Virginia Beach Teaching Programs
Students who want to establish teaching careers have multiple training options within a 20-minute drive of central Virginia Beach. This article puts a spotlight on three institutions, their programs and coursework requirements. Also included is a table of school stats and additional information on a couple of other colleges with relevant educational options.
- Of the three profiled schools, Regent University is the only one actually located in Virginia Beach. It's located about 17 miles from the city center and offers a teaching bachelor's degree program.
- On the border of Virginia Beach and neighboring Norfolk, Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) was chartered in 1961 as a 4-year liberal arts college with ties to the Methodist Church. Located about 16 miles from central Virginia Beach, the school offers bachelor's degrees and an alternative certification program.
- The oldest school in this grouping, Norfolk State University (NSU) was founded as a private college in 1935 and in 1944 became part of the Virginia college system. Students can find the campus about 18 miles from downtown Virginia Beach, and they may choose to pursue bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and certification programs in education.
Comparison of Schools
There's a lot to consider when choosing where to attend college. For instance, private schools usually charge higher tuition rates than public institutions. Take a look at this table to compare the costs, campus settings and more for the profiled schools.
|Regent University||Virginia Wesleyan University||Norfolk State University|
|School Type||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||9,488*||1,470*||5,303*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Midsize city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$17,288*||$36,660*||$9,036 in-state students; $20,478 out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)||98%*||100%*||80%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||78%*||70%*||90%*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||78% for full-time students*||63% for full-time students*||71% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2011)||61%*||52%*||42%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Since its founding as a Christian university in 1978, more than 825 Regent graduates have been named Hampton Roads Teachers of the Year. Regent University offers several of its degree programs and many of its classes online. Students in the elementary education program may take some of their general education courses online, but all education-specific coursework is only offered on campus.
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
Students in Regent's interdisciplinary studies program take 27 credits in professional studies courses, such as curriculum, classroom management, child development and characteristics of students with disabilities. Major teaching content courses will include classes in grammar, geometry, math and science. Upon graduation, students are prepared to teach elementary education for children in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade (Pre K-6).
Earning certification requires passage of the PRAXIS I and II tests, as well as the Virginia Reading Assessment and Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment. Along with a student teaching practicum of at least 500 hours, students also take a variety of courses with shorter practicum components, allowing Regent teaching majors to spend a lot of time in schools, getting real-life experience.
Virginia Wesleyan University
The VWU campus sits on 300 wooded acres in Norfolk. All teaching majors at VWU graduate with the same degree and an endorsement in their area of teaching. Students apply to the professional education program at VWU before the end of their sophomore year.
Bachelor of Arts in Comprehensive Liberal Studies - Elementary Education
This program requires completion of 54 hours of professional and practicum courses. Degree candidates take classes such as characteristics of the learner, teaching reading and language arts, issues in education and teaching strategies. Students have three practicum classes that provide teaching practice and experience in classrooms. This program prepares teacher candidates to become certified in pre K-6.
Bachelor of Arts in Comprehensive Liberal Studies - Special Education
Preparing teacher candidates for certification for grades K-12, coursework in this major will cover areas such as lifespan developmental psychology, assessment and management of special education instruction and legal, ethical and foundational issues in special education. A total of 55 hours of major coursework is required to earn this degree, roughly 17 of which are practicum courses.
Bachelor of Arts in Subject Area in Secondary Education (6-12), Visual Arts (Pre -K-12) and Foreign Language (Pre K-12)
Candidates for this degree option will complete a state-approved academic major in an area of specialization, such as French, art, biology, English or history. Along with the major content courses, students will also take 41 hours of education courses, such as characteristics of the learner, classroom management and teaching strategies, teaching methods and a practicum in addition to field experiences and professional education coursework.
Alternative Certification Program (ACT)
Applicants to this program are required to hold a bachelor's degree and have at least a year of full-time work experience. Students in the program can choose any of the certification programs offered through VWU and must meet the same testing and GPA requirements as initial bachelor's degree students prior to student teaching.
Norfolk State University
NSU is one of the largest historically black institutions of higher learning in the nation. Earning an undergraduate degree at NSU requires completion of at least 120 semester credit hours. Students apply to the education program once they've completed 60 semester credit hours with a GPA of at least 2.5/4.0, as well as passed the Praxis exams. Background checks are required of students prior to taking field experience or practicum coursework.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Pre K-3, Pre K-6 or Special Education K-12)
There are varying total credit requirements depending upon which of the majors is being pursued; however, all of these major programs include classes in educational foundations, statistics of psychology, behavioral analysis and experimental or experiential psychology. Students in the pre K-3 program take methods for teaching young children, early childhood special education and content courses. Students in the pre K-6 program take subject matter, diagnostic and methods courses, while students in the special education program take content teaching courses, abnormal psychology and teaching of exceptional learners-related classes. All programs require a practicum experience.
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Pre K-6 in History, English, Math or Special Education K-12)
In the pre K-6 degree programs, all students must take general content courses covering teaching math, science, history and literacy. During the junior and senior years, courses will focus more closely on a major, such as math or history, and on teaching methods, analysis, curriculum and instruction and a teaching practicum. In the special education major, students take a wide range of subject content courses, as well as psychology, teaching and assessment classes related to exceptional learners. A student-teaching practicum serves as a capstone experience for this degree, regardless of major.
Bachelor of Science in Physical Education
In the physical education program, students take content area courses, such as team sports, dance, swimming and physical education. The physical education program offers add-on endorsements in health, drivers' education and/or aquatics.
Bachelor of Music in Music Education
The music department administers the music education program. This program is designed to prepare teachers for elementary and secondary education in areas such as voice, keyboard and band/orchestral instruments. Over the course of the degree program, students take content courses in areas such as music literature, ear training, string instruments and music history. Education courses include curriculum and instruction procedures, reading, classroom behavior and management and a teaching practicum.
Teacher Licensure in Secondary Education
To earn teacher certification at the high school level, students earn a bachelor's degree in the field they'd like to teach, such as art, biology, math or English. Concurrently, certification candidates apply to the teacher education program and take coursework in secondary school methods, educational technology and psychology, behavior management and curriculum and instruction. A 12-semester hour teaching practicum is required, along with the passage of the Praxis exams, to earn licensure.
Master of Arts in Pre-Elementary Education/Licensure Special Education Early-Childhood
This interdisciplinary graduate degree program is available in an online format. Students will study topics such as programs for children with disabilities, high risk children assessment and family involvement.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Elementary Education Pre K-6
NSU offers a wide range of 39-credit MAT options at both the elementary and secondary education levels for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching major. The MAT for elementary education includes classes covering human growth and development; pre K-6 teaching methods in science, math and technology; and foundations of education. The MAT program in secondary education is available for nine areas, including fine arts, science, English and history. Curriculum for this program includes 12 hours of content area coursework and 27 hours of education core classes covering classroom management, curriculum and instruction, research and a teaching practicum. All degree candidates must pass the Praxis II exam and the VCLA assessment to become certified.
Master of Arts in a Subject Concentration Area (MASAC)
The MASAC is a 39-credit hour degree program designed for in-service teachers who want to meet Virginia guidelines for re-certification. The program is comprised of 15 hours of professional education courses, 15 hours of subject concentration coursework and nine hours of research. This degree program is housed within the Department of Secondary Education and School Leadership.
Master of Music in Music Education
The music education track within this master's program is designed to allow degree candidates to research and practice performance and teaching techniques. The program includes 33 credit hours of coursework covering differing types of music, ensembles, analytical techniques and research. A final recital, thesis or project is required for graduation.
Old Dominion University, located just over 20 miles from Virginia Beach, hosts a variety of teaching programs from bachelor's through doctoral levels. Hampton University, about 30 miles from Virginia Beach, offers teaching programs at the graduate level in areas such as elementary, educational leadership and gifted education.