WV Press Release Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) approved the application for the approval of Teach for America Appalachia (TFAA) to provide a teacher certification program in West Virginia. The program is among the four approved under the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) Option 3 Pathway.
TFAA will support candidates with coursework at no cost to successfully pursue a non-transferrable provisional professional teaching certificate in the state. Partnering with counties, TFAA will also provide a variety of training, virtual and in-person practicum experiences and mentoring in order to fill areas of critical need.
The Option 3 Pathway allows individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and an overall 2.5 grade point average (GPA) (or qualifying GPA exemption of the West Virginia Testing Directory) to complete coursework pursuant to §18A-3-2a(a)(1)(C) for receiving a Professional Teaching Certificate. American Board, iTeach and Teach Now are also approved providers under this pathway, and additional information is available on the TeachWV website.
While TFAA is a national program, West Virginia’s plan will be similar to the Kentucky model that has been in place since 2011. The Bluegrass State reports a success rate of approximately 85% with candidates fulfilling a two-year commitment to their placement counties. The goal is for teachers to remain in their initial schools beyond that commitment.
Teacher candidates will hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree and may begin to apply for the TFAA program on the national website, teachforamerica.org.
“Approval of the Teach for America Appalachia program allows us to open another option to address this critical need in our state,” said WVBE Member Debra Sullivan. “Recruiting idealistic young people to our state for this purpose represents a huge investment. We hope they will acculturate into our communities and fall in love with teaching in West Virginia.”
The WVBE also received updates on the Department’s Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia literacy initiative. The WVDE continues to expand supports and resources including introductory instructional videos for educators on the five pillars of the Science of Reading plus writing. This approach focuses on phonics to effectively teach decoding skills to all students.
Additionally, through a partnership with the Early Learning Technical Assistance Center (ELTAC) at Marshall University, specialists provide localized training and assistance to help teachers implement strategies outlined in the initiative.
The WVDE will also launch an advertising campaign to promote the importance of literacy through a program offered by the West Virginia Broadcaster’s Association. The television and radio spots will air on stations across the state beginning in early March. To learn more about Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia visit the WVDE website.
The next regularly scheduled WVBE meeting is 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Building 6, Room 600, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or [email protected].
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