Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 542]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 10/31/2015
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10/31/15  3:49 pm
Commenter: Malcolm Lively, Hilve Firek, J. Sullivan, MJ Karlis; Virginia Wesleyan Coll

Competencies for Elementary Education 8VAC20-542-80

Regarding Competencies for Endorsement Areas: Elementary Education

The faculty and staff of the Teacher Education Program are hesitant to support the proposed revisions to 8VAC20-542-80 that require completion of “12-15 semester hours each in English, history and social sciences, mathematics, and science.” This revision essentially requires candidates seeking endorsement in early/primary education preK-3 or elementary education preK-6 to pursue a prescribed 48-60 hour major in addition to college/university general studies program requirements and other graduation requirements, plus the required professional studies coursework.  The hesitancy stems from the fact that it would seem to counter the revisions in 8VAC20-542-20 to support the achievement of requirements for recommendation for a teaching license within a baccalaureate program.  This revision would more or less require potential candidates to decide to be teachers within the first semester of college.  Such requirements would also severely impact the ability of education candidates in undergraduate institutions to pursue study abroad opportunities.  We would be more supportive if the option to complete a lesser number of courses and pass a “rigorous assessment… prescribed by the Board of Education” were made clearer.  Please note that on the whole, we strongly support making sure that potential elementary teachers are knowledgeable across these discipline areas, but the specification of minimum credit hours does not credibly ensure such knowledge.