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The Academy for Rising Educators

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply to the Academy for Rising Educators?

Anyone interested in strengthening Seattle’s public schools. In order to stay true to our mission statement, we strongly encourage high school seniors and community members who identify as a person of color to apply for ARE.

Do students need to be a participant of a Teacher Academy course in high school to apply?

No, but classroom experience will be considered in the application process.

Can only students from Seattle Public Schools (SPS) apply?

No, all students are welcome to apply. However, students from outside SPS would not be able to take advantage of the Seattle Promise scholarship and students within SPS will be given preferred consideration during the application process.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

No, we want all students interested in working with students to apply so there are very few things that would disqualify them from consideration. Once in the program, students will need to maintain a 2.5 GPA in their college coursework while also meeting work standards for their classroom positions.

How long does it take to become a teacher?

The program will take approximately four years to complete a bachelor’s degree plus teaching certificate. The first two years (8 quarters) will include taking classes at Seattle Central College and end with a 90-credit transferrable AA degree.

After receiving their AA, students enroll at Seattle University or City University and work toward their BA and teaching certificate, which can be completed in two years. Students who are employed as an IA are eligible to apply for Classified to Certificated tuition and internship support through SPS.

Why is SPS investing in this project?

As you know, our current teaching population does not reflect our student population. More than 50% of our students are students of color while only 20% of our teaching staff are teachers of color. Countless research shows that students deeply benefit when they see themselves reflected in school leadership and are able to connect with teachers over shared life experiences.

Do students have to take classes at Seattle Central College?

Courses are still in being finalized but we will design this cohort to work for the students as they are working. Courses may be online, take place during the summer, on weekends, and/or after typical business hours. Our goal is to make this program accessible for working students so we will build a flexible model.

What if a student wants to teach high school biology (or other high school subject)?

SPS does not currently have options for secondary certificates but we are hoping to expand prior to cohort 1 entering the BA step. In the current model, participants will end with a K-8 teaching certificate in addition to a Special Education or ELL endorsement. This means you can teach any grade from K-8 in the general education, Special Education or ELL setting.

Are students required to work in the classroom during the first two years while enrolled?

No. In order to remain flexible, students can choose to apply for a full-time job in the classroom, a part-time job in the classroom or they can work outside of the district. We are encouraging applicants to work somewhere in the field of education so they can bring their experiences from their day job into the cohort classrooms. Once the Associate of Arts degree is completed, students will need to work to take part in the Seattle U or City U track for Bachelors of Arts work.

What if I have some college credits but not enough for an AA? Is ARE right for me?

It all depends. The first step would be to evaluate your transcript to determine how close you are to an AA. In some cases, you may be able to finish an AA in a year, in which case it would be best for you to wrap that up and move on to the next step. If you are several quarters away from an AA, it may work best for you to be a member of the ARE cohort but when we take classes you already have taken, you get the night off.

How much will this program cost me from start to finish?

If you are a Seattle Public Schools student and you are eligible for the Seattle Promise scholarship, your first two years of tuition are free.

If you are not eligible for Seattle Promise, we will work with you to find additional funding sources. Our goal for this program is to make this as affordable as possible for all participants.

During the next step at Seattle University or City University, if working as an IA, you are eligible to apply for the SPS Classified to Certificated program which will cover approximately 50% of your tuition.

Why is ARE a better option than going this alone?

In addition to financial support, we are building this program with the mindset that we want to build teachers who are rooted in the Seattle community. All of your classes will be tailored to supporting and growing teachers who will be skilled in working in our schools. In addition, the cohort model will create a built-in sense of comradery and encouragement. ARE will also provide academic and wrap-around support to help us navigate the journey together to ensure equitable outcomes.