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:

Approved Programs Sorted by Endorsement

Approved Programs Sorted by Institution of Higher Education

Alternative Certification Programs (§§18A-3-1a – 18A-3-1i)

What is alternative certification?

Alternative certification 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 alternative certification 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 alternative certification 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

View the Alternative Certification FAQ Document

What are the steps for participation in an alternative certification 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 alternative certification program(s) you would like to pursue.

  • Contact school districts with approved alternative certification 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 Alternative Teaching 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 alternative certification programs until an Alternative Teaching Certificate is issued by the Office of Certification.

  • Begin the alternative certification 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 Alternative Certification Program

Upon completion of a state-approved alternative certification 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.

Clinical Teacher of Record Programs

Clinical Teacher of Record 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. Clinical Teacher of Record programs are provided at the undergraduate level and require the authorization of the WVBE pursuant to W. Va. Code §18A-3-1(e).

How may I begin a Clinical Teacher of Record Program?

To begin a Clinical Teacher of Record program, please review the list of state-approved programs below and contact the institution of higher education for complete details. Requirements for the Clinical Teacher of Record permit may be accessed within WVBE Policy 5100.

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 Clinical Teacher of Record program.

State-Approved 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 County

Concord University — Braxton County, Doddridge County, Fayette County, Greenbrier County, Kanawha County, McDowell County, Mercer County, Monroe County, Raleigh County, Ritchie 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, Morgan 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, Fayette County, Kanawha County, Lincoln County, Mingo County, Putnam County, Roane County

West Virginia University —Barbour County, Boone County, Cabell County, Calhoun County, Doddridge County, Grant County, Hampshire County, Hardy County, Harrison County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Kanawha County, Lincoln County, Marion 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 — Doddridge County, Jackson County, 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

Wheeling University – Ritchie County

To submit a program please contact Jodi Oliveto at joliveto@k12.wv.us in the Office of Educator Development & Support.

Explore the West Virginia Residency Model page for more information.

This model encompasses the entire teacher preparation program, building relationships between the educational preparation provider and residency schools, communities, and districts to culminate in a year-long residency clinical experience. For complete details, please contact Jodi Oliveto at joliveto@k12.wv.us.

State-Approved Coursework for Option 3

On March 10, 2021, Senate Bill 14 was approved by the Governor to be made effective ninety days from passage on May 27, 2021. This legislation created a third option for acquiring a Professional Teaching Certificate in §18A-3-2a. This option includes a requirement that individuals must successfully complete pedagogical training or a pedagogical course or courses in substantive alignment with nationally recognized pedagogical standards, or approved or established by the state board. On May 12, 2021, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) initially designated the West Virginia Pedagogical Standards as set forth in, “Policy 5310, Performance Evaluation of School Personnel, §126-142-13. Teacher Evaluation Standards and Elements” to satisfy this requirement. As the WVBE approves pedagogical standards and recognizes coursework substantially aligned to those standards for the purpose of issuing licensure through Option 3 for acquiring a Professional Teaching Certificate, information will be added to this section of the website. Programs and pedagogical standards are approved through processes described in WVBE Policy 5901. Entities seeking to submit an application to have their course(s) approved by the WVBE for the issuance of licensure through Option 3 may contact Dr. Carla Warren or Mr. Robert Mellace in the Office of Educator Development and Support Services to learn of approval processes at 1-304-558-3119.

WVBE Approved Pedagogical Standards

West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards (WVPTS)

Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards

WVBE Recognized Coursework Providers for Option 3

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence Program (American Board)

Summary: Approved by the WVBE on September 8, 2021, American Board provides a state-approved, online initial teacher certification program for the specific endorsement areas listed below:

Biology 9-Adult, Chemistry 9-Adult, English 5-9, English 5-Adult, Elementary Education K-6, General Science 5-9, General Science 5-Adult, Algebra I 5-Adult, General Math Through Algebra I 5-9, Mathematics 5-Adult, Physics 9-Adult, Social Studies 5-9, Social Studies 5-Adult, Multi-Categorical (E/BD, MI, SLD, excluding Autism) K-6 and Multi-Categorical (E/BD, MI, SLD, excluding Autism) 5-Adult.

The cost to program participants is advertised at a price of $1,900.00. American Board is not nationally accredited or affiliated with an institution of higher education. Therefore, the completion of the program’s courses does not result in college credit. While the program is self-paced, generally candidates complete the program within seven to ten months. The program does not require successful completion of a clinical experience (student teaching). The program provider’s homepage may be accessed at https://www.americanboard.org.

Teach-Now Teacher Preparation Certification Program (Teach-Now) at Moreland University

Summary: Approved by the WVBE on October 13, 2021, Teach-Now provides a state-approved and online initial teacher certification program for the specific endorsement areas listed below:

Chinese 5-Adult, Elementary Education K-6, English 5-9, English 5-Adult, English as a Second Language PreK-Adult, General Science 5-9, General Science 5-Adult, Japanese 5-Adult, Mathematics (Comprehensive) 5-Adult, Social Studies 5-Adult, Spanish 5-Adult, Multi-Categorical (E/BD, MI, SLD, excluding Autism) K-6 and Multi-Categorical (E/BD, MI, SLD, excluding Autism) 5-Adult.

The cost to program participants is advertised at a price of $6,000.00 with an additional $200.00 non-refundable registration fee. Moreland University is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation), and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Therefore, the completion of the program’s courses may result in college credit. The program requires successful completion of a clinical experience (student teaching) and does not guarantee a clinical placement for every candidate as the program participant is responsible for finding a school that will accept their placement. Individuals participating in the clinical experience must be appropriately licensed by WVDE Certification Services and a memorandum of understanding between the county and Teach-Now must be approved prior to the clinical experience occurring. An approved documented agreement between Teach-Now and the school of placement is also required. The university offers opportunities to acquire a master’s degree in education through additional cost and efforts of the participant. Generally, candidates complete the program within nine to twelve months. The program provider’s homepage may be accessed at https://moreland.edu/teacher-certification.

Individuals who successfully complete programs consisting of state-approved coursework for Option 3 must receive the provider’s official recommendation(s), possess the minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a 2.5 overall cumulative grade point average, meet testing requirements identified in the most current West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory and meet general requirements including qualifying outcomes on background checks. Individuals must apply for licensure through the Certification Services website.

Disclaimers: Licensure issued by the Office of Certification requires applicants to complete State and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background checks. This summary information does not supersede WVBE policy or State Code requirements. Complete licensure requirements are subject to change and as identified in WVBE Policy 5202 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/ and the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory. The WVDE is not affiliated with any of the program providers listed above and is not responsible for participant experiences or outcomes associated with participation in these programs.

WVDE Alternative Certification Programs (§18A-3-1j)

The WVBE has established and adopted the following WVDE Alternative Certification programs pursuant to §18A-3-1j:

Southern Regional Education Board Alternative Certification Program

A pilot program that provides math and science coursework aligned to WVBE approved pedagogical standards, the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards, at a reduced cost as part of a two-year cohort. The program prepares individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and minimum 2.5 GPA to successfully meet WVBE testing requirements as described in the WV Licensure Testing Directory for basic skills and eligible content area(s). Individuals who are certified and wish to expand their certifications to include math or sciences may also participate. Teachers participating in the pilot are available for interviews/surveys/focus group discussions regarding the different elements of the professional learning, with each activity focused on improving the quality of materials/services. These individuals will be subject to meeting additional requirements upon program completion, including qualifying outcomes on criminal history checks when they apply for a Professional Teaching Certificate.

WVDE Alternative Certification Program

A program provided by the WVDE, consisting of career counseling, guidance in meeting the minimum requirements of licensure and approved coursework offered by West Virginia Institutions of Higher Education (WV IHEs). WV IHEs submit unique applications to the WVDE for approval of their coursework option(s) to be included in the WVDE Alternative Certification Program. To be approved, the coursework must substantially align to WVBE approved pedagogical standards (the West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards). As a result of successfully completing coursework options, program participants work to meet additional requirements which include, but may not be limited to, general requirements (with background checks), testing as described in the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory, and an approved rating on a Comprehensive Evaluation Report to apply for initial teacher certification.

The minimum qualifications for enrollment into the WVDE Alternative Certification Program includes, but may not be limited to, possessing a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a 2.5 overall cumulative grade point average (GPA), meeting all WVBE testing requirements as described in the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory for basic skills and eligible content area proficiency, and qualifying outcomes on criminal history checks.

Summary of Steps for Participation in the WVDE Alternative Certification Program:

Step 1: Degree, GPA and Background

Acquire official transcripts verifying the minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution of higher education and a 2.5 overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) for submission when applying to enroll. Individuals must be able to receive qualifying outcomes on background checks from the Office of Certification.

Step 2: Testing

Meet testing qualifications of the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory for basic skills and the endorsement you are seeking for submission when applying to enroll. Be sure to check the list of test exemptions (ex. Bachelor’s Degree with a 3.0 GPA, ACT or SAT scores for basic skills).

The WVDE Alternative Certification Program is approved for endorsements as described in the most current West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory, which currently includes the following list of eligible endorsements:

Effective as of September 8, 2021 – American Sign Language PreK-Adult, Algebra I 5-Adult, Art (PreK-Adult, 5-9 or 5-Adult), Biology 9-Adult, Business Education (5-Adult or 9-Adult), Business Education/Marketing (5-Adult or 9-Adult), Chemistry 9-Adult, Chemistry/Physics 9-Adult, Chinese (PreK- Adult or 5-Adult), Earth & Space Science 5-Adult, Early Childhood Education K-4, Early Education PreK- K, Elementary Education K-6, English (5-9 or 5-Adult), English as a Second Language PreK-Adult, Family and Consumer Science 5-Adult, French (PreK-Adult or 5-Adult), General Math Through Algebra I 5-9, General Science (5-9 or 5-Adult), Geometry 5-Adult, German (PreK-Adult or 5-Adult), Health (PreK-Adult or Health 5-Adult), Japanese (PreK-Adult or 5-Adult), Latin (5-Adult or 9-Adult), Marketing 9-Adult, Mathematics 5-Adult, Music PreK-Adult, Oral Communications (5-Adult or 9-Adult), Physical Education (PreK-Adult, 5-9 or 5-Adult), Physics 9-Adult, School-Library Media PreK- Adult, Social Studies (5-9 or 5-Adult), Spanish (PreK-Adult or 5-Adult), Technology Education 5-Adult, Wellness PreK-Adult, Emotional/Behavior Disorders (excluding Autism) (K-6 or 5-Adult), Deaf and Hard of Hearing PreK-Adult, Gifted 1-12, Intellectual Disabilities (K-6 or 5-Adult), Multi-Categorical (E/BD, MI, SLD, excluding Autism) (K-6 or 5-Adult), Preschool Special Needs PreK-K, Severe Disabilities K-Adult, Specific Learning Disabilities (K-6 or 5-Adult), and Visual Impairment PreK-Adult.

Notes: The endorsements of Biology 9-Adult, Chemistry 9-Adult, Chemistry/Physics 9-Adult, Earth & Space Science 5-Adult, General Science (5-9 or 5-Adult), Physics 9-Adult may require additional lab-based training(s) prior to being officially recommended for licensure. For complete details about additional endorsement-specific required trainings, please Mr. Robert Mellace at rmellace@k12.wv.us or 304-558-3119.

Step 3: WVDE-Approved Coursework Options

As coursework options are approved by the WVDE, information will be provided on this page for this step.

The enrollment process for approved coursework options is planned to begin during October of 2021 and will be described in this location. Please do not contact coursework providers until the enrollment process is described here. When applying for enrollment, individuals who wish to participate in the WVDE Alternative Certification Program must select one of the following WVDE-approved coursework options, which may include supplementary requirements for participation and/or successful completion –

Option 1: West Virginia University (WVU) Coursework

Summary – Approved by the WVDE on September 8, 2021, WVU provides state-approved online initial teacher certification coursework aligned to a semester-based schedule. The cost to program participants will be identified on WVU’s website as enrollment information is provided in this section. Generally, candidates complete the program within 16 weeks, but the maximum amount of time allowed is one year. Program participants must successfully complete both C&I 602 and C&I 688, providing qualifying documentation with eligible grades to the WVDE.

Step 4

Upon completion of a WVDE-approved coursework option, program participants will be provided guidance on meeting any remaining requirements for licensure, including an approved rating on a Comprehensive Evaluation Report. Participants who meet all remaining requirements may receive an official recommendation for teacher certification certification.

Disclaimers: Licensure issued by the Office of Certification requires applicants to complete State and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background checks. This summary information does not supersede WVBE policy or State Code requirements. Complete licensure requirements are subject to change and are identified in WVBE Policy 5202 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/ and the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory. Individuals who are enrolling in, participating in or completing WVDE Alternative Certification Programs may become eligible to apply for licensure only as described in WVBE Policy 5202 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/ and the West Virginia Licensure Testing Directory. The WVDE is not responsible for participant experiences and outcomes associated with participation in WVDE-approved coursework options, but will recognize successful the completion of identified coursework options at WV IHEs for the purpose of meeting coursework requirements of the program for initial teacher certification. WV IHEs which would like to submit an application for approval of their coursework to be included in the WVDE Alternative Certification Program should contact Dr. Carla Warren at carla.warren@k12.wv.us or 1-304-558-3119.