The Alternative Certification Program is designed to allow candidates from non-education backgrounds to obtain West Virginia teacher licensure in visual impairments, multicategorical, and autism (at the 5-Adult level). The alternative program does not include a general education teaching endorsement.

Students must meet all special education program admission requirements. In addition to the general special education admission requirements, applicants must pass the Praxis I (Pre-Professional Skills Test) in reading, mathematics, and writing within their first twelve hours of coursework. The Praxis I requirement is waived for applicants with an enhanced ACT score of 26 or higher, a re-centered SAT score of 1125 or higher or if the applicant holds a master’s degree.

Current West Virginia Department of Education initial certification requirements also require a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, as well as a 2.5 GPA in the content specialization area. Candidates in the alternative certification program must also meet the WVDE Praxis II testing requirements including the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test at the 5-9 or 7-12 levels.

In addition to the special education core and certification area course requirements, students in the alternative certification program must complete EDF 619 and EDF 616 for certification. Additional master’s degree requirements are the same as for all other special education master’s degree programs.