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College of Education

Special Education Endorsement Academy - Online

Next academy starts in Fall 2018! 

The yearlong Online Special Education Endorsement Academy consists of 8 courses that meet in virtual, synchronous sessions twice a week in the evenings, with additional asynchronous work required throughout the week. Brought to you by the College of Education in partnership with the Puget Sound Educational Service District, courses are taught by expert practitioners including certified current and former classroom teachers from a variety of Washington school districts. Seattle University faculty oversee the courses to ensure that the materials and teaching are current and relevant.

This unique program helps Washington state certified teachers, regardless of where they live, prepare for the required WEST-E exam, offering an affordable pathway to earning a special education endorsement. Teachers can apply their learning in the classroom immediately and adjust their techniques as the academy progresses.

Additionally, participants have the opportunity to apply these credits towards the College of Education’s Master’s degree in Special Education at the cost of just $325 per credit. Teachers interested in this opportunity will select the graduate-level credit option at the time of registration and will complete a graduate-level assignment for each course.

If admitted to the Master’s Degree in Special Education, all 24 academy credits can apply to the 48-credit program. Please visit the Special Education degree website for more information about this program and instructions for how to apply.

Two ways to earn an endorsement in Special Education

Post-baccalaureate level Endorsement  Graduate level Endorsement  
1. Complete the 24-credit Special Education Endorsement Academy

1. Apply for the master's degree in Special Education at Seattle University and
if admitted apply all 24 academy credits to the 48-credit program (a $319 per-credit savings on 24 credits) 

2. Prepare for and take the state-mandated exam in special education  2. Complete the 24-credit Special Education endorsement academy
including an additional graduate-level assignment for each class
3. Upon passing the state exam, apply for your endorsement through Seattle University 3. Prepare for and take the state-mandated exam in special education
4. Consider earning additional endorsements through Seattle University's Endorsement Academies 4. Upon passing the state exam, apply for your endorsement through
Seattle University


Credits and costs

Post-baccalaureate pathway Graduate level pathway

Per credit fee: $250

Per quarter technology fee: $90 (total of $360)

Per credit fee: $325

Per quarter technology fee: $90 (total of $360)

Total Academy fee: $6,360 Total Academy fee: $8,160

Materials, books, test fees, endorsement processing fees and graduate application fees are not included in the Academy fee and are the responsibility of the participant. Post-baccalaureate or graduate-level track must be indicated at the time of application and cannot be changed during the program. Graduate level students must complete the Special Education Master’s program within 6 years of the first academy course in order to apply credits to the graduate program requirements. Academy fees are non-refundable. Limited payment plans are available – inquire at the time of application.

Participants must have regular, reliable access to the Internet and a working computer that meets our minimum standards. Information on SU’s technology requirements are available from the Office of Information Technology.

Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship Program

The Professional Educators Standards Board of Washington State has announced the funding of retooling scholarships for the 2017-2018 year for an expanded list of high-need endorsement areas. Certified Washington teachers currently employed at Washington K-12 public schools are eligible to apply for up to $3,000 in scholarship funds.

Please visit the PESB’s website for eligibility and application information. If you decide to apply for this opportunity, please complete the SPED Retooling budget for the online academy and submit it, along with your application materials for the academy, prior to April 20th. You will need to include the budget form, signed by the SU representative, with your application to the PESB.

Please note that applications for the retooling scholarships are the responsibility of the individual. Acceptance to the Online Special Education Endorsement Academy does not guarantee participant a retooling scholarship. 

Application Procedures

  • Application period begins January 15, 2018. Application deadline is June 8, 2018
  • Retooling applicant deadlines are January 12, 2018 and April 27, 2018
  • Review the Fall 2017 Academy Program Overview packet
  • Complete the SPED 2018-2019 Registration Form and submit it, along with the $150 non-refundable program deposit*
  • Submit a copy of your valid Washington State teaching certificate
  • If applying for a Retooling scholarship, include the SPED Retooling budget
  • Submit registration form, payment, certificate and retooling budget (if applicable) by email to, by fax to (206) 220-8235 or by mail to:

                  Professional and Continuing Education

                  Seattle University – College of Education

                  901 12th Ave, PO Box 222000

                  Seattle, WA 98122

*A non-refundable $150 program deposit is due at the time of application. Deposit will only be processed if applicant is admitted to the program. Limited payment plans are available. Please indicate interest in a payment plan on the academy registration form. If you are applying for a retooling scholarship, payment guidelines above still apply – for questions please contact us at (206) 296-2147.

More Information

For additional information, please e-mail or call (206) 296-2147.  

Special Education Endorsement

Info Sessions

Special Education Endorsement Info Sessions

Online via Zoom:

  • Thursday, January 25th - 4:00-4:30pm
  • Tuesday, March 20th - 4:00-4:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 23rd - 4:00-4:30pm

To sign up for the Zoom info sessions please fill out the following form.

Endorsement Academy


Jamie Buchholz

Jamie Buchholz has her Masters in Teaching, with a Post Masters Program Administrator Certificate from Seattle University. She has been a Special Education Administrator in the Everett and Highline School Districts for the past 5 years. Buchholz has also served on Washington State’s Safety Net Committee. She is currently a Transition Specialist for Seattle University’s Center for Change in Transition Services, an Adjunct Professor for Seattle University’s Special Education Endorsement Program, and a special education consultant for local school districts. Buchholz was the recipient of Seattle University’s Alumni in Achievement Award for her innovative work in special education classrooms.

Rebecca Mayes

Rebecca Mayes is a Special Education Technology Curriculum Coach for the Bellevue School District. She supports teachers in creating equitable, inclusive classrooms for all students through innovative, curriculum, technology, and instructional supports. With more than a decade in the field, she has taught in variety of special education settings. Her current areas of interest are preparing future educators and identification and instruction of children with disabilities in the dual language setting. She earned her Masters Degree in Education at the University of Washington.

Jennifer Wiechert

Jennifer Wiechert is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) who has worked within the Public School System in Washington State since 1994. Throughout her career, she has worked in 7 different School Districts across rural and suburban settings in both Eastern and Western Washington. She has worked as a School Psychologist at the Building Level across all ages (Birth-21), served as a School Counselor at the Elementary Level, an Autism Team Specialist supporting students in multiple schools, and worked as a crisis de-escalation trainer at the District level using both CPI & Right Response Training Programs. Most recently she has worked in the Issaquah School District (ISD) as a member of the Special Services Leadership Team representing Early Childhood Special Education Programs, and served as the Program Specialist for all Early Childhood Programs in ISD (Special Education Developmental Preschools, Peer Model Programs, ECEAP, Child Find, and Early Intervention). Jennifer is also the proud parent of 3 boys (kindergarten & high school) and is joined in her parenting by her husband of more than two decades. She is excited at the opportunity to join the teaching team at Seattle University in preparing the next generation of Educators passionate in meeting the unique needs of students in our communities.