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Career Services: Placement File FAQs

What is in my placement file?

  • Minimum of recent three letters of recommendation

As of September 2011, Whitworth placement files are "open" files only. That means letters are non-confidential. This change is a direct result of most districts now having online applications where the candidate can self-submit their letters. If you need to have a confidential file for any reason, please contact our office. We can work with you to meet this need.

What is NOT in my placement file?

  • Transcripts: You must submit unofficial transcripts with any school-district application. Order official (sealed) transcripts to keep on hand for when you sign a contract.  Keep them sealed.
  • WEST-E or Praxis II score reports
  • Cover letter or letter of interest
  • Résumé

When will my placement file be ready?

Your placement file is ready to send when it includes:

  • A minimum of three recent letters of recommendation
  • Signed Waiver & Consent Form
  • A $25 setup fee is required. This fee covers the first five mailings of your file and a liftime of career services from our office.

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Who should write my letters of recommendation?

  • Your master/mentor teacher(s)
  • Your Whitworth supervisor
    Your master/mentor teachers and Whitworth supervisor letters will automatically be written as part of your teacher-preparation program.
  • A third letter is mandatory. Many secondary teachers will have a recommendation from each of their endorsement areas of student teaching. Elementary teacher candidates will have only one master teacher.

    For additional letters, ask. . .
  • the principal or assistant principal at the school where you completed your student teaching internship;
  • a supervisor/master teacher from a field experience or intercultural experience;
  • a professor who knows you well and can speak to your abilities in the classroom.

    For graduates who are updating, ask . . .
  • current principal
  • former principal(s)
  • colleague(s);
  • district chair or co-member of a committee on which you have served

Letters of recommendation can be written on school letterhead (recommended) or on the Whitworth Recommendation Form available as a downloadable form. The online form can be sent via e-mail to certification@whitworth.edu. We will sign to verify that it was received electronically. It should be followed by a signed hard copy in the mail.

Three to five recommendations are the standard for a placement file, but you may include more if you so desire.

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How do I request a letter of recommendation?
A request for a letter of recommendation should be made in person if possible. All recommendations should be typed, not handwritten. As a courtesy, a stamped, pre-addressed envelope should be presented at the time of your request.  This will ensure that your letter will be sent directly to our office. Our office address is:

Educational Certification & Career Services
Whitworth University
300 West Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251

How do I ask to have a placement file sent?
To request to have your placement file sent, use one of the following options:

Please provide any special instructions and let us know where to send your file. If the school district to which you want your file sent is out of state or if you're asking that the file be sent to a private school, please provide the address. Placement files will be sent within one business day of our receipt of your request. If you are starting a new job search, be sure to contact our office for advice on updating your placement file prior to requesting that your placement file be sent.

What is the fee for sending a placement file?
The charge for initially setting up your placement file is $25. This fee covers our expenses and the first five mailings of your file. Thereafter, the charge is $5 each time the placement file is sent or faxed. No formal billing will be sent. Payment can be made by check (payable to Whitworth University) and sent to our office or by using the online order form.

Educational Certification & Career Services
Whitworth University
300 West Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251

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How do I update my placement file?

Request one or more new open letters of recommendation to add to your file. Who should you ask?

  • current principal
  • former principal(s)
  • colleague(s);
  • district chair or co-member of a committee on which you have served

Check the district's application requirements for how recent your letters need to be to know how many letters you need to request.. Be sure to provide a stamped, pre-addressed envelope for the writers' convenience. Letters being sent to Whitworth can be mailed or scanned and sent via e-mail. Scanned letters should be sent to certification@whitworth.edu. Mailed letters should be sent to the following address:

Educational Certification & Career Services
Whitworth University
300 West Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251

Writers may also submit their letters of recommendation using the Whitworth downloadable recommendation form via an e-mail attachment to certification@whitworth.edu. If required by a district, The Washington School Personnel Association (WSPA) form is also available as a downloadable pdf.

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