Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Teacher

What are the requirements for licensure in Virginia?

Applicants for licensure must:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Have earned a bachelor's degree (with the exception of Technical Professional Licensure which requires two years of documented occupational work experience).
  • Possess Good Moral Character as outlined in the Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel).
  • Must be found eligible for at least a provisional license offered by the VDOE.
I want to become a Teacher, what should I do now?
A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institute is required to become a teacher. It is recommended that anyone who wants to become a teacher enroll in a Virginia Approved Teacher Licensure Program, Career Switcher Program or a Teacher Education Specialization Degree Program now offered through many community colleges. EducateVA is a fast track for career switchers to obtain initial licensure in middle school and high school positions in the areas of Math, Science, English, Foreign Language and ESOL. More information can be found on the colleges and programs website.
If I have completed an approved Teacher Education Program in Virginia, what documents do I need to provide to Prince William County Schools (PWCS)?
It is recommended that you include in your teaching application process for PWCS, a copy of your transcripts reflecting your student teaching and also provide a College Verification Form completed by your college indicating that you "successfully" completed the approved licensure program.
If I have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institute but have not completed an approved licensure program or career switcher program, can I become a teacher?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to match up course work outside of a teaching education program with college transcript course work to meet the Virginia licensure requirements; however, if you have a degree major in some areas of endorsement offered by Virginia, you may be eligible for the provisional route to licensure in Virginia:

  1. Determine the endorsement (subject area) you are interested in teaching.
  2. Evaluate your transcripts to determine provisional license eligibility. See Endorsement Requirements by Subject Area to perform a self analysis of your transcripts.
  3. Consult with college advisors on Approved Licensure Programs or Career Switcher Programs if you are not eligible for provisional licensure.
  4. If you determine you are eligible for at least the provisional route to licensure, complete Teaching Application Process to be hired as a contracted teacher with PWCS. Be sure to submit supporting documentation of licensure eligibility with your teaching application process (transcripts conferring at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institute and reflecting all course work you have completed.)
  5. You must apply for each vacancy posted to be considered for each vacant position.
  6. Once you are hired with PWCS as a contracted teacher, all licensure processes will be handled through the PWCS, Office of Certification. (In the state of Virginia, you must be hired as a contracted teacher to be eligible for a provisional license, you may not apply for licensure on your own.) Provisional licensure is a post employment process after an offer of employment has been made.
  7. Although it is not required prior to hire, you are highly encouraged to complete any assessments associated for each endorsement area sought:
    • Praxis II
    • Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)
    • Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE)

Use the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) approved assessment (Word) listing.

I am not sure if some of my course work will be accepted by the VDOE to meet licensure requirements, can someone evaluate my transcripts for me?
PWCS is not a licensing agency and cannot provide transcript evaluations to applicants. If you did not complete an approved licensure program, it is recommended that you take your transcripts to a college offering an approved licensure program and speak with an advisor to determine what additional courses you will need to complete an approved licensure program. Completing an approved licensure program will be accepted by the VDOE to meet licensure requirements and will sometimes result in less coursework since most programs combine multiple requirements into one course.
Do I qualify for a professional license if I hold a valid out-of-state teaching license or have completed an approved teaching program from a regionally accredited college or university?

If you are coming to Virginia from another state, your may qualify for a Virginia teaching license with comparable endorsement (subject) areas if you meet at least one of the following options:

  1. Completed a state-approved teacher licensure program from a regionally accredited University or college. You should include a College Verification Form (CVF) completed by your college indicating that you "successfully" completed the program with your online teaching application process with PWCS.
  2. Currently hold a fully certified, valid out-of-state teaching license with an endorsement comparable to an endorsement offered by Virginia in the area being hired. You should include a copy of your out-of-state teaching license with your PWCS online teaching application process. Additionally, if your out-of-state license is not "comparable" to a standard endorsement offered by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), you are encouraged to apply on your own to the VDOE for an official review of your licensure status in Virginia. The results of the official review performed by the VDOE should be included in your teaching application process with PWCS.
I am interested in becoming a guidance counselor, a school social worker, or a school psychologist, what are the requirements for licensure?
You will need a pupil personnel services license. The license required is a renewable license available to those who have earned an appropriate graduate degree from an accredited college or university in the endorsement (subject) area that you wish to be hired. The pupil personnel services license does not require teaching experience or assessment exams.
I am changing careers and have a bachelor's degree, can I teach?

It depends on your degree major and the endorsement (subject) area you are interested in teaching. If you are interested in the alternative route to licensure you will have to meet the total number of credit hours in a specific endorsement (subject) area. (You will also have to satisfy all of the professional studies and assessment requirements in Virginia to obtain full licensure). You can compare your transcripts to the endorsement requirements by subject area. If your degree major does not match up to an endorsement area where a degree major is accepted for licensure, it is recommended that you enroll in a Virginia Approved Teacher Licensure Program, Career Switcher Program or a Teacher Education Specialization Degree Program now offered through many community colleges.

EducateVA is a fast track for career switchers to obtain initial licensure in middle school and high school positions in the areas of math, science, English, foreign language, and ESOL.

How can I meet licensure requirements if I do not meet the total number of credit hours in a specific endorsement (subject) area?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to match up course work outside of a teaching education program with college transcript course work to meet the Virginia licensure requirements. It is recommended that you contact a college offering an approved Teacher Education Program or a Career Switcher Program.

Completing an approved licensure program will be accepted by the VDOE to meet licensure requirements and will sometimes result in less coursework since most programs combine multiple requirements into individual courses.

What can I do to get started if I do not have a bachelor's degree?
You can contact any of the local accredited four year universities offering Approved Teacher Education Programs or you can contact Community Colleges offering Teacher Education Specialization degree programs that will transfer to a four year college or university approved teacher education program.
Do I have to be eligible for full certification to be hired?
No; however, you must be able to provide documentation of provisional license eligibility.
What are the minimum requirements to be hired as a special education teacher?

The minimum requirements for provisional licensure in special education are:

  1. You must have at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institute.
  2. Complete a course that covers the characteristics and legal aspects of special education (this course is sometimes referred to as Intro to Special Education, Orientation to the Exceptional Child or The Exceptional Student). If you have not met this requirement, refer to the approved list of courses.
  3. You also must have a planned outline of study and show progress each year of completing the additional (24 to 42) credit hours of special education content course requirements for the special education endorsement area sought in order to maintain the provisional license.
Do I have to complete the assessments (Praxis II, Virginia Communications and Literacy, Reading for Virginia Educators) before becoming a teacher?
Assessment requirements vary depending on the endorsement (subject) area sought. It is not required that you complete assessments before being hired; however, it is highly recommended that those seeking an Elementary endorsement complete the Praxis II Elementary Education Content Knowledge.Please see this VDOE document on professional assessment and exemption criteria (Word) for more information.
If I hold an expired Virginia Teacher License, am I eligible for hire?

If you hold a fully certified, renewable license issued by the VDOE and you have been out of the teaching arena or teaching outside of Virginia for a period of time, you are eligible to be hired by PWCS. Upon hire, a one year extension to the license will be requested and you will need to earn the required 180 points by June 1 of the school year in which you are hired. If you do not hold a masters degree, at least 90 points must be earned with content knowledge college credit. It is recommended that you enroll in two courses to meet the required 180 points in a timely manner. Many online courses offered through accredited colleges meet the domains of professional competency in education and can be completed relatively quickly.

You must be hired in a contracted teaching position to be eligible for provisional licensing.