Special Education Endorsement Academy

Next cohort starts Fall Quarter 2024

The online Special Education Endorsement Academy consists of eight classes that meet in virtual, synchronous sessions twice a week in the evenings, with additional asynchronous work required throughout the week. Our classes are developed with teacher's schedules in mind.

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

Brought to you by the College of Education's Office of Professional & Continuing Education, 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.

For More Information:

Endorsement Academy Instructors

Sue Ann Bube, Ed.D  

Sue Ann has taught in elementary, middle, and high school in general education (Math) classes and in special education classes. Sue Ann’s special education journey began shortly after Jacob’s birth as he was born deaf with multiple health impairments. She went back to school to complete her master’s degree in Special Education and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership while becoming proficient in Sign Language. 

More recently, Sue Ann worked with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) as part of a state needs project to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. She also served as the President of the Washington Chapter of the Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and continues to serve on the national committee to support increased employment options for students with disabilities. Sue Ann has taught in elementary, middle, and high school settings providing specially designed instruction to students with a wide range of disabilities. Currently, Sue Ann serves as a director of the Special Services in the Mercer Island School District. 

Jamie Buchholz

Jamie Buchholz has her Masters in Teaching, with a Post Master’s 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 a variety of special education settings. Her current areas of interest are preparing future educators, identification and instruction of children with disabilities in the dual language setting. She earned her Master’s 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 seven 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).

Courtney O'Catherine

Courtney O’Catherine is a special educator with more than 20 years of experience in the field. Currently, Courtney is a Director for Special Services at the Puget Sound ESD 121. Other roles have included Assistant Director of Special Education in the North Kitsap School District, Special Education Liaison and Instructional Facilitator at Tacoma Public Schools, Teacher in low incidence, resource, EBD, and early childhood programs in Tacoma, North Thurston and Southwest Region School District in Alaska. Courtney has a passion for providing quality services to all students and is excited to work with Seattle University students to bring highly qualified professionals into the field.

Meg Kaufman 

Meg has nearly 30 years of classroom experience and has taught in a wide variety of special education settings, including early childhood, severe/multiple, medically fragile and mild/moderate classrooms. She currently works as an English Language support teacher, using her knowledge of intervention strategies to help this special population and their teachers. Kaufman is a National Board Certified teacher and has a Masters in both Special Education and teaching English Language Learners. Her current interests include coaching through co-teaching, as well as intervention and assessment practices.

Kristen Pingel 

Kristen has a background in Special Education within the public school setting for the past 10 years. She is Nationally Board certified as an Exceptional Needs Specialist in the area of Students with Severe and Profound Disabilities. She also has a specialization in Autism. In addition to Seattle University She works full time for Tacoma Public Schools in the Special Education field.