Charleston, W.Va. – Special education teachers across West Virginia are breathing a sigh of relief thanks to the West Virginia Board of Education. Board members have approved an alternative route to certification for special education educators.
The Board tackled the issue following the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires special education teachers providing direct instruction in core academic subjects to demonstrate subject competency in order to meet the definition of highly qualified special education teacher.
Board members approved an alternative route to certification that will allow West Virginia’s special education teachers to meet the new federal definition of highly qualified special education teacher. The content endorsement certificate available at the completion of this alternative program will allow special education teachers to provide direct instruction in the core academic subjects to students in the special education classroom only.
Prior to admission to the alternative program, all candidates must hold state certification in special education, possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a 2.5 grade point average from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; pass the Praxis I, Preprofessional Skills Test; and complete the West Virginia State Police and FBI background checks. Once admitted to the program, candidates may complete a set of coursework and/or professional development in order to acquire the knowledge and skills to meet student needs; or candidates may submit a transcript of coursework and/or professional development previously completed.
A statewide committee of stakeholders has reviewed and supports an alternative route to certification program beginning August 2005.
For more information about the alternative route, please visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/certification/educator/