P. O. BOX 2120

June 2, 2000


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: JoLynne DeMary
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: "Career Switcher" Alternative Route to Licensure Pilot Programs for Military Personnel

 In response to the 1999 Appropriation Act and Senate Joint 
Resolution 384, the Department of Education completed a study of 
alternative routes to licensure, specifically reviewing Texas 
and New Jersey programs. Subsequently, a task force was convened 
to propose a model program to enhance the alternative route to 
licensure for military personnel and other career professionals.  
As a result of the study and the work of the task force, the 
Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce that 
a "Career Switcher" Alternative Route to Licensure Pilot Program 
for Military Personnel will be conducted during the 2000-2001 
school year.  

The demonstration pilot, including a summer intensive 
professional induction program, continued preparation during the 
first year of teaching, and an assigned mentor, is designed to 
be completed successfully in one year. The program is applicable 
to all teaching areas except special education. 

Eligible candidates for the program were required to complete 
an application process, have an earned bachelor's degree, and 
have met teaching area requirements or the equivalent.  In 
addition, candidates must have satisfied Virginia's requirements 
for Praxis I (reading, writing and mathematics) and Praxis II 
(subject area content).

Two cohorts of candidates with military experience will 
participate in the intensive summer pilot program to be 
conducted July 10-July 28, 2000.  The program will be conducted 
concurrently at two sites, one in the Tidewater area and the
other in Northern Virginia. Candidates accepted into the program 
have a broad range of educational and career experiences.  The 
candidates, many of whom were officers, have an average of 
approximately 15 years of military experience, and the majority 
have earned master's degrees.

Meetings with human resources directors in the Tidewater and Northern Virginia 
regions have been conducted to invite participation in the assignment of mentors to 
these prospective teachers.  Even though most of the candidates reside in these 
regions, some candidates are interested in employment in other regions.  The 
candidates in the program will be eligible for employment during the 2000-2001 
school year. 

Proposed regulatory revisions in the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel to 
expand the alternative routes to licensure have been approved by the Board of 
Education for public comment.    Upon completion of the demonstration pilot this 
year, the Board of Education is interested in expanding the program to other career 
fields during the summer of 2001.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott, assistant superintendent, 
division of teacher education and licensure, (e-mail at 
(804) 371-2522 if you have any questions regarding the "career switcher" alternative
route to licensure pilot program.