Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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9/21/15  4:20 pm
Commenter: Jim Batterson, Former Sr. Advisor to the Commonwealth for STEM Initiatives

Engineering Endorsement 8VAC20-23-330

I am Jim Batterson.  I have a current Post Graduate Professional Virginia Teaching License with endorsements in physics and mathematics.  I have taught high school physics and mathematics, served as chairman of the Newport News City School Board and of the New Horizons Governors School in Science & Technology Board.  I retired from a 30-year career as a flight control engineer with NASA in 2008 and have served as the Senior Advisor to the Commonwealth for STEM Initiatives in 2008.  In 2007-2008, I served as industry representative to Virginia’s American Diploma Project Math team and led three panels of subject matter experts and K12 teachers in a gap analysis of Virginia’s SOL/program content in high school physics, chemistry, and engineering.  As a result of the engineering gap analysis, it was discovered that Virginia, like almost all other states, treats engineering as a CTE discipline, and, having no endorsement in engineering, requires our high school engineering teachers to be endorsed in technology education.  Our panel found this to be inappropriate, as engineering requires significantly more science and mathematics background than technology education majors generally receive.  Moreover, because there is no engineering endorsement, an engineering major cannot obtain a provisional teaching license directly out of college, as can majors in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and other sciences for which Virginia has endorsements.  Foe example, if an MIT chemical engineering major wants to teach engineering in a Virginia high school, she must first take an additional twelve hours of technology education courses in order to receive a provisional license in technology education.  If we had an engineering endorsement, she could immediately qualify to teach engineering, and, with the deep chemistry coursework required for her degree, likely qualify via Praxis 2 to teach chemistry also.  Thus, because proposed endorsement 8VAC20-23-330 will both guarantee a stronger engineering background for our high school engineering teachers AND remove barriers to bringing fresh-out college graduates with engineering degrees into the teaching profession, I strongly support the creation of this engineering endorsement.

That said, I believe that as the endorsement was passed on June 27, 2013 by the VBOE, it offered the listed five pathways as five alternative paths to the endorsement and thus there should be an “or” between each of the five listed pathways. Thank you for this opportunity to comment