-U website as a downloadable and editable Word document. Upload your responses to the online ESD-U application.


Field Experience Agreement Form

To be enrolled in ESD-U, a school, district, or other learning institution must agree to provide you with appropriate access to instructional opportunities for you to complete the required field experience hours for your route, in either a paid or volunteer capacity. The Field Experience Agreement form is the first step in that process.

  • Districts are not required to provide access to instructional opportunities for field experience. Several factors may influence a district’s ability to provide access, including availability of classrooms for student teaching, appropriate mentors, district policies, etc.
  • If currently working in a school, district, or other institution of learning, this form should be completed by district HR staff, indicating whether the district is willing and able to provide appropriate access to instructional opportunities during your required field experience if employed during the upcoming school year.
    • Your supervisor or administrator can provide a statement on the form if they are interested in providing a recommendation or more information for HR (OPTIONAL!)
  • If you are not currently working in a school, district, or other learning institution, you will need to provide a Field Experience Agreement Form before program begins from a school, district, or other learning institution. Refer to the ‘Connection with District’ section on this checklist for next steps.
  • Completed Field Experience Agreement Form can be uploaded to the online ESD-U application OR if your district prefers to send the letter directly to program staff ( then you should upload a placeholder document to the online ESD-U application with your name, the name and email of the HR staff you have contacted, and an estimated timeframe for when it will be sent.

Official Transcripts: For completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution

To be considered ‘official’ transcripts must be sent directly from the accredited institution to ESD-U in either electronic or hard-copy format.

  • If you have multiple degrees, you can list them in the Education section of the Qualifications Form. Your official transcripts should be for your bachelor’s degree. You are welcome to provide unofficial transcripts for other completed degrees.
  • Official electronic transcripts can be sent to, Attn: Alissa Jolly, ESD-U Program Specialist.
  • Official hard-copy transcripts (in sealed envelope) can be mailed to the following address:
    ATTN: ESD-U Program
    Educational Service District 112
    2500 NE 65th Ave.
    Vancouver, WA 98661
  • ESD-U does not have access to transcripts in district HR records.
  • If you received your transcripts from an institution outside the United States or Canada, you must provide a document-by-document transcript evaluation review performed by one of the organizations approved by OSPI to verify the equivalency of the degree.

Basic Skills Test

Basic Skills test (WEST-B or alternatives) that covers Reading, Writing and Mathematics. There is no longer a passing score for the basic skills test, however it is still a WA requirement that you take the test to be enrolled in a teacher certification program.

  • Refer to the WEST & NES Information & Resources document for how to schedule the test and/or visit the WEST-B registration website.
  • Alternatives to the WEST-B include SATs, ACTs, CBEST, PRAXIS I, NES Essential Academic Skills, and other state basic skills tests. Refer to the PESB WEST-B Exemptions & Equivalent Assessments webpage for more details.
    • To obtain SAT scores, visit
    • To obtain ACT scores, visit
    • There may be fees and delays when requesting alternative scores from the relevant organization, which may impact the ability to submit them within the application deadline. In this case, contact program staff ( to discuss options.
  • If you have not yet taken the basic skills test, you can still submit your application by entering the date you are scheduled to take the test. The scores for the tests should be submitted separately in the upload section of the ESD-U application.

Endorsement Test

It is a WA requirement that alternative route applicants attempt the endorsement test as part of the admission process. You should take the endorsement (WEST-E) test or National Essential Skills (NES) test that is specific to the endorsement pathway you are applying for.

  • See below for which endorsement test to take, depending on your endorsement pathway:
    • WEST-E Special Education Test = SPED stand-alone, SPED & ELEM dual
    • WEST-E English Language Learner Test = ELL & ELEM dual
    • NES Elementary Education Test = ELEM stand-alone
  • If you are applying for a dual endorsement pathway, you only need to take the endorsement test for your primary endorsement for the admission process. You will take the test for the secondary endorsement at a later date, before program completion.
  • There is a passing score for the WEST-E and NES tests. If for some reason you do not pass, you can still be enrolled in the program. You will need to pass before program completion.
  • Refer to the WEST & NES Information & Resources document for how to schedule the test and/or visit the WEST/NES test registration website.