Main Content

Alternative routes in special education:

General Requirements:
In order to enroll in an alternative route to certification for a general education endorsement (limited to the special education classroom), an individual must meet the following requirements:

  1. possess the minimum of a bachelor's degree, with a minimum overall 2.5 GPA from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  2. meet the proficiency scores on the Praxis I or qualify for an exemption
  3. complete a West Virginia State Police and FBI background check

Certified Special Education Teachers Who Need Content to Meet the Definition of Highly Qualified Special Education Teacher:

The West Virginia Department of Education has WVBE-approval to offer an alternative certification program for special education teachers to gain a content endorsement(s) in biology, english, general science, mathematics and/or social studies. The program results in the completion of an academic major (21 semester hours) of coursework in the appropriate content area. The 21 semester hours consist of 15 hours of content-specific coursework or equivalent professional development, three hours of content-specific methods, and three hours of reading in the specific content area. An internship may be completed in lieu of the three hours of reading in the specific content area and content-specific methods. The following chart outlines the specific areas in which teachers must take coursework in order to complete the requirements for a content endorsement.

Coursework or Equivalent Professional Development Required for Content Endorsements 
  • English Composition 1 AND
  • English Composition 2 AND
  • English or World Literature 1 AND
  • English or World Literature 2 AND
  • Childrens OR Adolescent Literature AND
  • Content-Specific Methods AND
  • Reading in the Content
  • General Mathematics AND
  • College Algebra AND
  • Geometry AND
  • Elementary Statistics AND
  • Computers/Mathematics AND
  • Content-Specific Methods AND
  • Reading in the Content
General Science 
  • Biology AND
  • Chemistry AND
  • Physical Science AND
  • Earth Science OR Astronomy OR Geology AND
  • Content-Specific Methods AND
  • Reading in the Content
  • Biology
Social Studies 
  • Geography AND
  • US History AND
  • WV History AND
  • World History AND
  • Economics OR Political Science OR Psychology/Sociology AND
  • Content-Specific Methods AND
  • Reading in the Content
  •  Individuals may provide transcripts of previously completed coursework which document that the individuals have already completed coursework to satisfy one or more of the above-listed requirements.
  • The 15 semester hours of coursework may be provided by and completed through institutions of higher education. However, some of the requirements may be met through satisfactory completion of WVDE-approved professional development.
  • The WVDE reserves the right to substitute equivalent or more advanced coursework in lieu of the coursework listed in the table.

To access the WVDE database of courses offered by institutions of higher education throughout West Virginia as well as WVDE-approved professional development which may be used to fulfill the requirements for the content endorsement, please visit the Approved Alternative Course Offerings.

Return to Alternative Route

Twitter Link
Facebook Link
Teach WV
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundatin