Early Childhood Teacher Certification in West Virginia

West Virginia’s Early Childhood Education Scene

West Virginia, known as the “Mountain State”, earns high rankings for its overall public education system. It is ranked 12th in the nation for education, receiving an overall state grade of “B-” inEducation Week’s2013 annual rankings. It earned its lowest grade of “F” in the K-through-12 Achievement category. However, it ranks third in the country in the Standards, Assessments, and Accountability category, and second in the country in the School Finance category.

* Rasmussen College, School of Education offers Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs at two levels to meet the needs of early childhood educators at any stage of their career: A 9-month ECE Certificate for those just getting started, or a Bachelor’s in ECE Leadership for those ready to advance their careers by moving into administration.

* The Online Master's in Early Childhood Education from Capella's NCATE-accredited professional education unit will prepare you to effectively engage young students in the pre-K setting. With the option to focus on special education or classroom supervision, Capella's Master’s in Early Childhood Education is designed with the modern pre-K classroom in mind.

West Virginia was also one of the best states in the country in 2013 for children’s access to early childhood education.It is one of six states working towards implementing universal preschool for pre-kindergarten children. Overall, there are many opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing an education career in the state of West Virginia.

Requirements for a West Virginia Teaching License

The West Virginia Department of Education provides extensive information about how to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring and current teachers.

Applicants in West Virginia can become licensed to work with various age groups, including birth through pre-K, pre-K through K, and K through six. Thetypes of certificates available to educators are as follows:

  • Initial Professional Teaching Certificate: for applicants who hold at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed a teacher preparation program along with other state requirements.
  • Temporary Teaching Certificate: for applicants who hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and who have completed a teacher preparation program but not yet passed the West Virginia Praxis exam.
  • Alternative Teaching Certificate: for applicants who hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but who have not yet completed a teacher preparation program. These individuals must complete certain requirements and must be offered a job in a shortage area that they are qualified to teach.
  • First Class Full-Time Permit: for applicants who hold at least a bachelor’s degree, along with other requirements, and who are currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program.
  • Permanent Teaching Certificate: for applicants who are currently teachers, and who have taught the designated minimum number of years to obtain permanent certification.

Fill out the appropriate application here. Be sure to submit the required materials such as official transcripts, test scores, a background check, fees and more. View the Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact the licensing department, should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.

West Virginia’s ECE Colleges

There are several early childhood education degree programs in West Virginia.

is a public research university offering bachelor’s degrees in child development and family studies, early intervention/early childhood special education, and elementary education. A variety of master’s and doctoral degrees are also available.

is a multi-campus public research university that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood and elementary education.

is a small centrally located public school that offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood and elementary education. It is a rural school and the majority of the students come from counties in West Virginia.

is a university for military, defense, national security, public safety, and related communities that offers numerous online programs for aspiring teachers, including a Master of Education in Elementary Education.

Finding a Teaching Job in West Virginia

There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field.

Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. The West Virginia K-12 Education Job Bank is a service for educators and administrators. It allows users to search job postings and apply to specific schools districts with openings. School Spring also lists teacher job vacancies within the state.

Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant need of highly-qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community, as well.

West Virginia Teacher Associations

There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of West Virginia sharing similar visions.

The West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) counts among its members public school teachers and educators across the state. It has dozens of local affiliates and has worked for 150 years to improve both the profession and also local public schools. Providing union benefits, WVEA is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country.

The West Virginia Association for Young Children (WVAYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. It strives to help children from birth through age eight, as well as their families. The organization is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.

There is also a variety of organizations for teachers based on specific areas of interest, including the West Virginia Reading Association (WVRA), West Virginia Science Teachers Association (WVSTA), West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (WVCTM), and West Virginia Council for the Social Studies (WVCSS).

West Virginia ECE Blogs

The Current News section of the West Virginia Department of Education covers hot topics, issues and events in West Virginia schools, as does the WebSchoolPro education blog. West Virginia teachers also share insightful information through their personal blogs.

Love Two Teach is written by an experienced kindergarten teacher who shares cute activities, clipart and fun ideas for primary teachers.

The Green Cup is maintained by an elementary school teacher and self-described educational interventionalist who reflects on teaching, education, and his life as an educator.

Teaching Special Thinkers is written by an elementary special-education teacher who enjoys sharing ideas about how she meets the needs of the diverse learners in her classroom.

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