ESA Certification - General Requirements
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Educational Staff Associate

General Requirements

Educational staff associates (ESA's) in public schools in Washington State are required to hold a valid certificate or temporary permit for the specific role in order to be employed. The certificate is an official document which attests to minimum prerequisites, which include the following:

  • Degree. For school counselor, psychologist, social worker and speech language pathologist/audiologist: Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. For School OT, PT and Nurse: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a major in the role.
  • Preparation. A state-approved preparation program for the particular ESA role
    Certificate from another state + 3 years of out-of-state experience in that role in K-12 schools
    For OT, PT, nurse, social worker, and speech language pathologist/audiologist only: Course- Must have completed prior to, or within 180 days after temporary permit is issued, a 30 clock hour or 3 quarter hour (2 semester hour) course approved by the Professional Educators Standards Board which will include study in schools and society; human growth, development, and learning; American school law; legal responsibilities of the ESA; and the responsibilities of the specific ESA role in a school setting, including the state learning goals and essential academic learning requirements
  • Exam – For school counselor, psychologist, and speech language pathologist/audiologist: must complete a written comprehensive examination or approved alternative Details for the above basic requirements are outlined in the requirements for residency and initial ESA certification.
  • License: For school OT, PT and nurse – Hold a valid license in the role issued by the Washington State Department of Health.

Already have a Washington certificate?
If so, please click on "Currently or Previously Certified in Washington" (left side of screen) and select the certificate you were issued.


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