West Virginia School Board OKs Alternative Paths to Teaching

May 12, 2016

The West Virginia Board of Education has approved alternative teacher certification programs in eight counties, including a McDowell County program that will bring Teach For America's services to the state.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the decision was made at the board's meeting on Wednesday.

Education department official Monica Beane says the alternative certification programs seek to fill teacher vacancies, which McDowell County, generally considered to be the state's poorest county, has had particular issues with.

Teach For America generally accepts college graduates — including those without education degrees — trains them for more than a month and gives them a one- to two-week regional orientation before placing them in struggling schools

Beane says McDowell County's program will require more prerequisites than Teach For America traditionally demands before putting applicants in classrooms.