Completion of Student Teaching and Certification

Admission Point # 3

Completion of Student Teaching

Student Teaching is a semester-long experience; teacher candidates fulfill two seven- week placements in schools in the regional area. Two professional education courses, Senior Seminar and School Law, are taken concurrently with the student teaching experience. As part of these courses, teacher candidates must complete a capstone project (documentation of student achievement) and a professional portfolio, a mock interview, and a professional knowledge competency test.

Note: The candidate must achieve a “Target” rating on the Professional Portfolio, Capstone, Mock Interview, and Professional Knowledge Competency Test in order to receive credit for the Senior Seminar course.  The Professional Portfolio and Capstone Project are completed in In addition, the candidate must achieve an “Acceptable” or “Target” rating on the summative assessments in order to pass each student teaching placement.

Candidates who are pursuing the BA degree must submit an Application for Graduation to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline established by that office. The Registrar’s Office staff determines if the candidate has met the graduation requirements.

Alternative Certification Candidates

Often, individuals with an existing BA or BS degree seek teacher certification in West Liberty’s Teacher Education Program.   In those instances, it may be necessary to modify program procedures.

Initial Certification

For those individuals with an existing BA or BS degree, the Certification Officer will first complete a transcript analysis of any additional content courses needed. A listing of all needed pedagogical program courses will be provided to the individual.

The individual will complete the pedagogical program sequence beginning with EDUC 100. Program admission requirements remain the same. However, as part of the application for student teaching, given the cumulative nature of the content portfolio and the lack of artifacts, these individuals may submit passing Praxis II content tests in lieu of a content portfolio.

Add-on Certification

For those licensed or license-eligible teachers who wish to add an area of certification, modified program admission procedures will be followed.  The individual will complete an alternative application form. The individual will be responsible for completing a content portfolio in his/her area of certification field prior to completion of a student teaching experience. During the student teaching experience, the individual will complete a capstone project (demonstrating the achievement of classroom students).

Obtaining Teaching Certification/Licensure

To qualify for West Virginia teaching certification, each graduate must also pass all of the required Praxis II tests for the subject area that he or she intends to teach. A list of the required Praxis II tests, along with the required passing scores, is available at the following website:

Click this link to review more information on the teacher certification requirements in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Certification Packet

Graduates may obtain certification packets through the following approaches:

  • Request a packet from the College of Education office in Main Hall 308
  • Request a packet from West Virginia Department of Education

Special Instructions for Documents included in the Certification Packet

  • Fingerprint Card
    The packet includes a fingerprint card that must be completed by a certified police agency. Some police departments charge a modest fee for this service, but most of the local police agencies will do the fingerprinting for free. YOU MUST USE THE CARD PROVIDED BY THE WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. It has an identifying number stamped on it that is needed in at the WV Department of Education.
  • Form 7
    The packet includes a form (Form 7) that needs to be notarized. Note that a Notary Public is a witness to the signature and the form must be signed in his or her presence.

Certification Packet Submission

After completing the application form,  it must be returned to  the College of Education office:

West Liberty University Certification Officer
College of Education
308 Main Hall
208 University Drive
College Union Box 147
West Liberty, WV 26074

Certification Packet Review Process

The West Liberty University Certification Officer will verify that all certification requirements have been met and sign an institutional recommendation. The Registrar’s Office will attach an official transcript and forward the application to the West Virginia Department of Education. A transcript fee may apply.

Points to remember:

  • The application for certification may be submitted to the College of Education prior to graduation, but the Registrar’s Office cannot send it to the WVDE until after the degree is posted and a formal final transcript can be generated. Since faculty members are not required to submit final grades until the Monday after graduation, generally final degree audits are not completed until about a week after graduation. All Praxis II certification tests must have also been passed.
  • The West Virginia Department of Education requires 4 to 6 weeks to process the application. Teacher candidates can monitor the status of their application on-line at the West Virginia Department of Education website.
  • The WLU College of Education is not notified of the issuance or denial of a teacher candidate’s certification. If a teacher candidate receives notification of a problem regarding his or her application, contact the West Liberty University Certification Officer for assistance or advice.