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Complete Continuing Education Requirements with an Online M.Ed.

Teachers in the state of Washington, as in other states, are required to earn continuing education clock hours in order to apply for certificate renewal, qualify for salary increases and fulfill requirements established by the state. To that end, the Washington State Legislature authorized the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to establish, publish and enforce the rules that determine who is eligible for certification and how that certification is to be earned and maintained.

What Is the Continuing Education Requirement?

Each holder of a Continuing Certificate affected by chapter 181-85 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) is required to complete one hundred continuing education credit hours during a five-year period prior to the lapse date of the first issue of the continuing certificate, and during each five-year period between subsequent lapse dates. For more specific details about the requirements, check the Washington State Legislature's information regarding Chapter 181-85 WAC.

What Is a Continuing Education Credit?

According to the state of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), clock hours are units of credit assigned to educators when they participate in and complete eligible programs. There are multiple ways to earn credit hours, including college or university semester hours and quarter hours.

For each college or university semester hour of credit, fifteen hours of continuing education credit hours are granted, and for each college or university quarter hour credit, ten hours of continuing education credit hours are granted. Credit hours may also be granted for coursework offered by vocational-technical colleges and for district-provided in-service education hours and for internships with an approved business, industry, or government agency.

Important Information About Approved Clock-Hour Providers

Per the OSPI, "Only state of Washington approved clock hours can be used toward certification renewal." Here are some important facts to consider when selecting clock-hour providers: 

  • Washington State clock-hour providers must be approved by the PESB in order for the clock hours to be used toward certificate renewal.
  • This approval occurs annually, and the approved provider list is published online.
  • Some organizations offer contact hours, continuing education units (CEUs), or similar credit. These are not clock hours.

In addition to the approved provider list, the OSPI maintains a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions about Educator Clock Hour Information.

Earning a Master's Degree Satisfies Continuing Education Requirements

Eastern Washington University offers seven different online programs for educators seeking a master's degree in education. And, because EWU is an approved provider of clock hours for educators in the state of Washington, the credit hours completed in each of these programs qualify as clock hours to satisfy the continuing certification requirement.

In addition to satisfying state requirements, there are multiple reasons to pursue a master's degree in education online:

  • The online format of the programs offered by EWU allows teachers to continue working full time while pursuing a degree.
  • The multiple start dates each year allow teachers to begin the program when they are ready.
  • The flexibility of online classes allows working professionals to continue to teach while they participate in the program that best suits their personal and professional goals.

EWU offers online Master of Education programs in Adult Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership with Principal Certification, Special Education, and Literacy.

Learn more about Eastern Washington University's online Master of Education programs.


State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Certification

Washington State Legislature: Professional Certification – Continuing Education Requirement

Washington State Legislature: Certification – Duty of Professional Educator Standards Board

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