West Virginia has nineteen colleges and universities offering outstanding traditional preparation programs for educators, designed to provide the knowledge and skills required for teacher candidates to receive a world class education. Additionally, state-approved alternative certification programs are offered by West Virginia school districts to assist individuals in transitioning their skills to meet areas of critical need and shortage. Once a state approved program is completed, you may advance to the certification section of our website and apply for certifications, permits, and/or authorizations. If you have questions about educator preparation programs, please review the information below or contact the Office of Professional Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention at 1-800-982-2378.
Traditional Certification Programs
Institutions of higher education with traditional state approved educator preparation programs will work with you to create an individualized plan, which is based upon your unique qualifications and educational background. These programs may lead to a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or provide only the coursework required for licensure at the graduate level as part of a post-bachelor’s certification program. To access complete program details and begin a traditional pathway to licensure, please select one of the following:
Alternative Certification Programs
What is alternative certification?
Alternative certification (AC) is an “alternate” pathway to teacher certification that is only available to fill critical need and shortage areas in West Virginia public schools. School districts with approved AC programs may offer employment to eligible individuals for positions that have been posted at least twice (for a minimal ten-day period) and for which no fully certified applicant has applied. Candidates accepted into the district’s approved AC program hold an Alternative Teaching Certificate and teach while completing the program of study. Upon successful completion of the program, assessment and evaluation, candidates may be recommended for a Provisional Teaching Certificate by the school district. Individuals with a Provisional Teaching Certificate work to meet conversion criteria for an initial Professional Teaching Certificate.
View the list of State-Approved Alternative Certification Programs
What are the steps for participation in an AC program?
- Decide what you would like to teach
Identify the grade levels and subject areas you would like to teach. This will help you determine the AC program(s) you would like to pursue.
- Contact school districts with approved AC programs to identify areas of critical need
Districts have their own unique programs and needs, so it is important to contact the district’s personnel officials to determine if they have area(s) of critical need and shortage and a state-approved program for the endorsement(s).
- Determine if you are eligible to pursue the identified endorsement area(s) and apply for job(s)
Personnel officials at the school district can help you understand eligibility and how to apply for employment within the district.
- Apply for an AC certificate upon receipt of a job offer
If eligibility has been analyzed and an offer of employment is made, the district will help you complete an application for the Alternative Teaching Certificate. Individuals do not enroll into approved AC programs until an Alternative Teaching Certificate is issued by the Office of Certification and Professional Preparation.
- Begin the AC program
The length of time required to complete the state approved AC program depends upon its program of study, your completion of WVBE required exams and other program requirements (candidates must complete the program within three years)
- Complete the AC Program
Upon completion of a state approved AC program, individuals who successfully meet all conversion requirements may apply for an initial Provisional Teaching Certificate. The Provisional Teaching Certificate has a separate conversion process (taking a minimum of two-years) that when completed, leads to an initial Professional Teaching Certificate.
Career Technical Education
Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are changing, evolving and innovating to better serve West Virginia’s students by preparing them to succeed and enter the workforce.
To find out how you may be able to complete an approved program for Career and Technical Education teacher licensure, please contact:
Teacher in Residence Programs
A Teacher-in-Residence Program is an intensively supervised and mentored residency program for prospective teachers during their senior year that refines their professional practice skills and helps them gain the teaching experience needed to demonstrate competence as a prerequisite to certification to teach in the West Virginia public schools. Teacher-in-residence programs require the authorization of the WVBE pursuant to W. Va. Code §18A-3-1(e). To begin a teacher in residence program at the undergraduate level, please review the list of existing programs below and contact the institution of higher education for complete details.
Who can propose a program?
An institution of higher education with a WVBE approved teacher preparation program in the state may enter into an agreement with a county board of education to establish a teacher-in-residence program.
- The prospective teachers-in-residence shall: 1) have completed the content preparation courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA; 2) shall have meet the proficiency score(s) on the state competency exam(s) in preprofessional skills or qualify for an exemption as described in Section 6.2.c ofWVBE Policy 5100; and 3) shall have met the proficiency score(s) on the state competency exam(s) in content or qualify for an exemption as described in Policy 5202 in the area for which s/he is seeking certification.
- The prospective teachers-in-residence shall only be eligible to serve in a teaching position in the county which has been posted and for which no other fully certified teacher has been employed.
- The agreement between the institution of higher education and the county board shall include the specifics regarding the program of instruction and the responsibilities for supervision and mentoring by the institution of higher education, the school principal, peer and mentor teachers.
- The salary and benefit costs for the position to which the teacher-in-residence is assigned shall be used only for program support and to pay the teacher-in-residence a stipend that is no less than 65% of all state aid funding.
- The prospective teacher-in residence shall satisfy the requirements for the Teacher-In-Resident Permit as identified in Policy 5202.
- The program and any new County partnership added to an existing program must be approved by the WVBE.
Existing Programs: (Click here for full chart)
Alderson-Broaddus College — Barbour County, Braxton County, Harrison County, Mason County, Monongalia County, Preston County, Upshur County
Bluefield State College — Fayette, Greenbrier County, Logan County, McDowell County, Mercer County, Monroe County, Raleigh County, Summers County, Wyoming
Concord University — Braxton County, Doddridge County, Fayette County, Greenbrier County, Kanawha County, McDowell County, Mercer County, Monroe County, Raleigh County, Summers County, Wirt County, Wyoming County
Davis and Elkins College — Randolph County
Fairmont State University — Berkeley County, Doddridge County, Greenbrier County, Hampshire County, Hardy County, Harrison County, Kanawha County, Lewis County, Marion County, Monongalia County, Nicholas County, Pocahontas County, Preston County, Randolph County, Taylor County, Upshur County, Webster County, Wetzel County
Glenville State College — Berkeley County, Boone County, Braxton County, Calhoun County, Clay County, Doddridge County, Fayette County, Gilmer County, Kanawha County, Lewis County, McDowell County, Monongalia County, Nicholas County, Pendleton County, Pleasants County, Pocahontas County, Raleigh County, Roane County, Tucker County, Tyler County, Upshur County, Webster County, Wirt County
Marshall University — Berkeley County, Boone County, Braxton County, Cabell County, Doddridge County, Fayette County, Kanawha County, Lincoln County, Logan County, Mason County, McDowell County, Mingo County, Putnam County, Raleigh County, Ritchie County, Wayne County, Wirt County, Wood County
Ohio Valley University — Doddridge County, Pleasants County, Ritchie County, Roane County, Wirt County
Salem International University — Doddridge County, Harrison County, Upshur County
Shepherd University — Berkeley County, Grant County
University of Charleston — Kanawha County
WV State University — Boone County, Clay County, Kanawha County, Mingo County, Putnam County, Roane County
West Virginia University — Marion County, Barbour County, Boone County, Cabell County, Calhoun County, Grant County, Hampshire County, Hardy County, Harrison County, Kanawha County, Lincoln County, McDowell County, Monongalia County, Morgan County,
Pendleton County, Pleasants County, Pocahontas County, Preston County, Raleigh County, Roane County, Tyler County, Wayne County, Wirt County, Wood County, Wyoming County
West Virginia University – Parkersburg — Pleasants County, Ritchie County, Roane County, Wirt County, Wood County
WV Wesleyan College — Braxton County, Hampshire County, Harrison County, Lewis County, Mineral County, Pocahontas County, Preston County, Raleigh County, Randolph County, Upshur County, Webster County, Wirt County
To submit a program please contact Lisa Hedrick firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of Professional Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention.
Statement of Eligibility
A statement of eligibility allows an individual with an expired out-of-state professional teaching license (valid within the last five years) to seek employment in a West Virginia public school district within approved endorsement areas. Upon securing employment, qualifying individuals may apply for and be issued a West Virginia Provisional Professional Teaching Certificate. To apply for a statement of eligibility, visit the certification section.
Minimum criteria for a substitute teaching permit in West Virginia includes (but is not limited to) a bachelor’s degree, a cumulative GPA of 2.0, and completion of county authorized initial substitute teacher training.
- To inquire about employment opportunities, county authorized trainings and requirements for becoming a substitute teacher, individuals must first contact the human resources office in the county school district’s central office.
- School districts may direct applicants to complete the WVDE provided eLearning initial substitute teacher training course online. Information about registering for eLearning substitute teacher training may be accessed at https://wvde.state.wv.us/elearning/ by selecting WV Learns News near the bottom of the page.
Short Term Substitute Teaching Permit – Individuals who hold a short-term permit may substitute teach in the same classroom, at any grade level, for 30 days or less. A person with a short-term substitute permit may not substitute for more than 30 consecutive days in same classroom.
Long Term Substitute Teaching Permit – A long-term substitute permit allows an individual to substitute teach within a specific endorsement area at specified grade levels for more than 30 consecutive days in the same classroom. Applicants must meet additional coursework criteria as demonstrated on their college transcripts, which includes (but is not limited to) at least 12 semester hours of credit with a grade of C or higher in the subject area for which they intend to substitute.
- Those seeking elementary education endorsements, must have a minimum of 12 semester hours which includes at least one college level mathematics course and a combination of core content coursework in English, science and social studies. (One course related to child development, early learning, or reading and writing may be used in lieu of a core content course other than mathematics).
Substitute Permits for Nursing – Minimum criteria for a substitute teaching permit for the endorsement of nursing includes (but is not limited to) a Nursing Diploma/Associate Degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 These individuals must hold a valid registered nursing license issued by the West Virginia Board of Examiners, and have completed 12 hours of initial substitute teacher training related to school nursing and 6 hours of clinical time with a certified school nurse who is a registered nurse.
Substitute permits are valid for 3 years.
Substitute Teaching in Areas of CTE
Contact school districts to inquire about substitute teaching employment opportunities in areas of CTE and review the state-minimum eligibility criteria for the Substitute CTE Permit which includes the following:
- Age 18; good character; physically, mentally, and emotionally qualified
- Meet the identified education level (ex. high school diploma, GED, etc.)
- Hold identified industry credentials for the endorsement
- Meet identified wage-earning experience requirements
Candidates must receive the appropriate recommendation from their employer and complete initial substitute teacher training. Endorsement specific requirements may be accessed in CTE Endorsements and Testing Manual.
To review the complete requirements of licensure, please review West Virginia Board of Education Policy 5202 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/
Programs for High School Students
West Virginia schools offer valuable opportunities for students in high school to begin earning credit toward careers in education. Career and Technical Education classes for Careers in Education provide students with early exposure to tenets, methods and strategies used by teachers to effectively deliver content instruction to students. As the Initial Professional Teaching Certificate requires a bachelor’s degree, this is a Career and Technical Education Program of Study designed for individuals who may have aspirations to attend college, complete WVBE approved teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education and become licensed educators.
Careers in Education program completers may also earn up to 7 semester hour of college credit towards becoming an educator at institutions of higher education with WVBE approved teacher preparation programs. Visit the West Virginia EDGE initiative website and select, “Edge Credits by School” to review the number of credits each institution of higher education is offering for completion of, “Careers in Education” coursework.
The organization formerly known as the Future Educator’s Association is now Educator’s Rising (www.educatorsrising.org). Educators Rising is a national membership organization for students who are interested in education careers. West Virginia students who participate in the Career and Technical Education Program of Study, Careers in Education, and pay the $5 state dues fee become, “state members”. State members may participate in competitions, state and national conferences and become Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Officers.
To find out more about Career and Technical Education classes for Careers in Education and beginning a chapter of Educators Rising in your school, please contact Tami Maynard at email@example.com.
Financial Aid Programs
There are a variety of federal and state based programs designed to assist qualifying individuals in their pursuit of post-secondary educational career paths. Your first step in applying for financial aid should be accessing information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) on the USDE website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.
Please review the following links to access information about programs which provide financial assistance to educators:
- Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars
- West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship
- West Virginia Higher Education Grant
- United States Department of Education (USDE) Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
Visit the College Foundation of West Virginia website at www.CFWV.com for assistance when applying for financial aid programs.
Visit Teach.org to review additional financial aid and scholarship opportunities across the nation.
The WV Invests Grant is a “last-dollar-in” financial aid program designed to cover the cost of basic tuition and fees for associate degree programs at Community and Technical Colleges in West Virginia. While state-approved educator preparation programs require completion of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, one may explore this opportunity and later decide to complete a state-approved educator preparation program (as part of a 4 year undergraduate level program for a bachelor’s degree, a graduate level program for a master’s degree, or a post-bachelor’s certificate program).
Individuals must complete a state-approved educator preparation program to meet one part of the requirements for acquiring licensure from the WVDE Office of Certification (as specified in WVBE Policy 5202). To review a complete list of the WVBE-approved traditional and alternative programs, please select the traditional programs or alternative programs menu items. To review the complete requirements of licensure within WVBE policies, visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.
The Troops to Teachers (TTT) program
The Troops to Teachers (TTT) program is a benefit provided by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support to qualifying military personnel. The program assists veterans from across the country in their efforts to participate in another rewarding area of public service by sharing their knowledge and experiences with America’s youth as professional educators. Qualifying members may be eligible to receive career counseling, job placement assistance and financial assistance.Program eligibility and financial assistance for the TTT program are solely determined and distributed by the National TTT Office. Individuals participating in the Troops to Teachers program must complete state specific requirements for educator licensure. To find out how you may be able to register and participate in the TTT program, contact the National TTT Office at 1-800-231-6242 or visit www.proudtoserveagain.com.
- Review the October 1, 2015 Troops to Teachers Program Update
- Review the October 1, 2014 Troops to Teachers Program Update
- Review the October 1, 2013 Troops to Teachers Program Update
To find out how you can make a difference in the classroom as a professional educator in West Virginia, please contact the WVDE Troops to Teachers Contact for details about state educator licensure requirements:
Robert P. Mellace III
West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Professional Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Building 6, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: 1.800.982.2378 (toll free)
Praxis Test Preparation Resources
Khan Academy offers free online test preparation, designed to equip you with the reading, writing and mathematics skills needed to succeed on PRAXIS Core tests.
Preparation Materials are also available on the https://www.ets.org/ website, which allow you to select any Praxis test by name or number and access materials which may help you prepare for tests required for licensure.
Qualifying military service members may be able to seek reimbursement of Praxis exam fees from the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). Visit DANTES for complete details about their education programs.
To identify tests required for licensure, please review the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory.
Approval Process for Traditional Certification Programs of Study
The Educator Preparation Program Review Board (EPPRB) is a seven-member board established by the WVBE. Among its many duties and responsibilities, the EPPRB is charged with reviewing all initially proposed programs in order to submit or withhold a recommendation for program approval to the WVBE. The EPPRB is also charged with reviewing all proposed substantive changes to existing WVBE-approved programs and submitting or withholding a recommendation for acceptance of such changes to the WVBE. Finally, the EPPRB reviews reports from accreditation boards to recommend institutions’ programs for continuing program approval.
2019 – 2020
February 21, 2020 – Spring EPPRB Meeting
June 5, 2020 — Summer EPPRB Meeting
Programs intending to submit a proposal must declare intent at a minimum of 60 days prior to the scheduled meeting and documents must be submitted to the Office of Professional Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled meeting.
Approval Process for Alternative Certification Programs of Study
WVBE Policy 5901 creates an alternative means for a qualified person to earn a professional teaching certificate in areas of critical need and shortage. Once an alternative certification program receives WVBE approval, school districts may begin preparing eligible candidates. Interested applicants, please visit the WV K-12 Education Job Bank and contact your county of interest directly. School districts interested in program guidance or information please contact Robert Mellace at firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of Professional Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Document
- Program Proposal Template (General Education or Special Education Program)
- Addendum for the Addition of a General Education Program Endorsement (General Education Program Only)
- Program Revision Proposal Document (General Education or Special Education Program)
Alternative Certification Educator Preparation Program Review Board (ACEPPRB) Timelines:
January 16, 2020 – Letter of intent to submit program for review, due to the WVDE. Letters of intent may be submitted via e-mail to Robert Mellace at email@example.com.
February 16, 2020 – Submission of program proposal, due to the WVDE. For information, please contact Robert Mellace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 16, 2020 – ACEPPRB Meeting.
April or May 2020 – If recommended, the program will be presented to the WVBE and considered for approval.
Meeting will occur during June of 2020