Elementary Education Professional Program

Elementary Education Professional Program


The Department of Elementary Education offers professional education programs that lead to recommendation to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for residency certification in the state of Washington. Students must complete an approved academic major to accompany the professional preparation program in Elementary Education. For more information regarding the LLC major and its requirements, please visit our Language, Literacy and Cultural Studies, BAE webpage.

Early Childhood Education

Our Elementary Education programs are designed to prepare thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective educators for a diverse society. The elementary education degree curriculum is a carefully sequenced professional program that is firmly backed by current research on effective teaching and learning and is consistent with national and state standards for what teachers should know and be able to do.

The department offers courses and certification sequences on the Western campus and at off-campus sites in Everett, Seattle, and Kitsap County. Students interested in getting their certification at these locations are encouraged to visit the Teacher Education Outreach Programs webpage for further information.

The Elementary Education Department is part of Woodring College of Education.

Portrait of Quinn Reno

"Wooding’s small class sizes, dedicated professors, and diverse curriculum made me a better educator, while the student-centered approach means I’ve had a real voice in my education."

Quinn Reno
Education Student

Beyond the Classroom

Student Washington Education Association (SWEA)

The student chapter of the Washington Education Association is devoted to bringing professional experience, development opportunities, and community outreach to pre-service teachers at Western Washington University and in Woodring College of Education.

Compass 2 Campus

Compass 2 Campus is a youth mentoring initiative that prepares college volunteers to work in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms with underrepresented, low-income, diverse students, to provide positive role models and encourage students to view some form of post-secondary education as achievable.


The Office of Field Experiences coordinates school-based student teaching internships for all teacher education candidates.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Graduates of the Elementary Education Professional Program are in high demand for teaching positions throughout Washington State. The strong reputation of the program makes its graduates highly regarded for a career in education, including elementary and middle school teaching positions. After teaching a few years, graduates often pursue graduate degrees in specialty areas such as literacy or math, sometimes in conjunction with earning National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. 


Sample Jobs

  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher (with additional endorsements)

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.