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Undergraduate Teacher Preparation
At Radford University, teacher preparation is about building professional learning communities of life-long learners.
If you think you want to be a teacher, it is never too early to start building your professional learning community!
Here’s how you get started working toward the Teacher Education Program Community at Radford:
Step 1: Declare your major and set your concentration as education.
You may be wondering . . . how do I declare or change my major and set my concentration. Those are excellent questions!
First, let’s make sure you know which major to declare. The majors listed in the Choose Your Major document linked below are Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) approved teacher preparation programs. Use the Choose Your Major chart to pick the grade or subject you want to teach then make sure you are declaring the correct major to meet Virginia teacher licensure requirements.
Choose Your Major reference chart [PDF]
Step 2: Take Test #1: The Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)
To earn your initial teaching license in Virginia, you have to meet several testing requirements. You can learn more about the testing requirements for your teaching license on the Teacher Licensure Assessments page.
For now, you just need to take the VCLA. You’ll see other testing requirements in Step 7.
Learn more about the VCLA .
Step 3: Make it official! Join the RU Teacher Education Community.
Submit your Pre-Teacher Education Program (TEP) application during your third semester at Radford. Deadlines for the Pre-TEP application are October 1 (if your third semester is a fall semester) or March 1 (if your third semester is a spring semester).
Once you submit your Pre-TEP application, you’ll get to know the Office of Field Experience (OFEX) staff very well. They will guide you through the next steps of the Teacher Education Program and licensure requirements. However, the next steps will look something like this:
Step 4: Keep working on your coursework and keep your GPA up!
|If you want to teach . .||Your GPA must be no lower than...|
|English, Math, Social Studies, Spanish||2.75|
|Art, Music, Health & PE, Middle school, any Science, Early Childhood Special Education, any Special Education||2.5|
|As a Graduate student in any area||2.75/3.0|
Step 5: Get some experience working with youth.
Let’s make sure you enjoy working with youth in a structured environment before you start teaching! Find out more about how you can meet the 50 hours of pre-field experience requirement for your TEP application here
Step 6: Attend a mandatory TEP Informational Meeting one year before you plan to begin your field experience.
When will I start my field experience, you may ask . . . this might help . . .
I want to teach Elementary . . . and I'll graduate...
|Spring 2024||Fall 2024||Spring 2025|
I want to teach Art, Music, or Health & PE . . . and I’ll graduate . . .
|Fall 2023||Spring 2024||Fall 2024|
I want to teach Special Education, or Middle School and/or High School subjects . . . and I’ll graduate
|Spring 2024||Spring 2025||Spring 2026|
Step 7: Take Test #2: Praxis II (for licensure areas that require it).
Learn more about Praxis II. You should set a goal to have the Praxis exam for your endorsement area passed before the beginning of the second semester as a Junior or by the end of the semester before you will apply to the TEP.
You can learn more about the testing requirements and determine the correct Praxis II exam for your teaching endorsement on the Teacher Licensure Assessments page.
Step 8: Submit the full TEP application to earn your Teacher Candidate status and begin your field experience.
Wondering when you will apply to the Teacher Education Program? You will submit your complete TEP application the semester before your field experience starts. See the handy charts below to determine when you will need to submit your full TEP application. Revisit the chart in Step 6 for a reminder of your field experience start semester.
|Field Experience Starts||Attend an Informational Meeting in||Apply for Teacher Candidate status|
|Fall 2023||Fall 2022||February 20, 2023|
|Spring 2024||Spring 2023||September 18, 2023|
|Fall 2024||Fall 2023||February 19, 2024|
Step 9: Coursework & Field Experience!
If you want to learn more now about the courses you’ll take during your field experience semesters and how field experience works, meet with your advisor and ask to start a progress sheet for your degree .
Step 10: Complete your degree and apply for teacher licensure!
The OFEX will walk you through the licensure process as you finish up your field experience. If you’d like to know more about Virginia teacher licensure requirements, you can check out the VDOE licensure page.
Did you know you have options to earn an advanced degree and add additional endorsements to your teaching license?
Some teacher education programs offer a fifth year Master of Science Degree. Students who graduate with their bachelor’s degree in elementary education, deaf and hard of hearing special education, or early childhood special education are eligible for the fifth-year option.
Click the undergraduate program listed below to learn more about the fifth-year option.
Elementary Education +1 :M.S. in Special Education
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Special Education +1: M.S. in Special Education
Early Childhood Special Education +1: M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction