Washington State University alumni earned a national ranking by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. According to the WSU news release, the board placed WSU sixth for the number of graduates who earned teaching certification this year.
Debra Pastore, director of the WSU National Board Certification Program, said the ranking suggests that the WSU teacher prep program is high quality.
“Teachers who graduate from the WSU teacher prep program are well-prepared for the teaching profession,” Pastore said. “Our instructors are knowledgeable and experts in their field. They, who are board certified teachers themselves, are deeply committed to their colleagues’ success. It is one thing to complete the process, but another to become board certified.”
Pastore said that teachers are given three attempts to become board-certified. WSU has supported 859 teachers through the National Board Certification process, of which 694 certified. It is an overall certification rate of 81 percent, one of the highest in the nation, she said.
According to a press release, 81 of the 6,200 teachers who certified nationally in teaching this year earned their undergraduate degrees from WSU. In the U.S., 100,000 teachers are certified, and 6,174 teach in the state of Washington.
Elizabeth Nagel, academic director of education at WSU Tri-Cities, said WSU has a well-integrated program across all four campuses, and that while it may be challenging to complete the program, it could also be rewarding for those who believe teaching is their calling.
“The professional preparation program involves developing an understanding of the theoretical foundations of learning and achievement,” Nagel said. “Teacher candidates participate in practicum experiences in their first semester and are expected to become evidence-based practitioners in a short amount of time. It is a rigorous program that challenges the teacher-candidates to make pedagogically-sound decisions when designing and delivering instruction.”
Pastore said approximately 100 teachers certify through the WSU program each year.
“It is a very challenging process,” Pastore said. “Nationwide 38 to 39 percent of teachers certify on their first attempt; statewide it is about 48 to 50 percent. The WSU program has a 60 to 75 percent certification rate on first attempt.”
For more information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards program at WSU visit