What is the difference between ESD-U and other programs?

Certificate vs Degree

ESD-U is an alternative route to certification program operated by ESD 112 and is not affiliated with a college/university and is consequently not a degree granting program, it is a certification/endorsement program.


The program timeline is accelerated to 1 year, rather than a traditional pathway which is often 2-4 years.

Paid field experience

ESD-U is designed for individuals working in school systems so coursework can be aligned with time in the classroom, and the majority of field experience requirements can be completed through a paid-role at the school (as applicable).

Prioritizes District Needs

ESD-U prioritizes enrollment for applicants meeting district needs in endorsement shortage areas, rural regions, and the diversification of the educator workforce.