Pathways to Becoming a Teacher if You Attend NOVA

Three Pathways to Teaching at NOVA

1. Social Sciences with Teacher Education Specialization Associates Degree:

(This is for students who would like to teach Elementary Education and Special Education)

  • Students would follow the requirements of the Teacher Education Associates Degree Program. There are no course substitutions allowed in this program.
  • Be sure to take SDV 101, Orientation to Education
  • Students submit their PTEAA Letter during EDU 200.
  • Students should contact an adviser at the university level to insure the specific courses they take as electives are appropriate for transfer.

2. Teaching Secondary Education (Grades 6/7-12)

  • Students should follow the coursework requirements for earning an Associates Degree, which will eventually help them earn a Bachelors Degree in the subject area they would like to teach.
  • Take SDV 101, Orientation to Education, as your student development course.
  • Students should take EDU 200.
  • Students submit their PTEAA Letter during EDU 200.
  • Students should contact an adviser at the university level to insure the specific courses they take as electives are appropriate for transfer.
  • Students should check the endorsement requirements for their subject area in the state of Virginia.

As of January 1, 2014, Virginia universities are requiring an exam called the Praxis CORE rather than the Praxis I for admittance in to Teacher Licensure Programs. SAT & ACT scores may still be substituted, but you need to check the university websites to see what scores they would require for substitution with those exams. If you took & passed the Praxis I before January 1, 2014, that will be accepted as well. You do NOT need the Praxis CORE to graduate from NOVA, but you WILL need the Praxis CORE when you apply to a Teacher Licensure Program once you transfer. It is best to take this exam once you finish your English and math courses.

VCCS Career Switcher Program

  • This program is only appropriate if you already have a Bachelor’s Degree and have five or more years of work experience. Visit the program website.

The Career Switcher Program was designed to meet the needs of individuals who may need to continue working while completing the necessary coursework to become endorsed. Level 1 is an 18-week hybrid program that consists of six Saturday sessions held at community college sites across the Commonwealth, and the remainder of the coursework online through the use of Blackboard. At the end of Level 1 students are issued a Career Switcher Provisional License, and will enter Level 2, once they obtain a teaching position. After one successful year of teaching, students will become fully licensed.

VCCS Career Switchers Endorsement Areas

Virginia’s Community College program provides the opportunity to earn teacher licensure in the following endorsement areas:

  • Middle School Mathematics (6-8)
  • Middle School Science (6-8)
  • Middle School (6-8) English/Language Arts
  • Middle School Social Studies (6-8)
  • Mathematics (6-12)
  • English (6-12)
  • Social Studies (6-12)
  • Biology (6-12)
  • Chemistry (6-12)
  • Earth Science (6-12)
  • Physics (6-12)
  • Foreign Languages (PK-12)
  • Health and PE (PK-12)

VCCS Career Switchers Prerequisites

  1. You must have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. You should have a GPA of 2.5 or better.
  3. You must have a minimum of five years of professional work experience or its equivalent (10 years part-time) in addition to your degree.
  4. You must have successfully completed the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) and Praxis II assessments at prescribed levels and have received official score reports. The VCLA assesses reading and writing proficiency; PRAXIS II is the content specialty exam. With passing scores on Praxis II you can become endorsed in any content area without further coursework .
  5. You must be willing to provide the results of a criminal background check prior to field placement or employment in the classroom.

For more info on Career Switchers, please contact the NOVA adviser for Career Switchers, Dr. Ogden, at

For more info on Career Switchers, please call: (804) 523-5671.