Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country's overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how Virginia measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).
Everyone remembers a time in their lives where they had an excellent teacher. This teacher was likely compassionate, driven, knowledgeable, topical, engaging, and intelligent.
Coincidentally, all of these attributes are also aspects of the standards set for teachers in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Education is committed to drawing the best teachers in the country to the state, attracting bright and motivated teacher candidates. But one doesn't become a teacher overnight. No, teaching requires years of dedication and study, culminating in a certification process that determines whether or not a teacher is ready to perform to the best of his or her abilities. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in Virginia.
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In Virginia, the Department of Education (DOE) requires all teachers to complete teacher education programs that will help them prepare for lives in education. A teacher education program helps students gain theoretical and practical knowledge for teaching, curriculum design, and classroom management.
According to the DOE, teacher education programs give candidates the skills to examine trends in education, increasing their awareness of different teaching methods and techniques. For a list of all approved teacher education programs, click here.
All teachers in Virginia must hold at least bachelor's degrees, in addition to endorsements in specific subject areas if applicable.
- Early Education PreK-3
- Elementary Education PreK-6
- Middle Education 6-8
- Secondary Education
- Adult Education
- Adult English as a Second Language
- Career and Technical Education – Agricultural Education
- Career and Technical Education – Business and Information Technology
- Career and Technical Education – Family and Consumer Sciences
- Career and Technical Education – Health and Medical Sciences
- Career and Technical Education – Industrial Cooperative Training
- Career and Technical Education – Marketing Education
- Career and Technical Education – Technology Education
- Career and Technical Education – Trade and Industrial Education
- Career and Technical Education – Vocational Special Needs
- Computer Science
- Dance Arts
- Driver Education
- English as a Second Language PreK-12
- Foreign Language PreK-12
- Gifted Education
- Health and Physical Education PreK-12
- History and Social Sciences
- Library Media PreK-12
- Mathematics – Algebra
- Music Education – Instrumental
- Music Education – Vocal/Choral
- Science – Biology
- Science – Chemistry
- Science – Earth Science
- Science – Physics
- Special Education Early Childhood
- Special Education Hearing Impairments
- Special Education – Adapted Curriculum
- Special Education – General Curriculum
- Special Education Visual Impairments
- Speech Communication
- Theatre Arts
- Visual Arts
For more information on all endorsement area requirements, see the DOE's Licensure Regulations for School Personnel.
Additionally, teacher candidates must complete a training module in Child Abuse and Neglect
before earning certification. The training module takes about an hour to complete, and includes educational information on how to report and respond to child abuse.
Teacher candidates are required to pass skills tests before they are considered for approved teacher education programs in Virginia. The PRAXIS I exam dictates whether or not an individual is accepted to a teacher education program, and consists of three sub-tests on pre-professional skills.
The PRAXIS I Pre-Professional Skills Test includes sections on reading, writing, and mathematics, and ensures an individual is prepared to learn in their teacher education program.
In Virginia, candidates must must receive at least a passing score of 178 in Math, 178 in Reading, and 176 in Writing to be considered for candidacy in a teacher education program.
Alternatively, if candidates have received an SAT score of 1100, with at least a score of 530 on verbal and 530 on math, their score may be used as a substitute for the PRAXIS I exam. A composite score of 24 on the ACT, with a math score of 22 and an English Plus Reading score of 46 may also be used.
Before earning licensure, the DOE also requires candidates to pass an academic skills assessment called the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA).
The VCLA consists of a reading and writing assessment, designed to measure a candidate's communication skills. Candidates must earn scores of at least 235 on both the reading and writing sections for consideration in teacher licensure.
Additionally, teachers seeking certification in Early Education, Elementary Education, Special Education (general curriculum), Special Education (hearing impairments), and Special Education (Visual Impairments) must pass a reading assessment.
The “Reading for Virginia Educators: Elementary and Special Education Teachers” assessment determines if entry-level teachers are prepared to teach reading skills to younger students. Teachers must earn a score of at least 157 to pass the exam. More information on the exam may be found here.
Teachers seeking specific endorsement areas during licensure must also complete PRAXIS II Specialty Tests (http://www.ets.org/praxis/about/praxisii ). More specific information minimum requirements, scores, and areas that require the PRAXIS II may be found on the DOE website.
Teacher candidates in Virginia must complete student teaching and experience hours before applying for certification. The length of student teaching varies depending on the program a candidate is enrolled in.
Student teaching gives teacher candidates a solid foundation in classroom management and teaching, allowing them to apply the techniques they've learned in their teacher education programs. Typically, students are paired with mentors who help guide them through their initial teaching experiences.
Document and Application Requirements
After completion of all education, testing, and experience requirements, candidates are ready to begin the teacher licensure application process.
The Virginia DOE requires all candidates to complete a certification application packet found here. Applicants should complete all pertinent sections, including their general contact information, educational history, experience, and endorsement areas.
Additionally, candidates must include a non-refundable application fee for processing when turning in their applications. For in-state candidates, the fee is $50, while out-of-state candidates must pay $75. Candidates may attach a certified check, cashiers check, money order, or personal check addressed to the Treasurer of Virginia.
After their application packets are completed, candidates may send the packet to the Virginia DOE at:Virginia Department of Education
Division of Teacher Education and Licensure
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120
Criminal History Background Check
Virginia does not require teacher candidates submit to fingerprinting or background checks. However, specific schools often require teachers to undergo backgrounds and fingerprinting while they are considered for employment.
For more information on teacher certification in Virginia, visit the DOE's licensure page or contact the DOE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates who wish to speak to a licensure specialist in person may visit the office at:Division of Teacher Education and Licensure
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120
State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.