Responds to teaching shortage with range of programs
maps alternative routes to teaching licensure for adults
By Ida Lee Wootten
University has created new options for adults to help meet the
critical need for public school teachers and administrators.
Officials in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies,
in cooperation with the Curry School of Education and the Virginia
School-University Partnership, have developed a series of courses
that can lead to teacher licensure.
Designed for adults with undergraduate degrees who are interested
in becoming teachers, the series provides the 15 credits of course
work individuals need to obtain alternative licensure from the
state. Courses are scheduled in the evenings and weekends to accommodate
schedules of those who work.
The Curry School surveyed its 2000
graduates. Some of the more interesting results:
82 percent of surveyed planned to teach this year
Of those teaching, 54 percent planned to teach in Virginia
In-state, Northern Virginia and the Charlottesville-Albemarle
areas were the most popular preferences for employment location
Out of state, the most popular destinations were the Northeast
Top factors in accepting a job offer
2. Type of school
3. Specific position description
4. Type of community
6. Proximity to family
7. Singles life in the areaš
Most desirable factors in a teaching position
Positive school environment, including mentoring, supportive
colleagues and professional opportunities
2. Administrative support, including professional development,
resources and some autonomy in curriculum development
3. Specific understanding of the position matching what
they believe would be the most effective situation for their
skills and philosophy
4. A community interested in, and supportive of, education
course series meets the state's professional studies requirements
for alternative licensure in secondary grades six to 12, adult
education and some specific fields, including art, music and foreign
languages. Applicants must also have completed an undergraduate
major that meets content requirements for the proposed licensure
unusual component of the program, called "Alternate Route
to Teacher Licensure," is that superintendents in the Virginia
School-University Partnership have agreed to give each person
who completes the series at least one employment-screening interview.
The partnership is a consortium of 20 Central Virginia school
divisions and U.Va.
they complete the sequence, course registrants will submit a resume
and cover letter to J. Andrew Stamp, executive director of the
partnership, indicating which grades and subjects they hope to
teach. Stamp will forward letters to all consortium superintendents.
'Alternative Route to Licensure' addresses the urgent need of
finding and certifying good teacher candidates for vacancies in
our school divisions," Stamp said.
"This marks the first time a course sequence leading to teacher
licensure has been offered at the School of Continuing and Professional
Studies regional centers throughout the state," said Nancy
Iverson, director of the SCPS Center for State and National Programs
for Educators in Lynchburg.
can enroll in courses through SCPS centers in Charlottesville,
Abingdon, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Richmond, Hampton Roads and Northern
Virginia. Courses are also offered through the Southwest Virginia
Higher Education Center, a joint enterprise of U.Va., U.Va.'s
College at Wise, Radford University, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion
University and Emory and Henry College.
To facilitate the process of gaining alternative licensure, adults
do not have to apply formally to U.Va. Instead, they simply enroll
in the U.Va. courses. After completing the required credit hours
and passing the Virginia licensure exams, they can apply for alternative
licensure from the state.
of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS)
undergraduates completing individualized BA degree with a
concentration in an academic area of study related to the
courses across disciplines
in education based on the state's alternative licensure guidelines
Licensure & endorsement
switchers seeking licensure/endorsement in secondary education
credits of course work
School division employment in lieu of student teaching
Curry School mentoring during first year of employment
& endorsement in a secondary field
Education Non-Degree Licensure
switchers seeking licensure/endorsement in special education
on learning disabilities with emphasis in reading
24-30 credit hours
& endorsement in LD
are finding that the alternative-licensure course sequence appeals
to those in private schools as well as preschool teachers, school
volunteers and substitute teachers," said Roseann Parks,
director of the SCPS center in Charlottesville.
also offers a non-degree licensure course sequence
in Northern Virginia and Roanoke that leads to endorsement in
special education. Designed for working adults who want a career
change, the courses focus on how to teach individuals with learning
disabilities. Students need to complete between 24 and 30 hours
of course credit to gain state licensure and endorsement in learning
Degree Program for Adults
who have not yet completed college degrees but who want to become
teachers can pursue an option through U.Va.'s Bachelor of Interdisciplinary
Studies program. While taking courses to complete a bacheloršs
degree, they can choose a concentration in an area related to
a desired teaching endorsement.
for those who are at least six years past high school graduation
and have earned at least 60 college credits that are transferable
to U.Va., the BIS program allows students the option of developing
individualized plans of study. Working with their adviser, students
develop a plan of study that includes core courses across the
disciplines and five or six education courses that satisfy the
state Department of Education alternative-licensure guidelines.
program is ideal for teacher's aides who want to become teachers,"
said BIS director Donna Plasket.
will earn a BIS degree and can gain licensure and endorsement.
Degree Program for Adults
Virginia school districts are also experiencing a shortage of
qualified candidates for top leadership positions, such as superintendents
and principals, the Curry School and SCPS have started off-Grounds
programs for working adults to earn doctorates in education. Programs
are offered through the SCPS regional centers to groups of adults
wishing to secure advanced degrees. To date approximately 50 adults
are pursuing doctorates in Lynchburg and Hanover County.
produce more teachers, Curry School ups enrollment and adds options
this academic year, the Curry School of Education will increase
the number of undergraduate students accepted into its teacher-preparation
program. It also will make it easier for students in fields where
there is critical need for teachers to enter the program later
in their undergraduate careers. Full
million gift will help teachers use technology
Curry School's Center for Technology and Teacher Education has
received $1.9 million to continue its efforts to infuse technology
nationwide in programs that prepare teachers. Full