Undergraduate (Licensure Track) Program Gateways

VWU undergraduate teaching candidates pursuing elementary and special education majors will encounter three important gateways during their academic journey. Each gateway is specially designed to ensure all candidates are well-prepared, highly-qualified, and ready to enter the teaching profession upon program completion. If candidates successfully meet all Gateway requirements, they will be recommended for Virginia teaching licensure.

Gateway 1: Program Admission

By the end of their sophomore year, aspiring elementary and special education teachers must apply and successfully complete all requirements for program admission. It should be noted that most requirements are tied to courses within their major. Teaching candidates should keep track of all required materials.

Undergraduate Initial Licensure Program admission requirements.

Program Admission Requirements

Suggested Timeframe to Complete Requirements

If interested in Education Studies, Elementary Education, or Special Education majors, please apply to receive more information.

A student thinking about becoming a teacher should begin the application process as soon as possible. Initial documents are provided in INST 202 and EDUC 266 or in Pruden 103.

Achieve passing scores on VWU Math competency test Free Praxis Core Math Practice Exam on Khan Academy / Official Praxis® Core Prep (160) or submit qualifying equivalent scores on the following tests: SAT math score (540) or an ACT math score (20) as substitute.

Take and pass the VWU Math Competency Test while enrolled in EDUC 266 or submit qualifying equivalent scores on other standardized tests.

Submit Passing Scores on VCLA
(Composite score of 470 is required)

Take and pass VCLA after taking first college-level English course and while enrolled in ENG 222: Teaching Grammar and Writing

Complete ​and pass​ the​ Child Abuse and Neglect Recognition and Intervention Training module and submit ​a ​certificate​​ of completion.

Complete while enrolled in EDUC 225

Complete and pass the Virginia Restraint and Seclusion Module and submit a certificate of completion.

Complete while enrolled in EDUC 266.

Achieving Acceptable ratings (2.5) on the VWU Dispositional Survey for Educators.

Complete while enrolled in INST 202.

Successfully complete the following courses with a grade of C or above.
INST 202: The School and Society
EDUC 266: Classroom Management and Teaching Strategies
EDUC 225: Characteristics of the Learner

Complete by the End of the Sophomore Year.

Achieve ​an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 at the time of application.

Be aware of your overall GPA at all times and maintain at least a 2.8 GPA.

Gateway 2: Recommendation for Student Teaching

Student teaching serves as the culminating internship experience for all teaching candidates. During this internship VWU teaching candidates will be responsible for preK-12 student learning. Thus, it is important that VWU faculty are confident that each candidate has the knowledge, skills, and appropriate dispositions to be successful in educating students in an authentic teaching context. Professional education courses and multiple field experiences help to prepare VWU teaching candidates for student teaching. Table 2 delineates the specific requirements needed for a teaching candidate to be recommended for student teaching. Again, these requirements are explicitly tied to coursework and candidates should keep track of all required materials.

Requirements needed for candidates to be recommended for student teaching.


Requirement Descriptions and/or Suggestions

Maintain an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 at the time of application.

Candidates should be aware of grades in all coursework and utilize VWU support services when needed.

Achieve grades of C or better in ALL Professional Studies Education courses and a C- or better in all required coursework in the Teacher Education Program.

Candidates should be aware of grades in all coursework and utilize VWU support services when needed.

Maintain a 2.8 average rating or higher on VWU Dispositional Survey for Educators.

Candidates complete a self-evaluation of their dispositions in specific EDUC courses and their professors will discuss ratings with them. Candidates with any scores below “Acceptable” on this survey may not be recommended for practicum placement or student teaching placement.

Provide evidence of successful completion of the Dyslexia Awareness Training Module.

Candidates should submit completion certificate to while enrolled in EDUC 321. This is typically the spring of the Junior Year.

Submit Passing Scores on Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) assessment  (157)

Candidates should submit passing scores while enrolled in EDUC 321, typically in the spring of the Junior Year.

Submit passing scores on all sections of the Praxis Multiple Subjects Test (View passing scores for subtests)

Passing scores are due to the Education Department by October 30 if student teaching the following spring, or March 15 if student teaching in the following fall.

Submit a negative TB test and a clear Background Clearance Check

Candidates should submit documentation of a negative TB test prior to Practicum placement. This should be done the summer after the Junior Year.

Complete ​and pass​ the​ Virginia State and Local ​Civic Education Module and submit ​a ​ certificate​​ of completion. Complete this module while in EDUC 329.

Submit a clear Background Clearance Check

The Seminar Professor will provide candidates with proper forms and instructions for completing the Background Clearance Check. A clear Check is necessary to continue to practicum and pre-service teaching.

Practicum Instructor Grants Consent for Student Teaching

Candidates’ progress to the student teaching experience is contingent on a successful practicum experience. The practicum instructors will notify the Director of Teacher Education and the Seminar Professor of recommendations at the end of the practicum course.

Gateway 3: Recommendation for Virginia Teaching Certification

Candidates taking part in the senior internship (student teaching) will complete an impact study, a teaching portfolio, and their teaching will be observed multiple times by multiple instructional experts. Candidates should also make sure to complete CPR and first aid certification required for licensure during this time. Candidates who successfully complete this internship are considered well-prepared, highly qualified, and ready to enter the teaching profession. As such, upon successful review of all elements within the student teaching experience, the VWU Director of Teacher Education will recommend teaching candidates for Virginia Teaching Certification in their particular endorsement area.