Schools Today Face a Critical Need

As we see the familiar “Back-to-School” ads fill commercial air time, we are reminded of new beginnings. Each year sees more than 2,000 schools in Virginia open their doors and welcome back students, according to the Virginia Department of Education(VDOE). Without qualified educators, that event becomes impossible. Teachers provide young people with knowledge and nurturing, while developing the minds of the future leaders in our communities.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the number of new teachers hired in Virginia will continue to increase as much as 40 percent through 2019. This indicates that the need for highly-qualified licensed teachers won’t slow down anytime soon. The demand for math and science teachers, as well as ESL teachers, is higher than any other endorsement area across the Commonwealth.

Considering the impact one teacher can make and the apparent hiring needs of divisions statewide, the alternative licensure programs, approved by the VDOE, are a viable option for many professionals who wish to translate their workforce experience into a promising career in a classroom.

kogden_1The Career Switcher programs offer an expedited pathway to teacher licensure, making possible the lifelong dreams of many who wish to become teachers.

This year, the EducateVA alternative teacher licensure program connected 110 new teachers with opportunities in 45 school divisions and three private schools. For more information, please visit

Authored by: Kimberly Ogden, Director of EducateVA, Community College Workforce Alliance

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