P. O. BOX 2120
February 2, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Career Switcher Alternative Routes to Licensure Programs, 2001-2002 School Year

The Board of Education approved conducting pilots for the career switcher alternative route to licensure program for military personnel during the 2000-2001 school year. This program was originally designed for military personnel to provide an alternative pathway to teaching for individuals who had not completed a teacher preparation curriculum but who had considerable life experiences, career achievements, and an academic background that was relevant for teaching in pre-K through grade 12.

On January 11, 2001, the Board of Education authorized the Department of Education to accept competitive grant proposals for the 2001-02 school year. These competitive grant proposals for the career switcher alternative route to licensure pilot program will be sought from Virginia public institutions using funds approved by the 2000 session of the Virginia General Assembly. Priority for the summer of 2001 will be given to prospective participants in critical shortage teaching areas from career professions other than the military.

The Board of Education also authorized the Department of Education to accept proposals from public and private educational agencies to conduct career switcher alternative route to licensure programs for military personnel based on Licensure Regulations for School Personnel effective January 31, 2001. Agencies, institutions of higher education, school divisions, schools that are members of the Virginia Council on Private Education, military service academies, and others interested in charging participant fees should seek certification approval from the Department of Education to conduct such programs. A drive-in meeting has been scheduled to discuss this option with potential contractors on February 20, 2001, in Richmond.

The Request For Proposals (RFP) to award the four competitive grants to conduct pilots during the 2001-02 school year and the option to receive program certification for a military program charging a fee will be mailed directly to prospective contractors. Information about the competitive grants and the program certification fee option may be obtained from the Department of Educationís Wed site,


If you have questions or need additional information about the alternative routes to licensure programs, please contact

Dr. Thomas A. Elliott, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, or Dr. Winston O. Odom, email: ( specialist, at (804)225-2802.


c: Institutions of Higher Education

Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE)

Regional Educational Consortiums

Private Educational Agencies

Military Service Agencies

Sylvan Learning Systems

Other Interested Educators