General Information

Teacher Education Program

The Teacher Education Program at West Liberty University coordinates the state approved certification programs among the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science, and the College of Arts and Communication. The governing body of the Teacher Education Program, the Teacher Education Unit, is comprised of a representative from each of the areas of certification offered by West Liberty University. The voting representatives from these certification areas determine: certification curriculum changes, program admission points, program policies, and the assessment process/plan. All certification representatives act as liaisons between the Teacher Education Program and their respective academic departments/programs and Colleges. Unit members are typically selected by Department Chairs/Program Directors, and/or Deans. Unit meetings are held twice a month and led by the Director of Teacher Education.

The West Liberty University Teacher Education Unit Bylaws

I. Purpose: The Teacher Education Unit is a policy making body with authority to review and approve and deny proposed changes in the WLU teacher education programs. This includes proposed changes in course requirements, admission and retention requirements, and requirements relating to placements for clinical and field based experiences. The Director of Teacher Education has the authority to decide which proposed changes to Teacher Education policies or procedures need to be reviewed by the Teacher Education Unit. In addition, the Dean or Department Chair of any WLU school or department which houses a teacher education program may request that the Unit consider any changes that affect those programs.

II. Composition of the Unit: Each WLU teacher education program is entitled to one representative on the Teacher Education Unit. The representative must be a full time faculty member or administrator from that department. At the time of this writing, the Unit would consist of representatives from the following programs: Elementary Education, Early Education, Early Intervention, Special Education, Art, Music, Physical Education, Health, English, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology, General Science, Math, Masters Special Education, and Masters Reading Specialist. The Teacher Education Admission/Retention Coordinator, the Coordinator of Clinical Practice, and the Teacher Education Program Data Manager will also serve on the Unit. The Unit will be chaired by the WLU Director of Teacher Education. Representatives who are unable to attend a Unit meeting may send a substitute provided that the substitute is a faculty member or administrator from the same academic department.

III. Rules of Order: Unit meetings will be conducted using the guidelines provided by Robert’s Rules of Order.

IV. Quorum: A quorum will consist of 50% of the membership of the Unit.

V. Voting: Each Unit member including the Unit Chair will have one vote. A simple majority vote of the representatives present is required for a proposal to be approved. The Director of Teacher Education may request an email vote on a proposal. In such cases, the proposal will be approved by a simple majority of the votes submitted by the Unit members.

VI. Minutes: The Director of Teacher Education will maintain a file of minutes from all Unit meetings. This file may be electronic.

VII. Meetings: The Unit will meet at least twice per term during the fall and spring semesters. Online meetings are permitted.

Membership on the Teacher Education Unit

  • Director of Teacher Education, Ms. JoJo Shay
  • Assistant Director of Teacher Education, Mrs. Nicole Shepherd
  • Data Manger, Ms. Courtney Forsch
  • Admission/Retention Coordinator, Mrs. Sarah Schimmel
  • Coordinator of Clinical Practice, Mrs. Nicole Shepherd
  • Graduate Program Director, Dr. Leann Di-Andreth Elkins
  • Special Education, Mrs. Sarah Schimmel
  • Social Studies, Dr. Aron Massey
  • English, Dr. Steve Criniti
  • Physical Education, Dr. Rhonda Noble
  • Health Education, Dr. Cathy Monteroso
  • Math, Mrs. Jenna Cook
  • General Science,
  • Biology, Dr. Karen Kettler
  • Chemistry, Dr. Theunis van Aardt
  • Art, Ms. Nancy Tirone
  • Music, Mr. Patrick Garrett
  • Early Education, Kathleen Nail (effective Jan. 2017)
  • Elementary Education,


Almost from its beginning when it was chartered as an academy by the Virginia Legislature in 1837, West Liberty Academy had the preparation of teachers as one of its purposes.  That mission was formalized on March 1, 1870 when the West Virginia Legislature officially renamed the institution and chartered it as West Liberty Normal School. The normal school name lasted until 1931 when an act of the West Virginia Legislature redefined the institution as West Liberty State Teachers’ College thereby granting it the privilege of expanding the curriculum from the two year normal school program for elementary teachers to a four year degree program for the preparation of either elementary or secondary teachers. With an early interest in program quality, the college obtained a special appropriation from the legislature to expand the library from 8300 volumes to over 15,000 volumes thereby overcoming the last roadblock to acceptance and accreditation in 1937 by the American Association of Teachers Colleges. When the West Virginia Legislature expanded the role of the institution and renamed it in 1943, the legislation included the following wording, “The function of the college shall continue to be the preparation of teachers through such courses of study as the faculties thereof shall proscribe with the approval of the State Board of Education.” the current charter of the University sets teacher preparation as one of the primary purposes of the institution.


In 1954, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (Formerly the American Association of Teachers Colleges) turned the role of accrediting teacher education programs over to the newly formed National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). West Liberty was one of the first institutions to be accredited by NCATE and is listed as one of the NCATE charter schools. West Liberty celebrated fifty years of NCATE accreditation in 2004, and last received approval in 2011. CAEP accreditation (which will replace NCATE accreditation) will occur in Spring 2018.