School of Education and Psychology

Maria Bastien Valenca, Dean; Melody Ezpeleta, Brian Hartman, Linda Ivy, Amanda Ramoutar.

Mission: The School of Education and Psychology commits to teaching excellence and fostering equity and diversity, with the aim of promoting the development of Christ-like character and skills for success in all areas of life.

Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.S. Elementary Education
  • B.Ed. Secondary Education – double degree
  • B.A. Psychology
  • B.S. Psychology
  • B.S. Forensic Psychology


  • Education
  • Special Education
  • Psychology

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)

  • Master of Initial Teaching (M.I.T.)
For a description of programs leading to a master's degree in Education, see the Graduate Bulletin.


•   Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges

•   Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities

•   Undergraduate programs leading to initial licensure in elementary and secondary education with majors and minors in endorsable content areas are approved by the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB).


The Teacher Certification Program consists of required pre-candidacy courses, certification core courses, endorsement courses, cognates, and clinical practice all divided up into 3 Phases.

A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 is required in all pre-candidacy, certification, endorsement, and cognate courses that apply to these requirements. Any course graded lower than a C cannot apply. A total of two repeats are permitted in the Teacher Certification Program before the department must be consulted.

Field experiences and clinical practice require an eCertification Pre-Residency formal application, law enforcement background check (fingerprinting), and moral character clearance. Contact the School of Education and Psychology for details.

Washington State Assessments:

  • American College Testing (ACT)
  • National Evaluation Series (NES)
  • Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
  • Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) or equivalent national and out-of-state basic skills assessments.
  • Washington Educator Skills Test-Endorsement (WEST-E)

Washington State Assessment Instructions:





Before / During Phase 1

WEST-B or ACT or SAT or combination

Official scores for reading, math, & writing

Apply for Phase 2

During Phase 2


At least one attempt required

Completion of Phase 3 application and student teaching

During Phase 3


Optional Retake(s), if necessary, with State required acceptance scores

Apply for Certification

During Phase 3

Program Assessment

Program passing scores

Apply for Certification

If a candidate does not pass the WEST-E/NES, after attempting twice, and/or the current Washington State Assessment, he/she may submit a signed statement of understanding (available from certification officer) that since he/she did not pass the WEST-E/NES and/or the current Washington State Assessment but completed all other requirements, the B.S. Elementary Education and/or B.Ed. Secondary degree will be granted without Washington state teacher certification. Candidates must pass the WEST-E/NES and any other required Washington state assessments in elementary education to receive Washington state teacher certification.

Program of Study Phases:

Phase 1: Pre-Candidacy course requirements:

  • Pre-candidacy courses must be completed with a minimum GPA of 2.75 before proceeding to the TCP Phase 2.
  • All sections (reading, math, writing) of the WEST-B/ACT/SAT, or a combination thereof, must be taken and officially documented with the certification officer.
  • Application for full admission to the TCP Phase 2 is required during the last quarter of pre-candidacy courses.
  • A minimum grade of a B- is required in the following courses:

Phase 2: Certification Courses

To be admitted into Phase 2 of the Teacher Certification Program (TCP), candidates must complete all Phase 1 classes, have a Phase 1 GPA of 2.75, and submit a completed application packet. (The application packet is available upon request in the School of Education and Psychology.) Candidates must demonstrate excellence in knowledge representative of scholarship, skills of professionalism and dispositions, and personal fitness appropriate for the teaching profession. These terms are defined and explained in the Minimum Competencies document distributed in EDUC 211 Introduction to and Foundations of Education. The document is also available upon request from the certification officer in the School of Education and Psychology.

Candidates applying for full admission to the TCP Phase 2 are required by state law to take all sections of the Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) and/or submit official documentation of scores for all sections on the ACT/SATs, or a combination thereof, prior to full admission into the program. Test dates and locations are available at the following website,

Phase 3: Clinical Practice

Student teaching (Phase 3) is combined part-time and full-time clinical practice in an elementary, middle school, SPED, or designated discipline-specific secondary classroom under the supervision of an experienced certificated teacher. The candidate must document 450+ hours, according to current Washington state requirements, in supervised clinical practice over the course of their student teaching experience. Check with the certification officer for possible changes. School of Education and Psychology requirements across three quarters may exceed Washington state requirements. 


Phase 3 requires formal application to the School of Education and Psychology. Student teaching application packets, available from the Education and Psychology office, are due by the first Friday of December, prior to the year in which the candidate plans to enroll for the experience. Teacher candidate placement is done in cooperation with school districts/principals and because it is a shared decision, placement is not guaranteed. Placement decisions are based on the applicant’s academic preparation, interpersonal relationship abilities, classroom management skills, and other factors outlined in Minimum Competencies for Teacher Candidates, available from the School of Education and Psychology.

Note: The School of Education and Psychology will contact all potential placements; however, placements cannot be guaranteed. Placements are generally made in the Walla Walla Valley region; while all efforts are made to take candidate needs into consideration, we cannot guarantee that placements will be within walking distance of Walla Walla University campus.

According to Washington State Certification guidelines, candidates seeking student teaching placement are required to take the Washington Educator Skills Test-Endorsement (WEST-E) and/or National Evaluation Series (NES) in their primary certifiable content area prior to entering the clinical practice classroom and scores must be received by the certification officer prior to August 1 of the student teaching year. Teacher candidates are required to have current fingerprints and pre-residency clearance. Teacher candidates will not be allowed to enter the clinical practice classroom without this documentation. Candidates are required to pass the WEST-E/NES – in all their content areas – and the current Washington State assessment instrument in order to obtain Washington State certification.

For a complete description of the teacher preparation program, see

Notes on Washington State Certification

The school attempts to provide current information on certification requirements in this bulletin. Because of frequent changes in state requirements, however, the candidate must consult with the School of Education and Psychology certification officer periodically for updated information that might affect certification status.

Meeting graduation requirements as specified in this bulletin does not guarantee state certification. An application process, including fingerprint clearance and a Dean’s Affidavit regarding the candidate’s fitness, and passing of the current Washington State assessment instrument is required.

Notes on Adventist Education Certification
Adventist Education Certification requires the completion of either the Elementary Education major or the Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education plus 18 credits of religion (8 credits of RELB, RELH 457, RELT 202, and RELT 417). In addition, Elementary Education majors must take EDUC 381 and Secondary Education majors must take either HLTH 110 or HLTH 220.

Any candidate completing either Elementary or Secondary teacher certification and Adventist Education Certification who wants an additional Adventist Education Certification endorsement(s) has the option of completing 27(+) credits in an endorsable content area for full endorsement or 18(+) credits for a junior academy endorsement. Successful completion of credits plus the approved methods course(s) is required to be recommended for additional Adventist Education Certification endorsements. For any science content area, the candidate will take EDUC 396. Art, English, French, Math, Physical Education, and Spanish have a departmental methods course. Music has two required departmental methods courses. Religion and History will take K-12 methods courses through the School of Education and Psychology. (Note: a junior academy endorsement is valid for subjects in grades 6-10 in a union-approved junior academy or middle school).

Any Elementary Education major fulfilling the requirements for a second endorsement will add that endorsement to their K-8 certification. In order for an Elementary Education major to be recommended for an endorsement in a secondary content area, they must also complete EDUC 365, EDUC 395, and EDUC 475.