This page provides information in a format required by the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to qualify Sound Circle Center as a legitimate provider of vocational training in Washington State.
Sound Circle Center (SCC), a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Washington, offers a Waldorf Teacher Training Program. This program is licensed by the State of Washington through the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WSWTECB). This Catalog follows the guidelines provided by the WSWTECB.
Owners, Personnel, and Licensure
Administrator: Mary Oak
Governing Board: The Directors of the Corporation: Cynthia McGrath, Stafford Smith, Diann Shope, Trish Bondurant, Robyn Jones and Cathy Buller. The Board members are named and bios provided under the Board section of the website. (current as of 5/1/12)
- Sound Circle Center
- PO Box 15279
- Seattle, WA 98115
Sound Circle does not have an office or a building of its own.
Instructors and their qualifications may be viewed on the Faculty section of the website.
This school is licensed under Chapter 28C.10RCW. Inquiries or complaints regarding this school may be made to:
Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
128 10th Avenue Southwest
Olympia, Washington 98504
Standards for Waldorf Teacher Training Institutes are maintained by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). Sound Circle has just completed the requirements for being a full member institute (i.e. full accreditation by this body), and is awaiting notification of its status from AWSNA.
School Calendar and Class Schedule
The days and times of classes in 2011-2012 will be approximately 32 Fridays from 2:00 to 9:15 p.m. and 26 Saturdays from 8:30a.m. to 1:30p.m or 3p.m.
The program consists of three academic years (September through June) of part-time work and two summer intensives (one week preceding the second year and two weeks preceding the third year). The hours required of participants increase each year, primarily through additional hours of classroom observation and practice teaching.
See the Program description on the website.
Sound Circle Center (SCC) conducts its programs in rented facilities, usually in Waldorf schools, in order for our students to experience the type of space in which they will be working as Waldorf teachers. When school space is not available, we may rent space in a church or other building convenient for the faculty and students. Facilities are ADA accessible and parking is available.
The class size is usually not more than 20, and is often broken down into smaller groups for special topics.
A bachelor's degree is desired, but not required. A high school diploma or GED is required.
A Practical Guide for Students
The SCC Teacher Training Program has developed a Practical Guide for Students. This document covers many of the topics required in this catalog by the WSWTECB, and is included below.
- Before a course begins, please familiarize yourself with the Course Descriptions for that course, which you can access through the SCC website. This will orient you to the goals, contents and requirements for the course.
- Please be prompt to class, perhaps even a few minutes early. Promptness is a form of respect and politeness to your classmates and the instructor. Promptness and preparedness are two of the qualities demanded from a successful teacher.
- Take notes in class and organize them at home; they will be helpful to you in your future.
- If you know that you will be absent for a class, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor, get notes from a classmate and ask the instructor if there is any work which you need to make up.
- In order to complete this course of study, assignments need to be completed and handed to your instructor. We expect assigned work to be completed on time unless you have made previous arrangements with the instructor. Our classes have a pass/fail grading system. A student will fail a class if the student has not abided by the requirements set out in this document.
- We consider "End of Term Reflections/End of Year Reflections" (in Foundation Year) and "Statements of Learning" (in 2nd and 3rd years) to be required assignments. They need to be completed to receive credit for those courses.
- In order to complete the SCC teacher training, the student needs to be present for at least 80% of the classes for each course. If the student's attendance is less than 80%, he/she will need to complete make up work assigned by the instructor. If attendance is less than 50% of that class, the student will be required to repeat the class when it is offered again.
- We need to know that all the students who graduate from SCC have competent language skills (spelling, grammar, syntax). If it becomes clear that the student needs support in this realm, we will let the student know that he/she will be required to seek help to improve those skills.
- We need to know that all the students who graduate from SCC and plan to teach grade school have competent mathematical skills. If it becomes clear that you need support in this realm, we will let you know and you will be required to seek help to improve those skills.
- In the second year music classes you will be introduced to music notation. We expect that all students will be able to read music (in order to learn songs from written music) by the beginning of the 3rd year of training. It is the student's responsibility to seek assistance, if that is necessary in achieving this goal.
Attendance Requirements – See Practical Guide
Leave of Absence and Re-Admission
The granting of a leave of absence or re-admission is determined, on a case by case basis, after a conversation between a student and the appropriate faculty Program Director. Notes describing the agreements are put in the students' files.
Credit for Previous Training
Credit for previous training is decided on a case by case basis, between students and the appropriate faculty Program Director.
Make-up Work – See Practical Guide
Tardiness/Promptness – See Practical Guide
Code of Conduct and Conditions of Dismissal
A student may be expelled from the program for the following reasons:
- Repeated behavior that is disruptive to the conducting of classes
- Failure to attend classes
- Sexual or Physical assault
- Inability to continue the course of study
- Failure to pay tuition
- Actions egregiously hostile to the interests of SCC
Student Complaint/Appeal Process
If difficulties arise in a relationship between a student and teacher, the first step is for the student to speak or write to the teacher (or vice versa) and to attempt to resolve the issue by direct communication.
If this is not successful, the next step is for the student or teacher to speak with his or her program director. If the program director is not able to mediate the situation, then a formal resolution process may be initiated.
The goal of this resolution process is to allow the concerns to be fully explored and the best possible solution for both parties to be reached. Either party or a program coordinator may initiate this process. The steps are as follows:
- A resolution group will be formed, including a witness of choice for each party and an independent facilitator (to be agreed upon by both parties).
- The formation of the group and the setting up of the meetings will be the responsibility of the program director or the faculty chair, if the program director is one of the parties.
- The group will schedule three meetings of the resolution group and the two parties.
- The purpose of the first meeting is to create a space in which parties can share their perceptions, feelings and concerns, and to create a plan for moving toward a solution acceptable to both parties.
- The purpose of the second meeting is to evaluate the progress of the plan.
- The purpose of the third meeting is to determine whether the resolution has been achieved or whether further processes are needed.
- If the situation cannot be resolved through this process, the Core faculty will be ultimately responsible for a final decision and closure to the matter.
Standards of Progress/Grading System
The Teacher Training Program classes have a pass/fail grading system. A student will fail a class if s/he has not abided by the requirements set out in "A Practical Guide".
At the successful completion of the first year (Foundation Year), a certificate of completion is awarded. At the successful completion of the third year, a Waldorf Teaching Certificate is awarded.
Student Evaluation Techniques
For First Year: Since the Foundation Year is cross-curricular in nature, we do not evaluate on a class-by -class basis. At the end of first term, students are required to write a narrative reflection in response to five questions about their experience of the program and what they are learning as a result. One of the co-directors responds to what the students have written and includes feedback on the students' over-all participation in the program. This gives an opportunity to encourage areas of growth and raise any significant concerns. At the end of the year, each student engages in a creative expression of their year's interdisciplinary learning and the directors provide personal reflections to each student.
For Second and Third Years: After most courses the student is given a "Statement of Learning" form to complete and return to the instructor. For most courses, the instructor then writes an "Instructor's Reflections on Student Learning" for each student, which serves as an evaluation of the student's participation and growth. During the courses there may be a variety of evaluative techniques. Each course description contains the evaluative method used in that particular course.
Method Used to Report Grades
The classes are all pass/fail, and credit is given only for classes in which a student "passes". At the end of the year, a completion certificate (after the first year) and the Graduation certificate (after the third year) are only awarded to those students who have satisfactorily completed the coursework, attended 80% of the classes and have no outstanding financial obligations to our institute. After each course, the student is told whether he/she has "failed" the course and what must be done to remedy the situation and attain a "pass" for that course. At the end of the year, all students are given a written report of any outstanding coursework which needs to be completed in order to receive credit for the year.
Withdrawing from School
A student may withdraw by conferring with the appropriate faculty Program Director. The reasons for the withdrawal will be noted in the students' file.
Student records are required by the state to be kept for 50 years. Student financial records are available for review by the student from the Financial Manager upon request. Academic records are available to the student by arrangement with the Faculty. Copies of academic records may be requested from the Administrator.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
- There is a $100 Application Fee. This fee covers SCC personnel's time for reviewing the application, an interview of approximately 30 minutes by one or more faculty members, and the Financial Manager's time to set up the appropriate records in a student file.
- SCC will refund initial deposits, if the student withdraws after his/her contract is signed, but before classes begin.
- If the student withdraws during the school year, a prorated refund of prepaid tuition will be made, based on the hours of class the student has already attended. When calculating refunds, the official date of a student's termination is considered the last day of recorded attendance.
- All refunds will be paid within 30 calendar days of the student's official termination date.
Tuition and Additional Costs
- There is a $100 application fee.
- Tuition for a full year's program is $6000. A $400 tuition deposit is required with the registration contract. Once the student begins classes, this deposit is applied against the tuition owed.
- Tuition for part-time attendance will be determined on a case by case basis, depending upon the courses the student wishes to take.
- Books and supplies are estimated to cost $200 per year.
Students will need to meet all their financial responsibilities before a Certificate of Completion or Graduation will be issued.
Financial Aid is available from SCC in the form of tuition assistance (reduced tuition). Applicants fill out a form that outlines their estimated income and expense for the coming school year and submit tax information. No financial assistance is given for the Foundation Year (1st year). Awards are based on need, the number of applicants and the amount of money budgeted for financial assistance. It is SCC's policy not to award more than half of the tuition amount in tuition assistance.
To our knowledge, there are no State or Federal student loan/grant programs for which SCC students are eligible. A few students have found private or family foundations which give assistance for teacher training at SCC.
Students who are performing their practicum (student teaching in Waldorf Schools) may request, if needed, a tuition reduction to cover income lost from their regular jobs while doing their practicum. Limited funds are available.
There are a number of websites advertising jobs for trained Waldorf teachers. There are far more jobs than there are trained teachers. During the course of studies, students will learn about the network of Waldorf Schools in the Region and in North America and how to access job listings. Through their practicum assignments, observation in various schools, classmates and guest lecturers from many of the schools in the area, students will develop individual networks. Graduating students will also be guided to those positions where they will have the greatest potential for success in their new careers as Certified Waldorf Teachers.