Bring Your Talents to Become an Educator in West Virginia

West Virginia is known for its majestic landscapes, fantastic outdoor activities, and compelling business opportunities. If you are looking to pursue a career that allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of children and the community, look no further. West Virginia educators are well equipped to nurture and shape the minds of tomorrow as they ensure the success of all students.

To find out about the amazing moments happening in schools throughout West Virginia, please visit the, “LoveMyWVSchool” website.

If you believe that you may have what it takes to lead children as they work to become champions of an exciting and technologically advanced era, please review the sections below and find out how you may teach in West Virginia!

Career Pathways Leading to a Professional Teaching Certificate

Please review the following summary information and WVBE Policies (ex. 5100, 5901 and 5202) for complete details. To speak with one of our coordinators and receive counseling on licensure pathways and careers in education, please call 1-304-558-3119.

Traditional Educator Preparation Program Pathways

West Virginia is home to a wide variety of colleges and universities which provide outstanding traditional programs for beginning educators. These programs ensure that our teachers are ready to provide students with a world-class education. To get started, visit the preparation section of our website to review a list of state-approved traditional program providers. Contact an approved provider to inquire about their programs which lead to licensure. Participants in state-approved teacher preparation programs must successfully complete required coursework, exams, and a student teaching experience to qualify for a Professional Teaching Certificate.

Licensure for Critical Need and Shortage Areas

In school districts where a shortage of applicants exists for specific vacancies, there may be opportunities for individuals who do not hold a Professional Teaching Certificate to fill areas of critical need. These individuals work to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program while they are employed in the classroom. Individuals who are interested should contact local school districts to inquire about their areas of critical need for teachers.

Please, review the following preparation pathway summaries for acquiring a license to teach in an area of critical need and shortage on a certificate or permit while enrolled in a traditional or alternative program.

When you are ready to apply for licensure of the preparation pathways below, please visit the Application Forms Page.

Office of Certification – Application Forms Website

Traditional Programs

The school district must have a qualifying vacancy and make an offer of employment.

Candidate eligibility criteria includes:

  • Enrolled in a traditional WVBE-approved educator preparation program with 25% or six semester hours (whichever is greater) completed
  • General requirements (ex. Good character, age 18, etc.)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Requires an official recommendation from the approved educator preparation program.

Individuals on this permit must annually complete renewal criteria including 6 qualifying semester hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The school district must have a WVBE-approved Teacher-in-Residence agreement and a qualifying vacancy.

These individuals receive a stipend while teaching.

Candidate eligibility criteria includes:

  • Enrolled and near completion of a traditional WVBE-approved educator preparation program leading to licensure
  • General requirements (ex. Good character, age 18, etc.)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Pass basic skills and content specific Praxis exams

Requires an official recommendation from the approved Teacher-in-Residence program.

Non-Traditional Programs

The school district must provide a WVBE-approved alternative certification (AC) program, have a qualifying vacancy and make an offer of employment.

Candidate eligibility criteria includes:

  • General requirements (ex. Good character, age 18, etc.)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Pass basic skills Praxis exams

Additional criteria for general education endorsements includes:

  • An academic degree major OR occupational qualifications, related to the vacancy’s required endorsement(s)
  • Pass content specific Praxis exams

Only those acquiring an Alternative Teaching Certificate may enroll into an AC program. Upon program completion, these individuals must meet requirements for the Provisional Teaching Certificate before advancing to a Professional Teaching Certificate.

Short-Term Substitute Teaching Permit

Contact school districts to inquire about substitute teaching employment opportunities and review the state-minimum eligibility criteria for the Short-Term Substitute Teaching Permit which includes the following:

The school district has substitute teaching vacancies not filled by individuals who hold a Professional Teaching Certificate.

  • Age 18; good character; physically, mentally, and emotionally qualified
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Candidates must complete initial substitute teacher training OR have successfully completed a clinical experience (student teaching) within one year prior to application.

Please review WVBE Policy 5202 for the requirements of the Long-Term Substitute Teaching Permit.

Information about Career Pathways Leading to a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certificate

West Virginia’s state-approved CTE educator preparation program provider is Marshall University. Individuals who would like to acquire a CTE Certificate must have completed the program and meet criteria identified within WVBE Policy 5202 and the CTE Endorsements and Testing Manual.

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 complete initial substitute teacher training.

Note: 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 may be identified in WVBE policy 5202 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.

Information updated on April 1, 2020.

Completing an Out-of-State Program to Acquire a Teaching Certificate in West Virginia

If you decide to pursue teacher certification pathways using programs from another state and would like to acquire a Professional Teaching Certificate in West Virginia, you will need to meet requirements which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The college or university must be regionally accredited
  • The teacher preparation program must be approved by the state department of education for equivalent licensure in the state where the institution of higher education resides
  • The teacher preparation program must include a student teaching experience or equivalent experience and have been completed successfully
  • You must possess a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for a bachelor’s degree or 3.0 for a master’s degree
  • If you are transferring a Professional Teaching Certificate from another state, the license and endorsement must be valid and equivalent to what is issued by the Office of Certification at the WVDE (ex. transferrable without restrictions, etc.)
  • If you are applying for a Professional Teaching Certificate based upon a qualifying institution of higher education and an approved teacher preparation program’s official recommendation from another state, you must have a qualifying grade point average and pass all WVBE required Praxis exams or qualify for exemption(s) as detailed in the West Virginia licensure testing directory

Individuals who possess an out-of-state professional teaching license that expired within the last 5 years; was valid and renewable or permanent; and equivalent to a Professional Teaching Certificate in WV; may inquire about receiving a Statement of Eligibility from the Office of Certification. The Statement of Eligibility allows individuals 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 Provisional Teaching Certificate. Provisional Teaching Certificates may be converted into Professional Teaching Certificates upon meeting WVBE Policy requirements.

Individuals transferring an out-of-state certificate that is equivalent to a Career and Technical Education Certificate must review WVBE Policy requirements, the West Virginia CTE Endorsements and Testing Manual and application form V7A to review eligibility criteria.

Using Documentation from Outside of the United States to Meet Qualifications

If you would like to apply for licensure in West Virginia and use official transcripts with a valid license which originates from a country outside of the United States, the documents must be evaluated by a foreign education credential service approved by the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Equivalency and eligibility is determined by the Office of Certification after a thorough analysis of a qualifying foreign education credential service’s report and other required documentation (see WVBE Policy 5202 for complete details).

Licensure issued by the Office of Certification requires applicants to complete State and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background checks. The summary information above does not supersede WVBE Policies or WV State Code requirements. WVBE Policies may be accessed at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.

Information updated on April 13, 2020.

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 tmmaynar@k12.wv.us.

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.

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
Coordinator
West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Educator Development & Support
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Building 6, Room 235
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: 1.800.982.2378 (toll free)
Phone: 1.304.558.3119
E-mail: rmellace@k12.wv.us

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:

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 state-approved programs menu item in the Preparation section of this website. To review the complete requirements of licensure within WVBE policies, visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/.

Licensure Testing Directory

To schedule West Virginia Board of Education required testing (ex. basic skills, content specific or principles of learning and teaching), please visit https://www.ets.org/praxis.

Guidance Document for Adding an Endorsement to a Valid West Virginia Professional Teaching Certificate Based upon Content Proficiency

WVBE Policy currently provides an option for individuals who possess a valid West Virginia Professional Teaching Certificate to take required Praxis content exam(s) to add endorsements to their certificate. This option is not available to individuals based upon possessing a Provisional Teaching Certificate, Student Support Certificate, Administrative Certificate or Permits of any kind. Only endorsements identified within this guidance document are eligible to be added using this option.

Guidance Document for Adding and Endorsement using Content Proficiency (Effective October 22, 2019)

Summary of Testing Exemptions (Effective as of April 13, 2020) 

(Review WVBE Policy 5202 and the Licensure Testing Directory for complete details. Summaries do not supersede WVBE Policy criteria.)

Pre-Professional Skills Tests – The requirement for passing WVBE-required tests for pre-professional skills may be exempted, provided the individual meets one of the following criteria:

  • Holds certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS); or
  • Holds or has held a West Virginia Professional Certificate; or
  • Holds a Master’s Degree from an accredited institution of higher education; or
  • Has attained, a composite score of 25 on the American College Test (ACT) (prior to 1989); or
  • Has an ACT enhanced (effective November 1989) combined score in English and Reading of 34 with a minimum score of 17 for each area and a minimum Math score of 21; or
  • Has a 1035 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) (prior to 1995); or
  • Has a 1125 on the re-centered SAT (effective April 1995); or
  • Has a 1170 on the revised SAT using the combined Critical Reading and Math score (effective March 2005); or
  • Has attained a New SAT score of 480 using the combined Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and a score of 530 in Math (effective May 2016); or
  • Has attained from a single administration a combined score of 800 verbal and quantitative (tested prior to November 2011) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); or
  • Has attained from a single administration at least a 286 (November 2011 or after) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); or
  • Satisfies a passing score in basic skills reading, writing and mathematics as required in the state where the preparation program is or was completed; or
  • Holds a valid out-of-state certificate in the content area in which West Virginia certification is available and requested; or
  • Holds an expired out-of-state certificate or equivalent, successfully converted that certificate or equivalent into a West Virginia Statement of Eligibility, sub-sequentially converted that Statement of Eligibility into a West Virginia Provisional Professional Teaching Certificate, and is seeking conversion from a West Virginia Provisional Professional Teaching Certificate to an initial West Virginia Professional Teaching Certificate; or
  • Holds documentation of successfully completing three years of experience within the last seven years in one or a combination of specializations recognized on an out-of-state professional certificate, valid during those three years.

Content Specialization Test(s) – The requirement for passing WVBE-required test(s) for content specializations may be exempted, provided the individual meets one of the following criteria:

  • Holds certification through the NBPTS; or
  • Holds a valid and equivalent out-of-state license in the area in which West Virginia certification is available and requested; or
  • Holds a Doctorate Degree in the content area for which West Virginia licensure is available and requested; or
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in the content area for which West Virginia licensure is available and requested, and five years of directly related work experience in the area; or
  • Holds an expired out-of-state certificate or equivalent, successfully converted that certificate or equivalent into a West Virginia Statement of Eligibility, sub-sequentially converted that Statement of Eligibility into a West Virginia Provisional Professional Teaching Certificate, and is seeking conversion from a West Virginia Provisional Professional Teaching Certificate to an initial West Virginia Professional Teaching Certificate; or
  • Has successfully completed three years of experience within the last seven years in one or a combination of specializations recognized on an out-of-state professional certificate valid during those three years.

Professional Education Test(s) – The requirement for passing WVBE-required test(s) for professional education may be exempted, provided the individual meets one of the following criteria:

  • Holds certification through the NBPTS; or
  • Satisfied a passing score on the appropriate professional education test in the state where the preparation program is or was completed; or
  • Holds a valid out-of-state Professional Certificate; or
  • Holds an expired out-of-state certificate or equivalent and is seeking conversion from a West Virginia Provisional Professional Teaching Certificate to a West Virginia Professional Teaching Certificate for the endorsement (at the appropriate grade levels) being sought; or
  • Has successfully completed three years of experience within the last seven years in one or a combination of specializations recognized on an out-of-state professional certificate valid during those three years; or
  • Provide evidence of successfully completing a valid, reliable, and nationally-normed performance assessment that demonstrates and measures the proficiencies in the professional roles and in the programmatic levels for which individual is being prepared. This assessment must be aligned with relevant national and West Virginia content and professional standards. The score on this assessment must be at a proficiency level within the acceptable range. The acceptable range of this assessment is determined by the program provider for state-approved traditional educator preparation programs (the institution of higher education) or as approved by the WVBE for individuals completing state-approved alternative certification programs.

Note: The Professional Education Test is not required for an educator seeking West Virginia licensure in a student support or administrative specialization.

When you are ready to apply for licensure, please visit the Application Forms website.

Office of Certification Website – Application Forms

Supports for the Retention of Teachers

As you become a professional educator in West Virginia, you may find yourself looking for resources to support students and their families. Within the first three years of teaching, educators can review a variety of useful resources that support building community partnerships, working with parents, and enhancing student success in the Development and Support section of our website.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has the responsibility of providing guidance and communicating the goals of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) in assisting county leaders with providing a system of support for teachers. Each county provides evidence of the support through the West Virginia Support for Improved Professional Practice (WVSIPP) plan included as part of the county’s strategic plan. The WVSIPP plan outlines the county professional development plan and includes the support each county will provide for the induction of beginning teachers, experienced teachers, student teachers, and other staff.

Comprehensive induction programs vary throughout the state. Decades of research has shown that the most effective induction plans include:

  • A new teacher orientation
  • Support provided by a qualified Teacher Mentor
  • Ongoing professional learning opportunities
  • Strong communication and support from the school administrator
  • Support from county instructional leaders
  • An external network of beginning teachers
  • Clear and consistent formative assessment provided to the beginning teacher to improve their practice

Induction programs have a positive impact on teacher retention and student achievement. It is estimated that teacher attrition costs school districts more than $20,000 per teacher, is a factor in low teacher morale, and disrupts student learning. The WVDE recommends that each county includes as many of the above components in their teacher induction program to strive for the retention of new teachers. The WVSIPP plan provides a description of each component included in the county level plan that addresses teacher induction. Some components of the plan may include mentor support, a county orientation, and professional learning opportunities for new teachers. The local district decides what components will best meet their needs for teacher induction.

When quality induction programs are put into practice, research shows that new teachers are twice as likely to remain in the profession and less likely to migrate to another school. The more components included in the teacher induction plan, the more likely teachers will remain in the profession.

Teachers who are more experienced may reach a time when they are exploring new ways to grow in their careers. One way of enhancing skills and advancing salary is to become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. To learn about this process, please review the Teacher Leadership section of our website. To review the WVDE’s model to create coordinated, cohesive professional learning and leadership processes and opportunities for West Virginia counties, access the Professional Learning Reimagined Framework.