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.
To begin a traditional program leading to educator licensure, please review the following state approved educator preparation 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 within 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 (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 authorization of the WVBE pursuant to W. Va. Code §18A-3-1(e).
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 meet 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 — Greenbrier County, Logan County, McDowell County, Mercer County, Summers County, Raleigh County
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, Preston County, Pocahontas County, Monongalia County, Randolph County, Webster County, Wetzel County
Glenville State College — Boone County, Braxton County, Calhoun County, Clay County, Doddridge County, Fayette County, Gilmer County, Kanawha County, Lewis County, McDowell County, Monongalia County, Nicholas 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
Shepherd University — Berkeley County, Grant County
Salem International University — Doddridge County, Harrison County
University of Charleston — Kanawha County
WV State University — Boone County, Clay County, Kanawha County, Mingo County, Putnam County, Roane County
WV Wesleyan College — Braxton County, Hampshire County, Harrison County, Lewis County, Mineral County, Pocahontas County, Preston County, Raleigh County, Webster County, Wirt County, Upshur County
West Virginia University — McDowell County, Monongalia County, Pocahontas County, Preston County
West Virginia University – Parkersburg — Pleasants County, Ritchie County, Roane County, Wirt County, Wood County
To submit a program please contact Robert Hagerman email@example.com in the Office of Certification and Professional Preparation.
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.
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 Certification and Professional Preparation
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Building 6, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: 1.800.982.2378 (toll free)
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.
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 Certification and Professional Preparation no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled meeting.
December 6, 2017– Letter of intent to submit program for review due to WVDE
January 6, 2018– Submission of program for review due to WVDE
February 6, 2018—EPPRB Meeting
March or April—If recommended, program presented to the WVBE to be considered for approval
Office of Professional Preparation Updates & Review — March 10, 2015
Office of Educator Effectiveness and Licensure Updates & Review — September 15, 2015
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 Certification and Professional Preparation.
Alternative Certification Program Review Board (ACEPPRB) Timelines:
December 23, 2017– Letter of intent to submit program for review, due to the WVDE. Letters of intent may be submitted via email to Robert Mellace at email@example.com.
January 23, 2018– Submission of program via WVEIS-WOW for review, due to the WVDE. For information about the online portal please contact Robert Mellace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 23, 2018—ACEPPRB Meeting
March or April, 2018—If recommended, program will be presented to the WVBE to be considered for approval.
April 10, 2018– Letter of intent to submit program for review, due to the WVDE. Letters of intent may be submitted via email to Robert Mellace at email@example.com.
May 10, 2018– Submission of program via WVEIS-WOW for review, due to the WVDE. For information about the online portal please contact Robert Mellace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 10-11, 2018 — ACEPPRB Meeting
July or August 2018 – If recommended, program will be presented to the WVBE to be considered for approval.