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Alternative Routes: Grow-Your-Own Program

Helping to Develop Teachers From Within

The Northwest University Grow-Your-Own (GYO) alternative routes program offers online academics with rich field experience. This program is run in conjunction with our GYO partner school districts and is aimed at paraeducators or those with conditional certifications employed within the partner districts.

The program offers pathways at both the undergraduate (for those without a BA) and graduate (for those with a college degree) levels. Candidates can choose from four dual-endorsement areas: Elementary Education with Special Education, Elementary Education with English Language Learning, Secondary Mathematics with Middle-level Mathematics, or Secondary Biology with Middle-level Science.

Word from the Assistant Dean

We are proudly partnering with districts to cultivate local educators that reflect and appreciate the diversity of the communities they serve. Our GYO alternative pathways are innovative programs that allow those working in education a pathway to certification that is enriching, classroom-based, and manageable! Each of our programs are fully accessible online so you can access our curriculum from anywhere while continuing to work in your current role throughout your program.

—Dr. Autumn Witt, Assistant Dean, College of Education

The Program Targets

  • Under-represented geographic areas to provide for workforce needs (while the program is available to all districts, it specifically targets those that are 30+ miles from the nearest on-ground teacher preparation program)
  • High workforce need areas by offering dual endorsements in shortage areas
  • Diversifying the teacher workforce by recruiting paraeducators and targeting under-represented populations
  • More generally, the creation of multiple-pathway certification options to provide increased teacher supply across the state

Pathways for Undergraduate and Graduate Levels

  • For those with little to no college: Online AA degree (Route 1)
  • For those with an AA: Online, content-embedded BA degree with certification (Route 1)
  • For those with a BA: Online, content-embedded MIT (Master in Teaching) degree with certification (Routes 2, 3, & 4)
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Unleashing Student Potential Since 1934

Northwest University is a regionally accredited, private, non-profit Christian university offering associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Established in 1934, NU has been driven by its mission to build a learning community dedicated to spiritual vitality, academic excellence, and empowered engagement with human need.

Is Your District a GYO Partner?

To support your online academic learning in the program, we have developed rich district partnerships centered around guided classroom experience. This means that partner districts extend learning through robust conversations and meaningful support. See the adjacent list for our current district partners.

Partner Districts

If your school / district is not listed, please contact us at for information on how your district can join.

Find Out More

 Request Info  How to Apply

Or speak with our Enrollment Counselor.