Frequently Asked Questions
What is the WVUteach program?
WVUteach is a program targeted for undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) majors who are interested in expanding their professional skills and exploring a career in secondary teaching. Most students can graduate in four years with a degree in his or her content area as well as fulfill the requirements for state certification as a highly qualified secondary STEM teacher by the West Virginia Department of Education. The program emphasizes field-based experiences early and throughout your college career.
Do I have to change my major to work towards teacher certification?
No. WVUteach courses can be added to certain WVU majors; however, this could add more hours overall. Visit our Degree Guides for more information.
Is WVUteach an accredited preparation program?
WVU is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Education Preparation Provider (EPP) at WVU is currently accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is a Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) eligible provider. Only the EPP is accredited by NCATE, and the EPP is a CAEP eligible provider. Specific programs/colleges are not accredited; only the EPP is accredited.
The licensure area(s) offered at our EPP has/have been approved by the West Virginia Board of Education.
If I follow a teaching degree option, could I still compete in my field or go to graduate school if I decide not to teach?
Yes. Under the teaching options you take the same courses as students in the nonteaching options, except for slight variations. You could compete with students in the non-teaching option for the same jobs and graduate programs in your field.
I've heard that students start teaching their first semester in the program. Is that true?
Yes, that is true. In our ARSC 120 course, students start to write lesson plans and teach these lessons to elementary school children the very first semester in the program. Students visit elementary schools to observe twice and return on three separate occasions to teach short lessons. This way, students get a very early idea of what it is like to teach and can decide if they would like to continue towards fulfilling the West Virginia Department of Education requirements of certification.
The courses seem to have significant time requirements. How can I fit the time into my already packed schedule?
Fitting it in will be easier than you think. For the first two courses (Step 1 and Step 2), just make sure that at least one day a week you have a 2.5-hour block of time to go out to schools. Elementary schools generally close at 2:30; middle schools close at 3:30. The other courses in the professional development sequence (two in particular: Classroom Interactions and Project Based Instruction) will require significantly more time per week. Students are generally able to work required teachings and projects into their schedule just as they would any other course.
Is there a specific GPA I need to enter the WVUteach Program and to graduate from the program?
Yes, to enter the WVUteach Program (students generally enter the Program during the same semester they enroll in UTCH 222 - Classroom Interactions in Math and Science), a student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75.
What are the special resources devoted to WVUteach students?
WVUteach students enjoy program-specific options to support their academic work. Within a community of like-minded students, the WVUteach program provides resources such as program-specific classrooms, customized advising, a dedicated workspace, and a well-supported student organization.
How will I be supported in school-based experiences?
Master Teachers, Mentor Teachers, and University Faculty are part of the school based WVUteach program experiences. Before, during, and after teaching, students are offered feedback and support as they plan, practice, and reflect upon their lessons.
Will I be able to get a job?
The demand for math, science, and engineering teachers is still very high, not only in West Virginia, but across the U.S. WVUteach will support students through the job search, with coaching on all aspects of the process, such as resume writing, best interview practices, etc. In addition, the WVUteach program supports graduates through their first year of teaching with mentoring, professional development, and more.
Where can I get more information about the job market?
Currently, the UTeach Institute, which manages replication of the UTeach model, publishes statistics about all UTeach programs. In addition, the United States Department of Labor publishes their Occupational Outlook Handbook, with a section for high school teachers.
Do I need to take any tests to become a teacher?
Yes, you will need to take two Praxis tests: one of these tests are required for all licensure areas (unless waived by ACT or SAT Scores), and one of these tests is required for your specific licensure area (i.e., Biology, Chemistry, Chemistry and Physics, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics, and Physics). Additionally, during UTCH 430, teacher candidates will complete the edTPA Performance Assessment.
When do I take the tests to be a teacher?
Please refer to the WVUteach Handbook for the most up-to-date details on when tests will be administered as well as information on CASE/Core Praxis test exemptions.
Is West Virginia the only state I can teach in once I certified to teach?
STEM teachers are in high demand across the country. Upon graduation, students who have fulfilled the requirements for their secondary STEM certification by the West Virginia Department of Education through the WVUteach program are eligible for reciprocal certification in 47 states and territories in and around the United States. The State of West Virginia participates in a reciprocal teacher certification agreement with the states listed below via the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Certification Contract. This agreement makes it easier for teachers certified in one state to become certified teachers in another state.
The following states/territories/organizations also participate:
- British Columbia
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina