Teacher Licensure

The mission of the Teacher Education Program at Southern Virginia University is to prepare students to become teachers who are intelligent, compassionate, honorable and dynamic leaders in their classrooms, schools, and communities.

The teacher education program envisions preparing informed lifelong leaders and learners who value the dignity of all persons and are ready and willing to share a pilgrimage of openness and continuous growth as they invite others to join them.

Students at Southern Virginia University can earn a Virginia state license in Elementary PreK-6 Education, Music Instrumental PreK-12 Education, and Spanish PreK-12 Education. Southern Virginia currently participates in a consortium with Washington and Lee University. The Rockbridge Teacher Education Consortium (RTEC) allows Southern Virginia students the opportunity to visit these campuses to complete coursework that is required for licensure. Detailed information pertaining to each endorsement area is located below. Students are encouraged to meet with the Director of Teacher Education or visit the Registrar’s office to discuss course and fieldwork requirements if they are interested in pursuing a career in teaching.

A liberal arts education provides excellent preparation for Elementary and PreK-12 teaching. Every state requires professional education courses for licensure in order to be able to teach in the public school systems. In most cases, students who meet the requirements for a Virginia license will receive initial licensure to teach in all other states through reciprocal agreements among state departments of education. In addition, many private schools favor applicants who have been licensed through a state-approved program.

Program Requirements

Program Admission Requirement

Southern Virginia will accept students into the upper-level education courses in the Teacher Education Program, using the following common admission standards:

  1. completion of the Foundations of Education course and practicum (EDU 200 and 201) with a grade of at least B-;
  2. minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500;
  3. completion of the application to enter upper-level courses in teacher education (Form A-3);
  4. an interview with teacher education faculty from the student’s home college (Form A-5).

Directed Teaching Requirements

Before students enroll in Directed Teaching, they must meet the following additional criteria:

  1. Completion of the application to licensure program (Form A-8);
  2. two references from faculty members not in the teacher education program (Form A-4) ;
  3. one reference from an education faculty (Form A-4);
  4. completion of one of the following:
    1. Praxis I scores* that meet the requirements of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE);
    2. a combination of Praxis I scores in math and passing scores on the VCLA in reading and writing; or
    3. SAT or ACT scores that are sufficient to replace the Praxis I, according to the standards set by the VDOE.
      • *PRAXIS I: 150 Math, 156 Reading, and 162 Writing OR
      • SAT: composite score of 1100, with at least 530 Verbal, 530 Math OR
      • ACT: composite score of 24, with at least 22 math, 26 English plus Reading OR
      • VCLA: Reading and Writing as an optional assessment for PRAXIS I Reading and Writing tests (Writing subtest of 235, Reading subtest of 235, composite score of 470) in combination with qualifying Math scores from SATs, ACTs, or PRAXIS
  5. 3.0 average GPA in education courses with no course below a 2.0;
  6. Passing score on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA);
  7. Passing scores on the Praxis II* test required for the student’s endorsement area;
  8. Passing score on the reading assessment test* required by the VDOE if seeking elementary licensure.
    • *PRAXIS II: (content knowledge tests)
    • *RVE: passing score of 162 (elementary only)

If a student is unable to complete the directed teaching requirement in their senior year, he or she can participate in the post-graduate teaching option available through the consortium.

State Licensure Requirements

To become eligible for state licensure RTEC students must meet the following additional criteria:

  1. satisfactory completion of the directed teaching seminar and directed teaching;
  2. completion of documented evidence of required leadership and service involvement beyond what occurs in their education courses (Forms A-10/A-11);
  3. successful completion of the cumulative clock hours form (Form A-13)
  4. successful completion of the Cumulative Assessment Portfolio (CAP) as outlined by the CAP rubric (Form A-12);
  5. successful completion of the online training to recognize child abuse required by the VDOE;
  6. successful completion of a unit on Virginia government if seeking elementary, middle or history and social sciences endorsement on the secondary level as required by the VDOE.

Handbooks & Forms


Applications and Forms

Content Area Advising

Practicum Forms and Handbook

Directed Teaching Forms and Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions

What credentials will I have after I complete Southern Virginia University Teacher Education Program?

Depending on your choice of courses, you can earn a Virginia teaching license in the following areas: Elementary Education PreK-6, Spanish Education PreK-12, or Music-Instrumental Education PreK-12.

What about licensure in other states?

Virginia has reciprocity arrangements with most other states. If you are interested in teaching in another state, the state department of education in your chosen state will request documentation of successful program completion from Southern Virginia University and you will be eligible to teach in that state. In some cases, you will be required to meet course or testing requirements; however, you may complete these requirements while teaching. 

Why can’t I major in education at Southern Virginia?

Students attending colleges or universities in the state of Virginia may not major in Education, a policy mandated by the Virginia Department of Education. Students must complete their chosen major and take professional studies courses needed for licensure.

What can I major in At Southern Virginia?

To teach elementary education you may obtain teacher licensure through any major, but we recommend majoring in Liberal Arts. To teach Music-Instrumental or Spanish you must major respectively in Music or Spanish.

Which education courses are offered at Southern Virginia?

EDU 200 and 201: Foundations of Education and Practicum;  EDU 250: Human Growth and Development; EDU 310: Art for Elementary Education;  EDU 310: Art for Elementary Education; EDU 315: Music and Movement for Elementary Education; EDU 340 and 341: Elementary Language Arts and Social Studies Methods and Practicum;  EDU 343 and 344: Elementary Math and Science Methods and Practicum; EDU 375-378: Elementary and Secondary Instrumental Music Methods for Percussion and Strings  and Practicum, and EDU 490-495: Directed Teaching and Directed Teaching Seminar

How do I find out what courses I need to take?

Advising forms for all areas of endorsement are located on the Southern Virginia website ( You may also visit the registrar’s office for more information or contact the Director of Teacher Education.