Washington

Accepts NCSP as a route to school based credential.

SEA Credential (Educational Staff Associate):

Educational Staff Associate (School Psychology):  School psychologists enter the profession with an undated residency certificate. These ESAs are eligible for a five-year residency certificate (also called a dated residency or residency reissuance) when they have completed two years of successful service in the role in Washington with a school district, state approved private school, or state agency that provides educational services for students. These two years do not need to be consecutive, they do not need to be completed with the same employer, and the individual does not need to have a contract for a third year with an employer in place prior to the issuance of the five-year residency certificate. School psychologists have two options for obtaining a second tier certificate: continuing or professional. School Psychologists may obtain a continuing certificate with 150 clock hours aligned to the school psychologist domains, or, they may obtain a professional certificate as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP.)

Tier 1 - Residency First Issue Certificate (Valid until 2 years of experience in role): For this first level certificate, a master's degree in school psychology is required. Must submit official transcripts showing degree. Completion of any state's approved program leading to certification for the school psychologist role or three years of out of state experience in the school psychologist role or must hold a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential issued after December 31, 1991 by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Must have successfully completed a comprehensive exam relevant to the role, such as the Praxis. After two years of experience in the role of a school psychologist, must obtain one of the following Tier 2 certification options:

  1. Five-year Residency ESA Certificate:Residency Renewal requires 100 clock hours or four professional growth plans (PGPs) in five years or a combination of clock hours and PGPs. Each PGP is worth 25 clock hours. Clock hours and PGPs for renewal must be aligned to the school psychologist Domains of Practice
  2. Five-year Professional Certificate:Obtain National Certification from the National Association of School Psychologists.
  3. Five-year Continuing Certificate:Complete 150 clock hours based on school psychologist Domains of Practice.



All school psychologists, including those who hold a professional certification through the attainment and maintenance of their NCSP, must complete 3 hours (minimum) of training in suicide prevention from an approved curriculum.

An "emergency credential" is offered to finishing interns who are operating in a school district that has an unfilled position with no applicant pool.

Continuing Education Requirements:
As of Fall 2017, residency, professional, and continuing certificate holders may renew in five year intervals with:

  • 100 clock hours or the equivalent in college credit; Or,
  • By completing four annual Professional Growth Plans (PGPs) during the five-year validity date of the certificate; Or,
  • By combining completed PGPs with clock hours for a total of 100 hours. (e.g. 3 PGPs + 25 CH = 100 CH)

All school psychologists, including those who hold a professional certification through the attainment and maintenance of their NCSP, must complete 3 hours (minimum) of training in suicide prevention from an approved curriculum. School psychologists are not required to pursue second tier licensure. School psychologists may choose, if they wish, to pursue a continuing ESA certificate with 150 clock hours aligned to the state school psychologist domains to pursue a professional certificate through the NCSP from NASP.

Scope of Practice:
School psychologists with the SEA credential can provide services in public schools (K-12), early childhood and pre-K settings, private and charter schools, and college or university settings. The SEA credential also allows one to provide contract services in schools.

State Consultant/Contact
Leslie Huff
Leslie.Huff@k12.wa.us

SEA website: http://www.k12.wa.us
ESA Certification in Washington State: https://www.pesb.wa.gov/educator-pathways/esa-certification-in-washington-state/

Psychology board website: http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/professions/psychology/