The Challenges Presented by Teacher Licensure Requirements Participants at the VEA Summit singled out meeting teacher licensure requirements as one of the chief barriers hindering prospective teachers from entering Virginia classrooms.
All instructional personnel in the Commonwealth of Virginia must hold a professional teaching license. There are several routes to licensure in the Commonwealth. They include completion of an approved teacher education program, completion of a career switcher program for persons who’ve already earned a 4-year degree, provisional hiring by a school division with completion of licensure requirements within 3 years, or reciprocity of teaching credentials for persons who are fully licensed, coming to Virginia from another state.
• Embed test preparation and study skills in teacher education curricula to increase teacher candidates’ chances of passing necessary tests and successfully meeting requirements set by the Virginia Department of Education.
Summit participants identified mandatory assessments as the biggest barrier to full licensure for teachers of color in Virginia. Current and prospective teachers lament the fact that missing the required cut score on any of the four required tests disqualifies otherwise qualified teacher candidates from moving forward in the teacher preparation and/or hiring process.
• Expand opportunities for Student Virginia Education Association members to have multiple forms of assistance with meeting licensure requirements, including workshops and trainings.
Currently, the Praxis Core is an admission requirement for the 36 teacher preparation programs in Virginia. After successfully passing Praxis Core, candidates must also pass the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, Reading for Virginia Educators and Praxis II specialty area tests. In addition to satisfactory completion of coursework in content and pedagogy, teacher candidates must meet a variety of additional requirements to become licensed to teach in our state. These requirements include professional assessment, mandated training in CPR, child abuse and neglect awareness, dyslexia awareness, and, for middle school civics and high school history and government teachers, a module on state and federal government. Criminal background checks and licensure fees are also required. Often, these additional requirements and the costs associated with them further hinder a teacher of color from earning a teaching license. 4
Teachers of Color Summit | Call to Action
• Develop partnerships between Virginia school divisions, university teacher preparation programs, and VEA local Associations, in which test preparation and other mandated trainings would be offered. Offer loan forgiveness to educators.
Rank held by teachers with advanced degree when their pay is compared to professions requiring similar training, including accounting, civil engineering, marketing, and nursing