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 the following assessments required by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE):
    • Praxis I Core Math scores that meet the requirements of the VDOE; SAT or ACT scores that are sufficient to replace the Praxis I Core Mathematics, according to the standards set by the VDOE. (Please see an RTEC advisor about substitute tests for the Praxis I)
    • Passing score on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA). (Reading and Writing Test)
    • Passing scores on the Praxis II Content Knowledge Tests required for the student’s endorsement area.
    • Passing score on the Reading Virginia Education assessment test* required by the VDOE if seeking elementary licensure. (Please see an RTEC advisor about substitute tests for the Praxis I and the passing scores needed for all of the other required assessments)
  5. 3.0 average GPA in education courses with no course below a 2.0.

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 and dyslexia required by the VDOE;
  6. successful completion of a face-to-face, hands-on First Aid, CPR and AED course.

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, Music Instrumental Education, Music Vocal Education PreK-12, English Middle and Secondary Education, Mathematics Middle and Secondary Education, and Algebra I (add-on) Education.

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.

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, Music Vocal, Mathematics, English or Spanish you must major respectively in Music or Spanish.

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 or another member of the RTEC team.