Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

Action:
Amend to Comply with House Bill 261 (2016) (National Guard)
Stage: Fast-Track
8VAC20-22-90

8VAC20-22-90. Alternate routes to licensure.

A. Career switcher alternate route to licensure for career professions. An alternate route is available to career switchers who seek teaching endorsements preK through grade 12 with the exception of special education.

1. An individual seeking a Provisional License through the career switcher program must meet the following prerequisite requirements:

a. An application process;

b. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university;

c. The completion of requirements for an endorsement in a teaching area or the equivalent through verifiable experience or academic study;

d. At least five years of full-time work experience or its equivalent; and

e. Virginia qualifying scores on the professional teacher's assessments as prescribed by the Board of Education.

2. The Provisional License is awarded at the end of Level I preparation. All components of the career switcher alternate route for career professions must be completed by the candidate.

3. The Level I requirements must be completed during the course of a single year and may be offered through a variety of delivery systems, including distance learning programs. If an employing agency recommends extending the Provisional License for a second year, the candidate will enter Level III of the program. Career switcher programs must be certified by the Virginia Department of Education.

a. Level I preparation. Intensive Level I preparation includes a minimum of 180 clock hours of instruction, including field experience. This phase includes, but is not limited to, curriculum and instruction, including technology, reading, and other specific course content relating to the Standards of Learning, differentiation of instruction, classroom/behavior classroom and behavior management, instructional design based on assessment data, and human growth and development.

b. Level II preparation during first year of employment.

(1) Candidate seeks employment in Virginia with the one-year Provisional License.

(2) Continued Level II preparation during the first year of employment with a minimum of five seminars that expand the intensive preparation requirements listed in subdivision 3 a of this subsection. The five seminars will include a minimum of 20 cumulative instructional hours. A variety of instructional delivery techniques will be utilized to implement the seminars.

(3) One year of successful, full-time teaching experience in a Virginia public or accredited nonpublic school under a one-year Provisional License. A trained mentor must be assigned to assist the candidate during the first year of employment. Responsibilities of the mentor include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Collaborate with the beginning teacher in the development and implementation of an individualized professional development plan;

(b) Observe, assess, coach, and provide opportunities for constructive feedback, including strategies for self-reflection;

(c) Share resources and materials;

(d) Share best instructional, assessment, and organizational practices; classroom and behavior management strategies; and techniques for promoting effective communication; and

(e) Provide general support and direction regarding school policies and procedures.

(4) Upon completion of Levels I and II of the career switcher alternate route to licensure program and submission of a recommendation from the Virginia educational employing agency, the candidate will be eligible to apply for a five-year, renewable license. Renewal requirements for the regular license will be subject to current regulations of the Board of Education.

c. Level III preparation, if required.

(1) Post preparation, if required, will be conducted by the Virginia employing educational agency to address the areas where improvement is needed as identified in the candidate's professional improvement plan; and

(2) Upon completion of Levels I, II, and III of the career switcher alternate route to licensure program and submission of a recommendation from the Virginia educational employing agency, the candidate will be eligible to receive a five-year renewable license.

4. Verification of program completion will be documented by the certified program provider and the division superintendent or designee.

5. Certified providers implementing a career switcher program may charge a fee for participation in the program.

B. An alternate route is available to individuals employed by an educational agency who seek teaching endorsements preK through grade 12. Individuals must complete the requirements for the regular, five-year license within the validity period of the provisional license.

1. An individual seeking a license through this alternate route must have met the following requirements:

a. Are Is entering the teaching field through the alternate route to licensure upon the recommendation of the Virginia employing educational agency;

b. Hold Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with the exception of individuals seeking the Technical Professional License;

c. Have Has met requirements for the endorsement area; and

d. Need Needs to complete an allowable portion of professional studies and licensure requirements.

2. The professional studies requirements for the appropriate level of endorsement sought must be completed. A Virginia educational agency may submit to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval an alternate program to meet the professional studies requirements. The alternate program must include training (seminar, internship, coursework, etc.) in human growth and development, curriculum and instructional procedures (including technology), instructional design based on assessment data, classroom and behavior management, foundations of education and reading.

3. One year of successful, full-time teaching experience in the appropriate teaching area in a Virginia public or accredited nonpublic school must be completed. A fully licensed experienced teacher must be available in the school building to assist the beginning teacher employed through the alternate route.

C. Alternate route in special education. The Provisional License is a three-year nonrenewable teaching license issued to an individual employed as a special education teacher in a public school or a nonpublic special education school in Virginia who does not hold the appropriate special education endorsement. To be issued the Provisional License through this alternate route, an individual must:

1. Be employed by a Virginia public or nonpublic school as a special educator and have the recommendation of the employing educational agency;

2. Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university;

3. Have an assigned mentor endorsed in special education; and

4. Have a planned program of study in the assigned endorsement area, make progress toward meeting the endorsement requirements each of the three years of the license, and have completed coursework in the competencies of foundations for educating students with disabilities and an understanding and application of the legal aspects and regulatory requirements associated with identification, education, and evaluation of students with disabilities. A survey course integrating these competencies would satisfy this requirement. The Provisional License through this alternate route shall not be issued without the completion of these prerequisites.

D. Alternate programs at institutions of higher education or Virginia school divisions. Alternate programs developed by institutions of higher education (i) recognize the unique strengths of prospective teachers from nontraditional backgrounds and (ii) prepare these individuals to meet the same standards that are established for others who are granted a license through an alternate route.

E. Experiential learning. Individuals applying for an initial license through the alternate route as prescribed by the Board of Education must meet the following criteria to be eligible to request experiential learning credits in lieu of the coursework for the endorsement (teaching) content area:

1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university;

2. Have at least five years of documented full-time work experience that may include specialized training related to the endorsement sought; and

3. Have met the qualifying score on the content knowledge assessment prescribed by the Board of Education.

The criteria do not apply to teachers of special education and elementary education (preK-3 and preK-6).

F. An alternate route is available to former members of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Virginia National Guard who have received an honorable discharge and who are seeking a Provisional (Veteran) License. Individuals must complete the requirements for the five-year renewable license within the validity period of the Provisional (Veteran) License.

An individual seeking a Provisional License through the veteran alternate route must meet the following requirements:

1. Is entering the teaching field through the alternate route to licensure upon the recommendation of the Virginia employing educational agency. If the veteran is not employed, a statement of the individual's eligibility for a Provisional (Veteran) License will be provided;

2. Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with the exception of individuals seeking the Technical Professional License; and

3. Has met the appropriate level of experience or training required for the teaching endorsement area. The veteran may meet the endorsement requirements by passing a rigorous academic subject test prescribed by the Board of Education, if applicable. This testing option does not apply to individuals who are seeking an early/primary preK-3 or elementary education preK-6 endorsement or who are seeking a technical Professional License, Vocational Evaluator License, Pupil Personnel Services License, School Manager License, or Division Superintendent License.

G. Every teacher seeking an initial license in the Commonwealth with an endorsement in the area of career and technical education shall have an industry certification credential in the area in which the teacher seeks endorsement. If a teacher seeking an initial license in the Commonwealth has not attained an industry certification credential in the area in which the teacher seeks endorsement, the board may, upon request of the employing school division or educational agency, issue the teacher a Provisional License to allow time for the teacher to attain such credential.