Updated- 2021 City University of Seattle STARTALK Teacher Certification (Program Postponed from Summer 2020)

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 15 scholarships available for fluent speakers of Mandarin Chinese or Korean to enroll in Startalk and, at the same time, be admitted to and take coursework through CityU’s Alternative Route to (Washington state) Certification program.

How: Teacher candidates who qualify (submit application materials, interview, take required tests) will be admitted intoCityU’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, and Startalk scholarship requirements are in addition to alt route requirements. Note: program subject to change depending on public health guidelines.


  • CityU STARTALK Teacher Certification: until spaces filled or May 7
  • All tests taken no later than May 7, 2021, with official test scores received by mid-June.

STARTALK 14 Summer 2021 Overview:  June 27-July 1 online; July 2 on-site workshop; July 5-July 23 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 23.

STARTALK 14 Summer 2021 Dates:

  • Sun.-F, June 28-July1 Online program: online readings/videos; assignments, reflection papers due July 3.
  • Fri., July 2 On-site workshop, 9 AM-4 PM Backwards Design, thematic unit and lesson planning
  • M-F, July 5-9 CityU orientation, AM certification class; PM lab school prep
  • M-Th, July 12-15 Morning lab school, afternoon certification classes
  • F, July 16 No lab school, reflect, review, re-align; afternoon certification classes
  • M-W, July 19-21 Morning lab school, afternoon certification classes
  • Th, July 22 Last day lab school, afternoon certification class
  • F, July 24, Wrap up activities, last day classes, 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 State 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 (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. 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

Teacher Candidate STARTALK Scholarship Pre-requisites:

  1. Pass Chinese or Korean Oral Proficiency Interview (OPIc) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT Internet) for world language teachers. Passing: Advanced Low http://www.languagetesting.com/oral-proficiency-interview-by-computer-opic
  2. Pass WEST E 100 Designated World Language Test
  3. Meet requirements listed in Teacher Candidate State Pre-requisites section


  • 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.
  • Route 2: For those currently employed by a school district who have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Route 3: For those who have a bachelor’s degree, who are not employed by a school district, but have documented career expertise in a subject-matter shortage area such as special education, English language, or math.
  • Route 4: For those with a bachelor’s degree who are employed by a school district at the time of application and hold a conditional teaching or emergency substitute certificate.
  • Non-English Bachelor’s degrees:
    • Need to be officially translated into English by an agency
    • Agency then turns it in to CityUfor evaluation
    • Or you can go to CityU with the original to have it received officially by a CityU staff member.
    • A suggested agency:
    • Foundation for International Services, https://www.fis-web.com/
      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 12 credits and application fee available for qualifying candidates ($3,650). Candidates pay 3 credits: $1200.
  • 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.

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

STARTALK Applicants:


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