Teaching Programs in West Virginia
In 2018, West Virginia teachers went on strike, fighting for better wages and benefits—and won. The teachers earned a 5% raise across the board, and the state created a task force to improve health care.
Sweeping changes do not happen overnight – they require the dedication of teachers who want to improve the system not just for themselves, but for their students. In addition to the changes in policy and practice, West Virginia is experiencing a teacher shortage, meaning job opportunities are plentiful. If joining a group of dedicated professionals committed to shaping the future sounds appealing, then a teaching job in West Virginia may be right for you.
How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in West Virginia?
There are several ways to become a teacher in West Virginia. West Virginia offers three main licensure levels: Initial, Professional, and Permanent. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) outlines four paths to becoming a teacher in the state, including the traditional route and several alternative paths.
Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in West Virginia
Nineteen colleges and universities in West Virginia offer a traditional path to becoming a teacher, which includes pursing an education-related B.A. The rest of the steps on this path include:
- Attend an approved teacher preparation program
- Complete the required coursework and student teaching
- Pass the required exams
- Obtain a Professional Teaching Certificate
High school students who want to become a teacher can earn up to seven hours of college credit while still in high school through West Virginia’s Careers in Education program.
Becoming a Teacher through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher
If you have a degree in a field other than education, you could be eligible to teach in West Virginia with an Alternative Teaching Certificate (AC). School districts may offer employment to degree holders who pass the appropriate content-specific Praxis exams.
If you are hired under this plan, you can teach while completing an approved education program.
Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification in West Virginia
If you have spent several years working in a specialized or technical field, you may be eligible to teach that subject by acquiring a CTE Certificate. A CTE First Class Full-Time Permit allows you to teach full time while completing the approved program.
Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, pass identified basic skills and NOCTI exams (written and performance), hold industry credentials, and meet the criteria defined in the CTE endorsement and testing manual.
Teachers Moving to West Virginia from a Different State
The state participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. This means teachers moving to West Virginia from another state may apply for Permanent Professional Certification with a minimum of five years of verified teaching experience in a public school in the endorsement area.
Teachers who have spent at least three of the last seven years teaching in a public school may apply for a Professional teaching certificate. Applicants with less than three years of teaching experience must pass West Virginia’s required exams to teach in the state.
Average Salaries and Projected Job Growth for West Virginia Teachers
The 2018 West Virginia teachers strike helped lower class sizes, raise school budgets, and increase teacher salaries in the state – which is exciting news if you are considering teaching.
When you compare the median teacher’s salary with the median income for other households in West Virginia, teachers earn about 5% more. Additionally, West Virginia enjoys a lower cost of living than many other states, which means your dollars may go further.
Median salaries for teachers in West Virginia, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), can be found in the table below.
|Career||Average Salary||Job Growth|
|Elementary School Teachers||$44,890||7%|
|Middle School Teachers||$45,540||8%|
|Secondary School Teachers||$47,050||8%|
Teacher Training Programs in West Virginia
If you’re wondering how to become a teacher in West Virginia, the state has identified educator preparation programs (EPPs) designed to prepare you for a career as a teacher. The section below reviews of a few of the approved schools in West Virginia, including the programs you might pursue and the tuition rates you can expect to pay.
Alderson Broaddus University (Philippi)
Alderson Broaddus University (AB) is a Baptist Church-affiliated university. The College of Education & Music offers programs in elementary, secondary, and physical education. The school also offers a Master of Education for Teacher Leaders.
Undergraduate tuition: $29,000 for 12-18 credits
Master of Education – Teacher Leader: $580 per credit hour
Davis & Elkins College (Elkins)
Davis & Elkins College is a small, private college with fewer than 1,000 students. Its approved Teacher Education Program aligns with West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards regarding curriculum and planning, learning development, and professional responsibilities. This program stands out due to the wide range of available certifications, such as theatre, English, and health education, which allows teachers to educate learners from Pre-K through adults.
2020-2021 tuition: $29,280
Marshall University (Huntington)
Marshall is one of the state’s oldest public universities. Its school of education and professional development offers 16 education-related degrees from the bachelor to doctoral levels, plus endorsement programs for those who want to teach multiple subjects.
University of Charleston (Charleston)
The urban campus of the University of Charleston (UC) is home to just over 10,000 students seeking to earn a higher education. This private West Virginia university offers undergraduate degrees in elementary education, elementary studies and child development, and elementary and secondary education. All programs are only available on campus.
2019-2020 Tuition: $30,400.
West Virginia University (Morgantown)
WVU’s teacher education programs offer several bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and secondary English, social studies, and STEM fields, master’s degrees in elementary and secondary education, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in literacy and leadership subjects. They also offer a Ph.D. in educational theory and practice.
2019-2020 Full-Time Tuition
West Virginia Teacher Resources
Your path to becoming a successful teacher in West Virginia will not be without challenges. The resources below will help you pursue licensure, network with other educational professionals, and create an engaging, supportive classroom.
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