Recognition Of Statewide Teacher Shortage, U.Va. Creates "Alternative
Route" To Becoming A Teacher
15, 2000 -- To help meet the
critical need for public school teachers and administrators, the
University of Virginia has created new options for adults.
in U.Va.s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS),
in cooperation with U.Va.s Curry School of Education and the
Virginia School-University Partnership, have developed a series
of courses that can lead to teacher licensure.
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 Virginia Department
of Education. Courses are scheduled in the evenings and weekends
to accommodate schedules of those who work.
course series meets the states professional studies requirements
for alternative licensure in secondary grades 6-12 endorsements,
adult education and some specific endorsements 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 course sequence, 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 to J.
Andrew Stamp, executive director of the partnership, a résumé
and cover letter indicating which grades and subjects they hope
to teach. Stamp will forward letters to all consortium superintendents,
who will share them with their personnel officers.
Alternative Route to Licensure addresses the urgent
need of finding and certifying good teacher candidates for vacancies
in our school divisions," Stamp said.
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 uniting 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.
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 24-30 hours of course credit to gain licensure
and endorsement in learning disabilities from the state.
information on the course sequences can be obtained by calling the
toll-free number (800) 871-8265 or accessing the Web site, http://uvace.virginia.edu/index.htm.
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 (BIS) program. While taking courses to complete a bachelors
degree, they can choose a concentration in an area related to a
desired teaching endorsement.
for adults -- considered those who are at least six years past high
school graduation -- who 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 advisor, students develop a plan of study that includes
core courses across the disciplines and five-to-six courses in education
that satisfy the Virginia Department of Education alternative-licensure
representatives have advised Albemarle County and Charlottesville
school officials of the adult-degree program. "We hope it can
help staff members meet their professional goals. The program is
ideal for teachers aides who want to become teachers," said
BIS Director Donna Plasket.
of the program will earn a BIS degree and can gain licensure and
endorsement. Information on the program can be obtained by contacting
the BIS office at (804) 982-5274, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or accessing the web site, http://uvace.virginia.edu/bisdegree/.
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 through course work in Lynchburg and Hanover
about Curry programs can be obtained by calling the schools
admissions office at (804) 924-3334 or accessing the web site, http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/curry/admin/admissions.html.
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857