Becoming a teacher in the Commonwealth of Virginia requires the fulfillment of a two-fold process: Students first must demonstrate a grasp of what they will be teaching, and then must demonstrate that they know how to teach. Earning an “education degree” with no content knowledge or earning a history degree with no knowledge of the process of classroom teaching would render a licensure program incomplete. Following is an overview of what Virginia expects of all those interested in earning a license to teach.
1. The first general requirement for licensure in History/Social Science 6-12 is that students demonstrate their knowledge of the content they will teach. Students must take the types of courses listed below, and such courses can be 100-level through 400-level or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. Please be sure to see academic advising for education, listed on the bottom of the back of this page, to learn the specific courses to take in each category.
2. Means of Fulfilling Subject (Or “Endorsement”) Requirements:
Undergraduate students are highly advised to select history, government, or integrative studies with a concentration in social science for education as their major.
Undergraduate students not interested in majoring in history, government, or integrative studies with a concentration in social science for education should know that fulfilling their endorsement requirements will be more time-consuming without a history or government major. Nevertheless, such students can take the above-mentioned State required endorsement courses wherever they have space for mandated electives within their major of choice.
Graduate students can take endorsement courses on the undergraduate or graduate level. These must be fulfilled prior to gaining admittance into a graduate teacher licensure program.
3. Documentation of Endorsement Requirements:
At the end of each semester in which endorsement requirements are fulfilled (or as soon as possible), students must document the completion of such courses through an online process. Students are asked to visit the Online Endorsement Worksheet (cehd.gmu.edu/teacher/endorse), click “Steps for an Endorsement Review,” and follow all directions.
The second general requirement for licensure in History/Social Science 6-12 is that students demonstrate that they have learned how to teach in their content area(s):
Students must complete a State-approved teacher licensure program. Such a program, where students learn the practical classroom teaching portion of their licensure mandate, is on the master’s degree level. Students may complete this step of the licensure process by either applying for and completing the bachelor’s/accelerated master’s path (which is only open to students who select the integrative studies bachelor’s program with a concentration in social science for education) or the traditional master’s program.