Special Education—P-12 Plus Content Endorsement

The Department of Special Education and Education Leadership is proud to offer a dual endorsement program for students who are interested in becoming middle school and high school teachers. Graduates from this unique program will have a teaching credential, a Special Education Endorsement (Preschool through 21 years), and an endorsement in another qualified secondary school level content area. The majority of our graduates have earned the secondary content endorsement in English, Mathematics, or Science but other options are available.

Since the education of all children is a worthy cause, we provide a carefully sequenced series of coursework that balances content knowledge with numerous opportunities to apply the knowledge and develop skills in a wide range of settings. Given that teaching is a demanding profession, we seek to prepare our students with the skills needed to effectively assess and teach academic skills as well as effectively manage the classroom environment in a positive and respectful manner.

Western’s Special Education program is consistent with state and national standards. It is based upon best evidence-based and research-based practices. Our curriculum includes an emphasis on Curriculum-Based Evaluation (for academic, social-emotional, and behavioral areas) within a tiered system of support framework.

Interested in working with individuals with disabilities, but not quite sure? Please feel free to contact someone in the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership. You might even be interested in our GUR course, EDUC 205 Disability, Diversity and Media.

The Special Education Department is part of Woodring College of Education

Beyond the Classroom

Practicum Placements and Internships

The college faculty coordinate a wide range of school and community based practicum placements strategically placed throughout the program. This provides frequent opportunities to interact with young children while developing your teaching skills. The final quarter internship (student teaching) experience is coordinated by the department and in conjunction with the Office of Field Experiences.

Professional Development

Teacher education candidates are expected to participate in professional development activities outside of the classroom setting. These activities are varied and may include events such as professional development alongside practicing teachers in the local schools, attendance at selected informational talks or workshops.

Compass 2 Campus

The State of Washington mentoring initiative at Western is designed to increase opportunities in higher education by providing mentoring for 5th – 12th grade students from traditionally underrepresented and diverse backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Reading Tutor

Woodring employs Western student to work as reading tutors in local elementary schools. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Our graduates are actively recruited from districts and agencies across the state for both special education and/or elementary education positions. There has been a national shortage of Special Education teachers since 1975 and districts in Washington State continually strive to find qualified teachers, often forced to look out of state. We, in the department, are particularly proud of our graduates and the work they do in school and communities supporting students who experience the most difficulty learning.

Our graduates are also actively sought by numerous graduate programs and have been allowed to transfer some of their coursework into the graduate school. So, whether you plan to continue in the classroom or move to the university setting, you will be well prepared and maintain a competitive edge.

 

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.

 

Sample Careers

  • Special Education Resource Room Teacher 
  • Special Education Teacher 
  • Consultant 
  • Inclusive Classroom Teacher

Department of Special Education and Education Leadership

Special Education P-12 and Elementary Education (Dual Endorsement)

The Department of Special Education and Education Leadership is proud to announce that we were granted national accreditation for the P-12 Special Education Endorsement after successfully completing a rigorous review process through our professional organization, The Council for Exceptional Children. Graduates from the program receive a teaching license as well as endorsements in both Special Education and Elementary Education.

This dual endorsement program offered through the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership prepares aspiring teachers to work with students with disabilities from Preschool through age 21 as well as work as a general education teacher in a regular elementary classroom. Since the education of all children is a worthy cause, we provide a carefully sequenced series of coursework that balances content knowledge with numerous opportunities to apply the knowledge and develop skills in a wide range of settings. Given that teaching is a demanding profession, we prepare our students with the skills needed to effectively assess and teach academic skills as well as effectively manage the classroom environment in a positive and respectful manner.

The Special Education and Elementary Education departments are part of the Woodring College of Education

Quinn Reno
Recent Graduate

“The academic challenges I faced in middle school created my passion for working with students who experience learning difficulties. I believe all students should receive the support they need to thrive as learners.”

 

 

Western’s Special Education program is consistent with state and national standards. It is based upon best evidence-based and research-based practices. Our curriculum includes an emphasis on Curriculum-Based Evaluation (for academic, social-emotional, and behavioral areas) within a tiered system of support framework.

There are two common views of Special Education. The first is simply the education of students with exceptionalities. While this is true, we believe that the following definition better reflects our perspective: The application of exceptional teaching that benefits students with and without disabilities.

Interested in working with individuals with disabilities, but not quite sure? Please feel free to contact someone in the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership. You might even be interested in our GUR course, EDUC 205 Disability, Diversity and Media.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Practicum Placements and Internships

The college faculty coordinate a wide range of school and community based practicum placements strategically placed throughout the program. This provides frequent opportunities to interact with young children while developing your teaching skills. The final quarter internship (student teaching) experience is coordinated by the department and in conjunction with the Office of Field Experiences.

Professional Development

Teacher education candidates are expected to participate in professional development activities outside of the classroom setting. These activities are varied and may include events such as professional development alongside practicing teachers in the local schools, attendance at selected informational talks or workshops.

Compass 2 Campus

The State of Washington mentoring initiative at Western is designed to increase opportunities in higher education by providing mentoring for 5th – 12th grade students from traditionally underrepresented and diverse backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Reading Tutor

Woodring employs Western student to work as reading tutors in local elementary schools. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Our graduates are actively recruited from districts and agencies across the state for both special education and/or elementary education positions. There has been a national shortage of Special Education teachers since 1975 and districts in Washington State continually strive to find qualified teachers, often forced to look out of state. We, in the department, are particularly proud of our graduates and the work they do in school and communities supporting students who experience the most difficulty learning.

Our graduates are also actively sought by numerous graduate programs and have been allowed to transfer some of their coursework into the graduate school. So, whether you plan to continue in the classroom or move to the university setting, you will be well prepared and maintain a competitive edge.

 

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.

 

Sample Careers

  • Special Education Teacher
  • Elementary Education Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher P-12
  • Transition Teacher
  • Specialized Program Teacher
  • Behavior Interventionist

Department of Special Education and Education Leadership

Spanish

The study of Spanish includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students of Spanish acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate Hispanic societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The guiding principle of the curriculum is that one of the best ways to understand a culture is directly through its language.  

Western’s Modern and Classical Languages Department trains in two areas: language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically — with multimedia technology, study abroad, language skills courses, and linguistics courses. Literary analysis is an essential component to the curriculum, and the department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory. 

The Spanish program at Western places a strong emphasis on building a solid grammar and vocabulary base, with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness through culture, film, literature, and linguistics courses.  

The Spanish major also offers a Spanish — Elementary degree. This is a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with a teacher certification and endorsement in elementary education, which must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in elementary education. See the  Elementary Education  for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Modern and Classical Language Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

 

“What I love the most about my program is learning about language development and working with a range of students who I learn something new from with every experience.”

-Cecilia Guzman, 2015 Outstanding Graduate, Elementary Education. Major: Spanish-Elementary, BAE; minor: Bilingual Education

 

 

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students are encouraged to get involved with extracurricular activities pertaining to their major and interests. Spanish studies at Western offers many ways for students to be involved. Sigma Delta Pi, The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, encourages interest in Hispanic cultural contributions, and fostering friendly relations between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking nations. Western’s local chapter, Omega Xi, offers opportunities for leadership and service.

For students interested in teaching or enhancing their Spanish-speaking skills, the WELP (Western Language Employee Program) program gives students first-hand experience teaching Spanish to speakers of other languages. The experience serves as a valuable tool in building cultural awareness. Other local volunteer opportunities for tutoring, teaching, or assisting with Spanish are available through the Spanish Program Volunteer Opportunities

Many of our students participate in the Cultural Ambassadors Program in Spain: North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain. Through this program, students who have graduated can spend nine months in Spain as teaching assistants in schools.

Students are also welcome to the weekly Spanish Table for Spanish conversation with peers, professors, and pizza. 

 

“Studying abroad made learning the language and the material real. After speaking with people in situations where Spanish was the only shared language, I retained the language and vocabulary I heard and utilized in a lasting way.” 

-Nick Shriner

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Spanish program graduate with career and continued education plans from locally (Bellingham) to all over the world (Spain).

 

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.

 

Sample Careers

  • Interpreter 
  • Foreign Correspondent 
  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • FBI Agent 
  • Educator 
  • Foreign Diplomat 
  • Travel Writer 
  • Communication Consultant

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Spanish with a Teaching Endorsement

The study of Spanish includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students of Spanish acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate Hispanic societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The guiding principle of the curriculum is that one of the best ways to understand a culture is directly through its language.  

Western’s Modern and Classical Languages Department trains in two areas: language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically. Holistic language learning is facilitated by modern methods and multimedia technology, as well as study abroad opportunities. Analytical instruction of language is taught through a full range of language skills courses, as well as a significant number of linguistics courses. Literary analysis is an essential component to the curriculum, and the department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory. 

The Spanish program at Western places a strong emphasis on building a solid grammar and vocabulary base, with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness through culture, film, literature, and linguistics courses. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Spanish leads to a BA degree without teacher certification. In order to receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the teacher certification program. Please see the Department of Secondary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Modern and Classical Language Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Beyond the Classroom

Students are encouraged to get involved with extracurricular activities pertaining to their major and interests. Spanish studies at Western offers many ways for students to be involved. Sigma Delta Pi, The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, encourages interest in Hispanic cultural contributions, and fostering friendly relations between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking nations. Western’s local chapter, Omega Xi, offers opportunities for leadership and service.

For students interested in teaching or enhancing their Spanish-speaking skills, the WELP (Western Language Employee Program) program gives students first-hand experience teaching Spanish to speakers of other languages. The experience serves as a valuable tool in building cultural awareness. Other local volunteer opportunities for tutoring, teaching, or assisting with Spanish are available through the Spanish Program Volunteer Opportunities

Many of our students participate in the Cultural Ambassadors Program in Spain: North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain. Through this program, students who have graduated can spend nine months in Spain as teaching assistants in schools.

Students are also welcome to the weekly Spanish Table for Spanish conversation with peers, professors, and pizza. 

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Spanish program graduate with career and continued education plans from locally (Bellingham) to all over the world (Spain).

Employment of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Teacher
  • Spanish Teacher
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Paraeducator
  • English Teaching Assistant
  • Admissions Counselor 

 

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.

 

Sample Careers

  • Interpreter
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • Educator
  • Foreign Diplomat
  • Travel Writer
  • Communication Consultant

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Sociology—Elementary

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options. The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/ Social Inequality. 

The Sociology — Elementary Education major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Elementary Education provided by Woodring College of Education.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!” 

–Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

“I love how much Sociology is in everyday life — every aspect of how society is constructed and how people interact is part of sociology, and I love learning how and why people act the way they do.”

–Jasmine Strode-Elfant, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

Dr. Jay Teachman
Professor

Awarded the  2015 Paul J. Olscamp award for Outstanding Scholarship

Professor Teachman follows two interrelated lines of inquiry:  changes in family demographics and the consequences of military service for young veterans.  His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and he routinely coauthors his research with our majors.  

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services, and criminal justice work.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Bellingham School District
  • Five Acre School

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • University of Hawaii at Hilo: Education
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling

 

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.

 

Sociology/Social Studies

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options. The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/Social Inequality.

Completion of the BA Sociology/Social Studies major leads to an endorsement in social studies. To receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification for secondary education, students must complete the “teacher certification” program. See Secondary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 “I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!”  

-Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

Dr. Glenn Tsunokai
Professor

Awarded the  inaugural  Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Professor Tsunokai was recognized for the 50 students he has mentored through Senior Thesis projects, several of whom have published research articles with Professor Tsunokai.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services and criminal justice work while others pursue graduate training in Sociology.  

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Bellingham School District
  • College Forward
  • MSR Communications
  • Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe
  • SDL, Inc.
  • SeaMar Visions Youth Treatment Center
  • State of Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Pennsylvania State University: Sociology (PhD)
  • University of Hawaii: Education (MA)
  • University of Nevada-Reno: Criminal Justice (MA)
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling (MA)

 

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.

 

Sample Careers

  • Teacher: Secondary Education

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