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 Vocal and/or Instrumental PreK-12 Education, Middle and Secondary Education in
English, Mathematics, and Biology, Algebra I add-on, 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 University students the opportunity
to visit both campuses to complete education coursework required for licensure. Detailed information
pertaining to each endorsement area is located below on each checklist. Students are encouraged
to contact their academic advisor 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 an elementary teaching license. 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 teaching 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 University 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:
    • Praxis I Core Math scores; SAT or ACT scores that are sufficient to replace the Praxis I Core Mathematics (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 Teaching Elementary Reading assessment test if seeking elementary licensure.
  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 a Virginia teaching license, RTEC teacher candidates 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 following on-line trainings: learning to recognize and report child abuse, dyslexia awareness, restraint and seclusion, and cultural competency required by the VDOE;
  6. successful completion of a face-to-face, hands-on First Aid, CPR and AED course.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Depending on your choice of endorsement area, you can earn a Virginia teaching license in the
following areas: Elementary Education PreK-6, Spanish Education PreK-12, Music Instrumental
Education PreK-12, Music Vocal Education PreK-12, English, Mathematics, or Biology Middle and
Secondary Education, and Algebra I (add-on) Education.

What about licensure in other states?

Virginia has reciprocity arrangements with most states in the United 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. In some cases,
you may be required to meet additional course or testing requirements.

What can I major in At Southern Virginia?

To teach in an elementary classroom you may obtain teacher licensure through any major, but we
recommend majoring in Liberal Arts. To teach Music Instrumental, Music Vocal, Mathematics, English, Biology, or Spanish you must major respectively in the area matching the teaching
endorsement of your choice.

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

Advising forms for all areas of endorsement are located on the Southern Virginia University website
( You may also visit the registrar’s office for more information or contact a member of the
RTEC team.