FAQs

When should I take the Praxis Core test?
First, check your SAT/ACT scores and contact the Education Department office (Pruden 103) regarding the VDOE criteria for using these scores as a substitute for the Praxis Core. If your scores do not meet the criteria, take the Praxis Core test soon after completing basic college-level courses in English (writing) and Mathematics (algebra). The Praxis Core is a test of basic academic skills and should be taken when those concepts are fresh in your mind. Students are not admitted to the Education Department until they have met the Praxis Core requirement.

How can I prepare for the Praxis Core?
There are a variety of study guides available in the VWU Library, from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website, in local bookstores, and from Amazon. Practice tests are available on Blackboard. Tutoring in English (reading and writing) and mathematics is available through the VWU Learning Center.  Resources are also available from the VWU Education Department.

When should I take the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)?
Take the VCLA soon after completing basic college-level courses in English. The VCLA is composed of two sub tests: Reading and Writing. Students must earn a total of at least 470 to pass this test.

When should I take the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) test?
VWU candidates seeking Virginia licensure with endorsement in elementary education preK-6 and special education: general curriculum K-12 need to take the RVE.  The RVE should be taken after candidates have completed EDUC 320 and EDUC 321. These courses provide the reading content that students need to know to be successful when taking the RVE.

When should I take the Praxis (II) Subject Area test?
Take the appropriate Praxis subject area test for your endorsement area after you have successfully completed the majority of the courses required for your major. The Praxis subject area assessment MUST be passed in order to register for pre-service (student) teaching.

Do I have to be (declare) an education major?
No. At this time in the state of Virginia, one must declare a subject area major and complete an approved education program. Prospective elementary and special education teachers at VWU are advised to choose the Comprehensive Liberal Studies – Curricular Emphasis (CLSCE) major which covers the four core areas – English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  Prospective secondary or prek-12 teachers should choose a subject area major in one of our approved programs. Students interested in becoming secondary and preK-12 teachers should contact the Education Office or the Director of the Education Program for information regarding the new 5th-Year MAEd Program beginning in summer 2018.

Who will be my advisor?
All students are assigned an advisor for the freshman year. If you are interested in becoming a teacher, it is very important to change to an advisor in the education department and/or your major during the first semester. Students seeking to become secondary or preK-12 teachers will have two advisors – one from your major and one from the Education Department. Students seeking to become elementary or special education teachers will choose an advisor from the Education faculty. Visit the Education Department office in Pruden 103 for assistance.

Will I receive credit for course work taken at other colleges?
Transfer credits are evaluated by the Registrar's Office. The Director of the Education Program will evaluate those courses that may be transferred in to meet specific education programs’ requirements and review any previous teaching experience for abbreviated field experiences. Transfer courses require a grade of "C" or better to be accepted.

What can I expect from the pre-service (student) teaching experience?
Pre-service teaching is the capstone experience for teacher candidates and lasts for a full semester. During this time, candidates moves from being observers/participants in the classroom to becoming teachers. At the end of each of each of the two seven-week experiences, student teachers should be in complete charge of the classroom, teaching all lessons and managing students’ behaviors in the classroom. Student teachers are required to assume the role of classroom teachers and write lesson plans, grade papers and record grades, complete reports (as required), meet with parents, etc.  At the end of the semester, successful student teachers are ready to take on a classroom of their own. Pre-service teaching is a full-time experience. It is recommended that student teachers not hold full-time jobs during this semester. This is a good time to network and to get to know teachers and administrators. Pre-service Teaching experiences are arranged for eligible candidates by the Coordinator of Clinical Experiences.

How is pre-service (student) teaching graded?
Virginia Wesleyan University requires two seven-week placements in for the pre-service teaching experience and for each placement the student teacher receives a letter grade. During the pre-service teaching semester, student teachers also must attend and actively participate in the integrated seminar. Grades are assigned by the Coordinator of Clinical Experiences based on evaluations from the supervisor, cooperating teacher, the host-school administrator, and successful completion of the integrated seminar and all required assignments during the pre-service teaching semester.

Do I need a TB test in order to complete field experiences?
Yes.  All candidates must provide documentation of a negative TB test. The VWU Student Health Center offers TB tests for free.

Can I do field work in my child's school?
No. For ethical and professional reasons, candidates may not fulfill a field experience requirement in a school their child attended, attends, or will attend.

Is my Virginia certification good in other states?
Virginia has reciprocity with many states. See the Virginia Department of Education website for details.