2020 City University of Seattle STARTALK Teacher Certification

Background: STARTALK is a national project funded by the National Security Agency. STARTALK’s mission is to increase the number of U.S. citizens learning, speaking and teaching critical-need languages, with programs nationwide for students (K-16) and teachers (https://startalk.umd.edu/public/).

What: City University of Seattle has 12 scholarships available for fluent speakers of Mandarin Chinese or Korean to take coursework towards Washington state teacher certification, subject to February 2020 STARTALK Central award announcement.

How: Teacher candidates who qualify (interview, take/pass/meet standard on required tests) will be enrolled in CityU’s Alternative Route 2, 3 or 4 teacher certification program on a first qualified, first scholarshipped basis) https://www.cityu.edu/programs-overview/alternative-route-teacher-certification/. Regardless of Route, summer coursework is the same.


  • CityU STARTALK Teacher Certification: until spaces filled or May 10
  • All tests taken no later than May 10, 2020, with official test scores received by Memorial Day.

STARTALK Summer Schedule:  

  • June 29-July 3 online
  • July 5 on-site workshop
  • July 6-July 24 on-site, approximately 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

NOTE: Teacher candidates will have pre-program readings, online and outside of class assignments, and some assignments due beyond July 24.

STARTALK Summer Dates:

  • M-F, June 29-July3 Online program: online readings/videos; assignments, reflection papers due July 3.
  • Sun., July 5 Workshop, 9 AM-4 PM Backwards Design, thematic unit and lesson planning
  • M-F, July 6-10 CityU orientation, AM certification class; PM lab school prep
  • M-Th, July 13-16 Morning lab school, afternoon certification classes
  • F, July 17 No lab school, reflect, review, re-align; afternoon certification classes
  • M-W, July 20-22 Morning lab school, afternoon certification classes
  • Th, July 23 Last day lab school, afternoon certification class
  • F, July 24, Wrap up activities, final assignments, certificates of summer program completion

Where: Chong Wa Hall, 522 7th Ave. S, Seattle Chinatown 98104

CityU Schedule:  October-June–Alt. Routes classes approximately every third Saturday in Everett, along with full-time apprenticeships in K-12 schools

Teacher Candidate Pre-requisites:

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in the U.S. or other country.

2. Take the WEST-B (Washington Educator’s Basic Skills Test) Reading, Writing and Math (west.nesinc.com). Substitutions: C-BEST, SAT, ACT. See website for more; passing score not required, but must demonstrate English proficiency http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/Teacher/teachertesting.aspx.
WEST-B study materials: https://yvcc.instructure.com/courses/1568768/modules

3. Pass the Chinese or Korean ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT Internet) for world language teachers. Passing score: Advanced Low.  Please find more information at Language Testing International (http://www.languagetesting.com/oral-proficiency-interview-by-computer-opic)

4. Take your choice of ONE of the following Alt. Route endorsement areas:

  • Special Education (WEST-E 070) + Elementary Education NES 102 and NES 103; or Special Education + math (NES 203 or NES 304); or Special Ed + WEST E 100 WL (talk to an enrollment advisor about another possible option and attend the pre-enrollment info session in February).
  • ELL(WEST-E 051) + ELED I (NES 102) and ELED II (NES 103); or ELL plus math (NES 203 or NES 304); or ELL + WEST E 100 WL (talk to an enrollment advisor about another possible option and attend the pre-enrollment info session in February).
  • Mid Grades Math: (NES 203): Passing NES 203 enables you to teach math 4th-9th Mid Grades Math does not include trigonometry and calculus.
  • Secondary Math (NES 304): Passing NES 304 enables you to teach math 5th-12th

Note: In addition to scores on the WEST-B and above endorsement tests, CityU will determine program eligibility for teacher candidates by alternative test and/or closer review of application packet documents.

Additional Information:

  • The Designated World Languages (WEST-E 100) test may be taken during certification; passing it enables you to teach Chinese or Korean.
  •  Bachelor’s degrees from outside the U.S. need to be evaluated for equivalency.  Below is one area evaluation agency:

Foundation for International Services
505 – 5th Avenue South, Suite 101
Edmonds, WA 98020
Phone: 425-248-2255

  • 80 hours teaching and/or tutoring or experience with children required.
  • STARTALK summer tuition scholarship for 9 out of 11 credits and application fee available for qualifying candidates ($3,650). Candidates pay 2 credits: $800.
  • CityU STARTALK cannot apply for visas or sign for those needing visas to participate in the CityU of Seattle STARTALK Teacher Certification Program.
  • Limited number of WEST B vouchers available to CityU STARTALK enrolled applicants, first come, first served until vouchers are gone.

Startalk Applicants:

1) Email your resume to Betty Lau
2) Interviews will be arranged for January

Questions?  Please contact Betty Lau, CityU of Seattle STARTALK director: laubetty@cityu.edu