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. http://www.doh.wa.gov/
If so, please click on "Currently or Previously Certified in Washington" (left side of screen) and select the certificate you were issued.