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.

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