West Virginia Alternative Teacher Certification

Jan 02, 2019

If you're considering a career change or just wanting to keep your options open, there may be a position as a teacher waiting for you in West Virginia. Below, we'll look at the alternative certification pathway for teachers.

West Virginia has a license called the alternative certification for those who have not completed the traditional path to become a teacher. There is a specific route to take to earn alternative certification, and we'll take a look at it here.

Requirements for West Virginia Teachers

Average Salary for Early Childhood Teachers in West Virginia (2017)* $31,460 (Preschool), $48,310 (Kindergarten), $45,530 (Elementary School), $45,000 (Middle School), $46,560 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam and Praxis Content Knowledge exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Find a Job

It may seem a bit strange to have 'find a job' be the first step, but there is a reason for this. Alternative teachers can only fill a teaching role for critical-need subjects or in situations in which a job has been posted twice with no one applying within ten days of each posting. So if they post a middle grade math teacher position twice, and no certified math teacher has applied, you may be eligible for the position under the alternative certification program in that school district. After you have found a job or contacted the school district, you can begin the next step for alternative certification.

Step 2: Enter the Alternative Certification (AC) Program

Once you have accepted a teaching position, you'll work with the school district and submit an application for an alternative teaching certificate. After you receive the AC, you'll have three years to meet all of the requirements needed to become a teacher. This means you'll need to complete a degree program for the subject or grade level you are teaching. If you are that middle school math teacher, consider a bachelor's degree in mathematics education. The great news is that you will meet all 12 weeks of your teaching experience requirements necessary to complete an educator preparation program. Next, you'll need to complete all the West Virginia certification exams, which means the Praxis content exams and the Principles of Learning and Teaching (K-6, 5-9, or 7-12).

Step 3: Get Fingerprinted

As part of the initial teacher certification process, all prospective teachers must be fingerprinted in West Virginia. Going to a LiveScan site for a digital fingerprint will get you moving along much more quickly than a paper fingerprinting. After this is done, the FBI and West Virginia State Police will both run background checks on you to make sure you aren't hiding a criminal life. Once you've passed all of these checks, you'll have earned the provisional teaching certificate, which then requires a process to turn it into a professional teaching certificate.

West Virginia Teacher Certification Resources

Just like regular licensing, you'll need to take Praxis exams to prove your knowledge base. The following link can really help you study for those exams.

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