CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A panel of policy experts selected the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) electronic certification system as one of two winners of the 2017 State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) award. The STAR award of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) identifies and promotes state government solutions to regional problems, focusing on policy innovations that are creative, impactful, transferable and effective. The announcement was made during SLC’s annual meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 - August 2, 2017.
The WVDE created the Electronic Application Processing System in 2015 to provide a better way for teachers to obtain or renew a West Virginia teaching certification. The previous process required teachers to know which of the 43 forms they needed to complete for their certification and required staff to collect multiple approval signatures from institutions of higher education. To standardize and streamline the process, the WVDE developed a secure online system that allowed applicants to complete certification and renewal forms online, submit them for approval, and process credit card payments through the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office.
“The Electronic Application Processing System has reduced the time needed to process an application from weeks to days,” said Robert Hagerman, executive director of the WVDE’s Office of Certification and Professional Preparation. “Applicants are better served as they now receive real-time status updates throughout the approval process.”
During the first year implementation of the new system, more than 8,000 applications were submitted.
“It is an honor and a true testament to the work of the Department to receive such an award,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine. “Our goal has always been to do what is best for West Virginia students. Helping our teachers by streamlining certification processes allows them to put their focus back in the classroom and champion that goal.”
Established in 1947, the SLC is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.
STAR applications are reviewed by a panel comprising state legislators, legislative staff and policy experts. For more information on the SLC and the STAR program, visit http://www.slcatlanta.org/index.php.