Why should I complete teacher preparation at Virginia Tech?

If you are interested in becoming a teacher or school counselor, Virginia Tech is a fantastic choice. We have a beautiful campus and an amazing sense of community. Our School of Education is relatively small, ensuring very personal relationships with our outstanding, renowned, and published faculty. Our strong emphasis on content knowledge, support for pre-education students, diverse student teaching experiences, and access to the latest in instructional technology all contribute to our nearly 100% job placement rate for new teachers and counselors. Through our program, you will graduate with a bachelors degree, a masters degree, and a teaching license in 4-5 years, ultimately earning significantly more per year than graduates with a bachelors degree only.

How do I find more information about becoming a teacher or counselor at Virginia Tech?

1) Learn about the program that you are interested in. You can find a list of licensure programs on the School of Education Licensure page. Each individual program link provides information about degrees offered, application requirements, and other valuable student resources.

2) Look through the information on the PEAP website and connect with the School of Education by joining the Pre-Education Advising Program. It's as easy as signing up for the Google Group.

3) Make plans to attend one of the group information sessions and if you still have questions, use the calendar link to make an appointment with a Pre-Education Adviser. It is a good idea to bring copies of your transcripts and plan of study to the initial meeting.

Why doesn't Virginia Tech offer Education as an undergraduate major?

That is a State of Virginia decision. No college in Virginia offers Education as an undergraduate major. There are some that have undergraduate programs leading to licensure, but the actual undergraduate degree will be in another area, and may or may not include an option or concentration in education. Virginia Tech believes that you should earn your Bachelor’s degree while completing the content knowledge requirements of whatever you plan to teach. This gives you time to decide if teaching is really what you want to do, before you commit to the time and expense of licensure. While at the graduate level, if you chose to continue, you will receive courses in methodology and teacher pedagogy, culminating with a teaching license and Master’s degree in Education.

Do I have to join the Pre-Education Advising Program?

No. PEAP is completely voluntary. However, it is strongly recommended that you join even if you are just thinking about becoming a teacher or school counselor. There are no fees, no future obligation, and you can remove yourself from the email list at any time. PEAP is simply the most efficient way to stay in touch with the School of Education as an undergraduate student. PEAP provides updates about licensure requirements, education related events, and important deadlines. Some licensure programs have endorsement courses that need to be completed prior to applying. Some lists are longer than others and require that you start early to avoid adding extra semesters to your undergraduate period. Students must be a member of PEAP to make appointments with a Pre-Education Advisor.

How do I join PEAP?

It is very easy. Simply join the Pre-Education Advising Program Google Group to receive updates about licensing requirements, teacher assessments, and graduate programs. You can also follow us on our new Facebook page.

How do I make appointments with the PEAP coordinator?

Appointments can be made using the calendar button on the on the Pre-Education Advising Program Homepage. You must be a member of PEAP to schedule an appointment.

Should I see the PEAP Advisor instead of the academic advisor assigned by the university?

NO! PEAP is pre-professional advising, specifically pre-education. We advise students who are interested in teaching and they come from departments all over campus. We do not know the specific requirements of all undergraduate majors and minors. Your in-major advisor knows your graduation requirements; we know the licensure and SOE graduate school admission requirements. You should easily be able to meet suggestions from both advisors.

Will I have to spend extra time as an undergraduate to meet the licensure requirements?

No. Most of the time, if students start early, they can easily work these courses into the list required by the university and their departments. Transfer credits and P/F courses can also count toward the endorsement requirements.

What is the difference between Pre-Education Advising Program and Pre-Education Human Sciences, Undecided major?

The Pre-Education Advising Program (PEAP) is a part of the School of Education and supports undergraduate students with academic advising and resources to prepare them for our teacher preparation programs, which are solely offered at the graduate level. We provide advice and guidance to undergraduates as they prepare to seek admittance to our graduate program.

Pre-Education and Human Sciences, Undecided, is not a degree-granting major. It is an exploratory option, similar to university studies, for freshman who have not selected a major yet, but are considering their options in terms of working in education, teaching, or other people-focused fields. For more information on this program, please follow this link.

Can I teach without a master's degree?

It is possible, but highly discouraged. Content knowledge is not enough to be a successful teacher. At Virginia Tech, the only way to get a license is through the Master's program. It is possible to attend a college/university with undergraduate programs leading to licensure, but the degree would not be in education. Finally, a teacher with a Master's degree often starts out making a higher salary than a teacher with a Bachelor's degree.

It is also possible to teach prior to getting your license, but it may not be easy to find a school system willing to hire you when they have so many licensed teachers to choose from. Some school systems will hire a teacher without a license. Those teachers, while they may be strong in content knowledge, are often ill-equipped to handle a classroom full of children and rarely last more than a year. Additionally, they are still required to complete the licensure requirements, including the Master's level coursework, while full-time teaching; the work to get the license is unavoidable.

The Virginia Department of Education does offer alternate routes to licensure, but our office does not provide assistance for alternate routes at this time.

Do I need to be dual enrolled to take 5000 level courses?

Yes and no. It depends on the program. Elementary Ed students do not need to be dual enrolled to take EDCI 5554 or EDEP 5154. Requirements for other programs vary and you should contact the PEAP office for details. More information about dual enrollment can be found here.

What if I have already taken EDEP/PSYC 3154 and EDCI 3144?

There has been much confusion about 2 graduate courses that students pursuing teaching degrees often take while they are still undergraduates; Educating Exceptional Learners and Psychological Foundations of Education. While each of these courses is also available at the 3xxx level, beginning Spring semester 2014, students pursuing any teacher licensure will be expected to take EDEP 5154 instead of EDEP/PSYC 3154, and EDCI 5554 and not EDCI 3144. The 5xxx level courses focus primarily on issues that teachers will encounter in the classroom and better prepare future teachers. The 3xxx courses are geared more toward related fields where the content is used in a slightly different way.

These 5000 level courses are available only to Seniors planning to enroll in one of our teacher licensure programs. Most of our teacher licensure programs require students to be in dual- or accelerated- enrollment so that the courses can appear on the graduate “Plan of Study” (Elementary is an exception). If you are not a dual/accelerated enrolled student, please check with the specific licensure program or the Pre-Education Advising Program.

I am working on the Elementary prerequisites, can I substitute COMM for ENGL or (CS for MATH)?

No. Although these substitutions are allowed to meet CLE requirements, they are not considered to meet the content requirement for our elementary education licensure program.

So which checklist should I use? (referring to major and endorsement lists)

You must complete both checklists. The major checksheet contains your graduation requirements and the endorsement checklist qualifies you for teacher preparation in that content. Fortunately, there is room on your major checksheet for free electives as well as several courses that overlap.

What do I do about recommendation letters?

You will certainly want to chose someone who will write about your individual skills and accomplishments. Writers can be professors or anyone who can attest to you ability to be a successful graduate student. You might also ask a professional who has seen you with a group of students and can speak to your potential to be a great teacher. You will want to give them ample notice and let them know they will receive an electronic request once you submit your online graduate school application. On the application, it will ask you to provide the names and email addresses of your references. The system will not send the request until you pay the fee and submit the application.