Alternative Certification Program, Special Education

The Alternative Certification Program is designed to allow candidates from non-education backgrounds to obtain West Virginia teacher licensure in Specific Learning Disabilities, Mental Impairments, Visual Impairments, Behavior Disorders, 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 and 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.

Students in the Alternative Certification program must complete the following courses for certification:

  • CIEC 534 – Applications Software in the Classroom Curriculum Area
  • CISP 606 – Reading Strategies for Exceptional Students
  • CISP 607 – Math Methods for Exceptional Students
  • CIRG 644 – Literacy in the Content Area
  • CISP 626 – Diagnostic/Clinical Practice
  • EDF 619 – Educational Psychology
  • EDF 616 – Advanced Studies in Human Development
  • All certification area courses