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  Programs & Courses > Continuing Education > CTE > Frequently Asked Questions

Career and Technical Teacher Education
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CTE Home | Certification Overview | Program Courses | Registration | FAQ's

Introduction - Program Definition

  1. I have been told that I must obtain certification as a “Career and Technical Teacher?

    The Washington Administrative Code for secondary CTE certification addresses the area as “Career and Technical Teacher Education.” The career and technical teacher education approved course of study at South Seattle College leads to your initial CTE certificate.

  2. Must I retake the CTE course of study if I have already taken the classes?

    If you have taken the courses in the former “Occupational Teacher Education” program offered through South Seattle College PRIOR TO January 2003, you will be required to retake the “approved course of study” if you are seeking a secondary career and technical education (vocational) teaching certificate. The program prior to January 2003 was not approved by the State Board of Education nor were secondary competencies integrated into the course curriculum.

Eligibility for Secondary Certification

  1. Who is eligible for this program?

    If you are a “business and industry” professional with 6,000 hours of paid employment in an approved career or technical field, you may be eligible for this secondary certification program. Once eligibility is determined, taking the approved course of study fulfills the competency requirements for secondary and middle school CTE teaching.

  2. What does the course of study involve?
    (read the course descriptions

    The course of study covers competencies outlined by the WAC and OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction). Courses have defined learning outcomes, which are aligned with core competencies including:

    • Introduction to Career and Technical Teacher Education
    • Legal Issues: Job-Rights & Responsibilities & issues of Abuse
    • CTE Organization and Curriculum Design
    • Teaching Strategies
    • Advance CTE Teaching Strategies
    • Classroom Assessment & Evaluation
    • Integrating Technologies in the Classroom
    • History and Philosophy of CTE
    • Classroom Management
    • Student and Personal Leadership Development
    • Practicum: demonstration of CTE Competencies
    • Work-Based Learning Coordination Techniques (highly recommended)

  3. Are there other requirements?

    First, you must be able to document 6000 hours of paid employment as per guidelines from OSPI.

    Second, teacher-candidates must be competent in the basic skills (reading, writing, and math). This is a competency-based program. These basic skills are demonstrated by either passing the COMPASS Test or the West-B. Individuals possessing a bachelors, masters or doctoral degree may be exempt. However, on an individual basis and regardless of degree or other preparation, should any of the program faculty determine there may be a need to assess teacher-candidate literacy levels, students will then be required to take such testing and attain such basic skills before they will be approved to complete the program and/or teach in the classroom. 

  4. Do I need all the content areas within this course of study?

    This is a competency based program. There is a rigorous expectation that you, the teacher-candidate, will be able to successfully demonstrate the competencies outlined in the program. These competencies deal directly with your ability to teach and be effective in the classroom as a career and technical teacher educator. Even with prior teaching experience, you will be asked to demonstrate “competencies” in the various courses that attest to your abilities and/or attainment of such competencies. The goal is to help you achieve those competencies and skills that will contribute to you becoming an effective grade middle and secondary CTE classroom teacher (regardless of your previous grade level experience).

  5. Is there a sequence to the course of study?

    The “Introduction to Career and Technical Teacher Education” is STRONGLY recommended as your initial course (it can be taken concurrent with other courses). This course helps you:

    • Understand CTE program expectations
    • Provide CTE competency assessment
    • Clarify documentation required for the course of study and certification process.
    • Cover requires related to safety and industrial hygiene.

  6. What if I have taken classes at another institution? Will they transfer and be accepted?

    If you have taken courses at another State Board of Education approved CTE program, you will need to forward a transcript from that institution to the SSCC CTE program office, attention program administrator. Upon receipt, such transcripts will be evaluated to determine what courses substitute for courses at SSCC.

    If you have taken other SECONDARY teacher education courses at the college level in a teaching certification program they may be transferable, again an official transcript must be submitted to determine if there are any courses that might qualify for substitute (waiver) of SSCC program courses.

    Having gone through a Plan I does not guarantee that any of those courses will substitute for the Plan II competency based CTE program. After you have completed Intro to CTE, you may request a waiver for some of the methods classes. You may be asked to provide a catalogue and/or course outlines/syllabi from the other institution to assist in the evaluation process.  The Practicum will be required by all students in this program.

    Again, it cannot be presumed that because you have taken a secondary program or hold a masters, or are finishing a masters, that such courses will correlate to the competency based CTE teacher education course of study.

  7. I am out of work and need a job! How fast can I get through this program?

    Being out of work is understood. But the course of study requires that you, the teacher-candidate, demonstrate the skills and competencies required by law. The South Seattle College program has most of the courses online. The College will make every attempt to offer classes for teacher-candidates to complete their course of study in a reasonable time frame.

    Only successful completion of the “approved” course of study and the recommendation of the College to OSPI will provide a valid basis for filing your application for an initial certificate as a career and technical teacher educator.

    There really is no quick solution to the question asked.

Eligibility for Post-Secondary Certification

  1. I want to teach college. What do I need?

    WAC 131 governs post-secondary vocational certification. If you are in a professional-technical field and are seeking employment at a community college, you can make application directly to a community college. Should they hire you, you will be obligated to develop a professional development program that is in part based on the state’s post-secondary skills standards. That process is done in conjunction with the designated professional-technical dean at that college.

    Should you opt to go through our approved secondary program, you would be able to make application to the state for a secondary vocational certificate; under WAC 131, there is reciprocity that such a certificate would be accepted at a post-secondary institution as well.

Approved Program by Washington State

  1. Is this an approved program by the State of Washington?

    The SSCC course of study is an approved program by the Professional Board of Standards (November 2009) for secondary and middle school CTE certification (for those seeking their initial state certificate).

CTE Options and Certificates

  1. What if I am already teaching? Am already “certificated”? How can I obtain the CTE initial certificate?

    If you are already teaching, the type of credential you hold may determine what you will need to do to qualify for your initial secondary CTE certificate.

    Certificates usually have expiration dates which determines whether it will or will not be renewed.

    A conditional, probationary or similar certificate is only temporary, and is only good within the district that it was issued. Completing the course of study for your initial CTE certificate provides you with flexibility to teach within any school district. Consulting OSPI may help clarify what you need to be doing.

    A classroom certificated teacher who is seeking the additional CTE certificate will be required to go through an approved CTE program. Evaluations will be done on an individual case basis to determine specific requirements. Download and submit the Career and Technical Teacher Education Transcript Evaluation.

    Remember, to be a secondary CTE teacher, you need to have “business and industry experience.” WAC 180-77-041 clearly states that there should be 6,000 hours of paid employment in a specific field. That experience will determine the field code you will use on your application to the State for certification.

Work Based Learning Certification

  1. How do I obtain my WBL Certificate?

    There have been many changes at the state level related to work based learning coordination certification. WAC 180-77A-180 discusses the requirements for WBL which include:

    • Possessing a valid initial or continuing career and technical education teaching certificate; and
    • Completion of an approved course in coordination techniques (offered by a State Board approved CTE program-SSCC is approved).

    South Seattle College offers a course in “Work-Based Learning Coordination Techniques” which is a partial fulfillment of the WAC requirements for the WBL certificate.

    OSPI issues the certificates upon approval of your application, which should include a transcript (indicating course completion).

CTE Education Administration

  1. I am looking for a class in Administration for CTE. Do you offer such a course?

    Not at this time. Such a course covers all the duties of a Career and Technical Education administrator. Such a course is required before one can obtain a CTE Director certificate (state). Currently, such training is covered by a yearlong internship sponsored by the Washington Association of Vocational Administrators (WAVA).


  1. How do I register for the program?

    If you have not attended South Seattle College, you need to call the Continuing Education office at 206-934-5339 or e-mail to confirm that you are eligible for this program. You can register for classes over the phone or at .

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