WVC receives Alternative Routes Block Grant to support paraeducators seeking teacher certification

April 5, 2024 

Media Contacts: 
Dr. Marie Rose-McCully, BAS Teacher Education faculty, 509-422-7844, mrose-mccully@wvc.edu 
Yuritzi Lozano, dean of allied health and professional technical programs, 509-682-6614, ylozano@wvc.edu 
Jennifer Korfiatis, interim public information officer, 509-682-6436, jkorfiatis@wvc.edu 

The Wenatchee Valley College Bachelor of Applied Science in Teaching program received a $70,000 Alternative Routes Block Grant for 2024-26 from the Professional Educator Standards Board. The funds help to support paraeducators from local school districts as they complete their teacher certifications in college. 

The ARBG grant helps colleges and universities to implement innovative “grow your own” teacher strategies that address workforce needs and to recruit, support, and prepare diverse teacher candidates. The “grow your own” model provides candidates with a clear path from recruitment to employment.  

Alternative routes to becoming a teacher are often shorter, as the students may receive credit for previous work experience and education, and more affordable. They are also more convenient for the working student’s schedule. Students in an ARBG-funded program continue to work in their school district while earning their teaching certificate. 

There are five scholarships for Alternative Route 1 teachers, which is the paraeducator to teacher pathway. The conditional two-year scholarships total $14,000 per year. Of that funding, the candidate would receive $8,000, the mentor teacher would receive $500, $2,500 would pay for substitute teachers to cover the days/hours when paraeducators need to attend class or complete fieldwork, and $3,000 would pay for additional program support through WVC.  

To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must be current preschool-third grade paraeducators or district-wide paraeducators who can be placed in a P-3 setting for the duration of the program, have earned an AA degree or a minimum of 90 college credits, have early childhood education content knowledge background, and commit to teaching in a Washington state K-12 public school as an early childhood or early childhood special education teacher for two years after graduation.  

The Alternative Routes Block Grant was designed to help reduce educator shortages, which includes subject matter, specific regions, and educator roles. In North Central Educational Service District (ESD 171), both early childhood education and special education are subject matter shortage areas. 

WVC’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Teaching is offered on both the Omak and Wenatchee campuses, with primary in-person instruction on the Omak campus. The program prepares teachers for early childhood and early childhood special education teacher certification that covers birth to third grade general education and special education.  


 Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion for all students and employees and provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, wvc.edu. 

Wenatchee Valley College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment and student enrollment. All programs are free from discrimination and harassment against any person because of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, age, parental status or families with children, marital status, religion, genetic information, honorably discharged veteran or military status or any other prohibited basis per RCW 49.60.030, 040 and other federal and state laws and regulations, or participation in the complaint process. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and Title IX compliance for both the Wenatchee and Omak campuses: 

  • To report discrimination or harassment: Title IX Coordinator, Mish ee twie, 1321A, (509) 682-6716, title9@wvc.edu. 
  • To request disability accommodations: Student Access Manager, Wenatchi Hall 2131, (509) 682-6854, TTY/TTD: dial 711, sas@wvc.edu