Teaching Terms and Definitions

As you move through the pre-education advising website, there may be terms or acronyms that may be unfamiliar to you. Use this glossary as your guide to navigating this information. Please feel free to contact the pre-education advisor if you have any questions or would like anything explained further. 


Teaching Terms and Definitions

EDLS - The EDLS program is the undergraduate-level elementary education teacher certification program at Seattle University. It is offered as a specialization to two majors in the College of Arts and Sciences: Humanities for Teaching and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies.

Elementary - Refers to grades K-8, however, it is recommended to earn a secondary certificate if you are interested in teaching at the middle school level. An endorsement in elementary education covers a breadth of subjects.

Endorsement - An endorsement area is the subject area you would like to teach. Students can earn endorsements in multiple subject areas.

Endorsement Verification Form - Teacher preparation/certification programs use endorsement verification forms as a checklist to verify that you have completed college-level coursework in your endorsement area.

MIT (Masters in Teaching) - Many teacher certification/preparation programs in the state of Washington are graduate-level degrees. Seattle University's graduate-level K-12 teaching certification program is a Masters in Teaching (MIT).  Other schools might call it a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

NES/WEST-E Exam - Washington uses content knowledge assessments, including the WEST-E and NES, to test subject or content area knowledge and demonstrate competency in an endorsement area. Passing this exam is required for certification and is in addition to the WEST-B Exam.

  • Over the past several years, the PESB has been gradually transitioning Washington standards and assessments (WEST-E) to the use of national standards and assessments (NES).

OSPIState of Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction - OSPI is the primary agency charged with overseeing public K–12 education in Washington state.

PESBProfessional Educators Standards Board - PESB is responsible for policy and oversight of Washington’s system of educator preparation, certification, continuing education, and assignment

Secondary - Refers to grades 6-8. Endorsement areas at the secondary level are subject specific.

Teacher Preparation/Certification Program - A teacher preparation program is designed to prepare both undergraduate and graduate students to become licensed teachers. They can either be integrated into undergraduate degrees, post-baccalaureate programs, or graduate-level programs.

WEST-B Exam - All Washington teacher candidates are required to take the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B) for admission into a teacher preparation program. The assessment includes three sub-tests: reading, writing, mathematics.



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