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The West Virginia

The West Virginia Program Guide

Program Guide

The West Virginia Program Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction

2

Why Live and Teach in West Virginia

4

Success Stories The Troops to Teachers Process

5

• Step 1: Eligibility

7

• Step 2: Registration

10

• Step 3: Educator Preparation

12

• Step 4: Finding Employment

14

Contact Information

17

INTRODUCTION

If you have served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard, you know what it means to positively affect change. As a teacher, you get the chance to reach young people with your confidence, discipline, and experience when they need you most. When you reach them, they never forget it. Since 1994, Troops to Teachers has helped thousands of military personnel find rewarding new careers as teachers. Our program offers significant benefits and incentives to qualifying program members:

Career counseling

Job placement assistance

Up to a $5,000 stipend or a $10,000 bonus

program members: • Career counseling • Job placement assistance • Up to a $5,000 stipend or
program members: • Career counseling • Job placement assistance • Up to a $5,000 stipend or
program members: • Career counseling • Job placement assistance • Up to a $5,000 stipend or

You

Have what

it takes

Providing our children with a high-quality educational experience is and has always been the key to our nation’s success. Teachers help students acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to become productive members of an ever-changing global community. Without teachers, there would be no doctors, architects, lawyers, scientists, skilled professionals, or certified laborers of any profession. Professional educators are empowered with the unique responsibility and opportunity to positively change lives, serve communities, shape minds, and prepare a new generation for the challenges of the 21st century. No other profession

will make a greater impact on how our society evolves to meet the emerging demands of an exciting new era.

Military service members embody the skills and possess the knowledge and values that make this country great. They are professionals who serve as role models and leaders for our students. Will you choose to answer the call of public service again and lead young Americans in their efforts to become champions of a new age? Will you teach West Virginia?

Why live and

teach in west virgin ia?

West Virginia

is deeply rooted in its culture and history,

featuring fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities (river sports, winter sports, adventure sports, golf, fishing, hunting), quiet places to catch up (romantic

getaways, small town gems, parks), and scenery that is unrivaled in its beauty. From the wilderness of the great outdoors to the technologically advanced business centers of West Virginia, country roads of the Mountain State lead to unique opportunities and pleasant destinations that you can be proud to call home.

The demand for teachers in West Virginia has never been greater. With many of our teachers reaching the age of retirement eligibility, opportunities for new educators are constantly on the rise. Troops to Teachers is looking to replace these dedicated public servants with America’s finest. Patriotism is an important cornerstone of every mountaineer’s way of life and you can expect to meet many friendly folks who share and understand the many important sacrifices that you and your family have made to protect our nation. There is simply no better place to begin your educational career than right here in West Virginia!

west virgin ia Success Stor ies

Stefan Smolski

west virgin ia Success Stor ies Stefan Smolski A research biologist before enlisting into the service,
west virgin ia Success Stor ies Stefan Smolski A research biologist before enlisting into the service,

A research biologist before enlisting into the service, Stefan Smolski served in various positions during his 23-year military career, including posts as an intelligence officer and a naval flight officer. Upon his retirement, Stefan decided to build on his bachelor’s degree in biology by completing 45 hours of undergraduate work at Fairmont State University to earn his teaching certification. He has further developed as a professional by completing a Master’s degree in Secondary Education at West Virginia University. For the past nine years, Stefan has taught physical science and biology in New Cumberland, W.Va. Stefan could have easily walked into a variety of jobs with his amazing experiences, but he chose to educate the youth of West Virginia and since has never looked back. Today, he serves the program as our state mentor assisting veterans in their transition to the classroom.

Success Stor ies

Victor ia Grogan

Success Stor ies Victor ia Grogan There are a variety of ways that an individual may

There are a variety of ways that an individual may attain a teaching certification. For Victoria Grogan, it was the traditional route via a bachelor’s degree in education. During her time in the Air National Guard, Grogan used her funds from the GI Bill to complete an approved teacher preparation program for mathematics at Concord University. Upon graduation, she registered with the Troops to Teachers program and began receiving part of her $10,000 bonus for agreeing to teach at a high-need school for three years. Today, she continues to make an impact in her community as a full-time teacher in Mercer County, W.Va., and as a member of the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Samantha Urbanek

As an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, Samantha Urbanek served honorably for six years. During her time as a human resources specialist in the armed forces, Samantha used the military’s financial assistance to earn both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters in Business in Administration. Urbanek has always felt a need to answer the call to public service. With the Troops to Teachers program, she found a new way to make a difference in her country. The Troops to Teachers program was instrumental in providing her with assistance that enabled her to make a smooth transition into the classroom as a teacher. She was referred to an alternative route to certification program called Transition to Teaching. Transition to Teaching

provided her with tuition assistance, online coursework, support from an experienced mentor teacher, and promptly allowed her to enter the classroom at the beginning of the school year. Immediately, Urbanek was able to achieve her dream of making a positive impact in the lives of young people by providing a very special group of students with the support that they need to realize and reach their full potential. She now proudly serves as a special education teacher in Mingo County, W.Va.

to realize and reach their full potential. She now proudly serves as a special education teacher

the troopstoteachers process

Step 1: Determining Eligibility

In determining your eligibility for Troops to Teachers, it is important to understand that our candidates follow different routes to attaining program eligibility:

First, we have candidates who currently meet the educational and time-in-service requirements. These individuals should register with the Troops to Teachers program immediately to begin receiving their benefits and/or incentives.

Second, we have candidates who are working on a bachelor’s degree and do not currently meet the educational requirements of Troops to Teachers. These individuals should consider using one of the following strategies for registration:

• Continuing to work on the completion of their current bachelor’s degree and planning to join a state approved post-bachelor’s teacher certification program. These individuals should register after attaining a bachelor’s degree and before selecting a teacher preparation program.

• Switching academic majors for the bachelor’s degree program to education and joining a state approved teacher preparation program. Registration would occur upon completion of the bachelor’s degree in education.

Third, we have candidates who do not currently meet the time in service requirements for Troops to Teachers. These individuals should continue on with their military service and register upon attaining the required amount of time in service.

Finally, we have individuals who are interested in teaching Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes. A bachelor’s degree is not necessarily required to teach CTE courses and therefore individuals interested in using the program to attain employment as a Career and Technical educator should plan to register with the program upon attaining the required work-related experience and certifications/credentials.

To review program requirements for Troops to Teachers, simply refer to the listing on the next page or visit www.proudtoserveagain.com to gain access to an interactive self-determination

eligibility guide.

Note: The requirements listed in this program guide are subject to change at any time. Visit www.proudtoserveagain.com for up-to-date details on program eligibility.

7

Program Eligibility criteria

Eligibility for Counseling and Referral Services

Counseling and referral services include the following:

Access to our State Offices for counseling relative to becoming a certified teacher

Participation in the job referral process via the Internet

Use of the MENTOR Connection to contact TTT participants who are teaching for advice about transitioning to teaching as a second career

Those eligible for career counseling and referral services must meet the following criteria:

A. Service Requirements: Active or Selected Reserve component personnel who: 1) retired, 2) separated with six or more years of credible service toward retirement on or after October 1, 1990, or 3) separated with a service-determined physical disability on or after January 8, 2002 and registered within four years of separation, or 4) current members with six or more years of creditable service towards retirement. The last period of service must be honorable. Those selected to participate in the Program before retirement, separation, or release from active duty may continue to participate only if the last period of service is characterized as honorable.

B. Educational Requirements: Must hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution at the time of registration for academic teacher referral (West Virginia policy also recognizes regional accredidation), or have the equivalent of one year of college with six years of work experience in a vocational or technical field, or meet state requirements for vocational/technical teacher referral.

The U.S. Department of Education establishes the operating rules that govern identification of schools where Troops to Teachers participants who accept financial assistance may fulfill their three-year teaching obligation.

Eligibility for Financial Assistance

In addition to the educational requirements and pending availability of funds, financial assistance may be provided to qualified service members in the form of either (A) a stipend of up to $5,000 for teacher certification expenses for which individuals must teach for three years at a public school within a “high-need” school district; or (B) a bonus of $10,000 to teach for three years in a public school within a “high-need” school district in which the school also serves a high percentage of disadvantaged students. To qualify, a service member must meet one of the requirements listed below.

Active Duty (AD)

AD-1. Retired from active duty. AD-2. Active duty member with approved date of retirement with one year or less remaining before retirement. AD-3. Separated for a service-determined physical disability on or after January 8, 2002. Must register within four years after separation. Note: Physical disability must be noted on service separation documentation not a VA determination. Medical discharge is not the same as discharge due to physical disability.

Reserve Component (RC)

RC-1. Retired from the Selected Reserve. RC-2. Currently serving in the Selected Reserve with 10 or more years of creditable service toward retirement and commit to serving an additional three years, or until eligible for retirement. RC-3. Separated from the Selected Reserve due to a service-determined physical disability on or after January 8, 2002. Must register within four years after separation. Note: Physical disability must be noted on service separation documentation not a VA determination. Medical discharge is not the same as discharge due to physical disability. RC-4. Individuals transitioning from active duty on or after January 8, 2002, and have served six years on active duty immediately before separation, and committed to three years with a Selected Reserve unit. Must register within four years after separation.

the troopstoteachers process

Step 2: Registration

Troops to Teachers candidates may choose to register with the program in one of two ways:

1. Register online at www.proudtoserveagain.com and then send the qualifying documentation to:

DANTES Troops to Teachers

6490 Saufley Field Road

Pensacola, FL 32509-5243

OR

2. Complete a paper registration form and then mail the registration packet with all of the qualifying documentation to:

DANTES Troops to Teachers

6490 Saufley Field Road

Pensacola, FL 32509-5243

Accessing Your Time-in-Service Documentation

eVetRecs allows veterans to request copies of their military personnel records at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html.

For assistance with the registration process, contact:

Troops to Teachers National Office

1.800.231.6242

ttt@navy.mil

Or

Robert P. Mellace III Troops to Teachers Coordinator West Virginia Department of Education Office of Professional Preparation Building 6, Room 252 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East Charleston, WV 25305

1.800.982.2378

1.304.558.7010

rmellace@access.k12.wv.us

the troopstoteachers process

Step 3: Educator Preparation

To become a professional educator of the mountain state, you must first select a teacher preparation program that leads to a West Virginia teaching certification. This will require that you locate a university with an approved teacher certification program. This may be done by visiting West Virginia’s online teacher recruitment center at www.teachwv.com. You will need to access the Educator Preparation tab. This will allow you to navigate a fully interactive map of universities that offer educator preparation programs throughout West Virginia. Simply select the subject area that you would like to teach, highlight the corresponding college or university, and then you will be on your way to beginning an exciting new career in education.

your way to beginning an exciting new career in education. Alternative routes to certification may exist

Alternative routes to certification may exist for individuals who already possess a bachelor’s degree. These alternative routes may accelerate the process of certification in the high need subject areas of math, science, special education, English and foreign languages at secondary grade levels (Grades 6-12). The Transition to Teaching program is one of these alternative route programs. Transition to Teaching allows a select number of teacher candidates who are switching careers to work on their certification as they teach full- time. Benefits of joining the Transition to Teaching program include:

• Employment while completing online coursework

• Financial incentives

• Continuous support from academic coaches and mentors

• Use of a laptop computer

For more information about the Transition to Teaching program visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/transitiontoteaching/.

12

Career and Technical Education

The requirements for career and technical education (CTE) at the high-school level vary. It may be possible to begin teaching in one of our state’s CTE concentration areas with as little as a GED or high-school level diploma if you have industry-recognized credentials, pass all required basic skills and occupational competency exams, and possess the appropriate documented wage-earning, work experience. Career and technical educators have the advantage of being able to initially apply for full-time employment without certification. Once hired, the teacher must complete all required coursework through the approved academic program offered at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVUIT) to become certified. This program consists of seven courses (22 credit hours) taken over a maximum period of five years. For more information about career and technical education, visit the West Virginia Career and Technical Education homepage at http://careertech.k12.wv.us/ or www.teachwv.com.

Transferring Military Credit to College Credit:

More than 2,300 colleges and universities recognize transcripts endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE) as official documentation of military experiences and accurate records of applicable ACE credit recommendations. The military provides several fully online resources that make it easier than ever to transfer military courses into college credit:

Army, Army National Guard, and US Army Reserve: http://aarts.army.mil/

Navy and Marines:

http://smart.navy.mil

Air Force: http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/transcripts.asp

Coast Guard: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg1/cgi/ro/official_transcript.asp

the troopstoteachers process

Step 4: Finding Employment

Substitute Teaching:

There may be no better way of opening the door to job opportunities with a local school district than by beginning your teaching career as a substitute. The state requires candidates for substitute teaching permits to:

Have attained a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.0 GPA from an accredited institution of higher education;

Be willing to complete three days (18 clock hours) of educational training;

Have a record of good moral character and receive recommendation from the superintendent of the county in which he/she will be employed.

Be sure to contact your local school district for more details on how you may become a substitute teacher.

Opportunities to Teach with a First-Class/Full-Time Permit

Candidates currently enrolled in an approved teacher certification program who already hold a bachelor’s degree and at least a 2.5 GPA from a regionally accredited institution of higher education may pursue full-time positions via a First-Class/Full-Time Permit. These individuals may apply for full-time teaching positions while working on their teaching certificate, provided they:

• Have a professional commitment verifying enrollment into a state approved teacher preparation program.

• Have completed 25 percent of an approved program or six semester hours (whichever is greater) of credit verified by the institution of higher education in the specialization area of which the candidate desires to teach.

• Attain the recommendation of a county superintendent verifying that the applicant is the most qualified person for the position and has been hired for the position.

The candidate must complete all professional teaching certificate requirements within five years of receiving the First-Class/Full-Time Permit.

Complete the following tasks to locate jobs and complete your transition as a professional educator:

1. Check each county/school district website for job postings at Teach West Virginia (www.teachwv.com).

2. Check the West Virginia State Job Bank (http://wvde.state.wv.us/jobs/).

3. Apply for jobs within the school districts of your choice.

4. Interview with the school districts.

5. Become employed as a professional educator.

For more details about substitute teaching permits, First-Class/Full-Time Permits, teacher certification

requirements, or job opportunities visit www.teachwv.com or call the Office of Professional Preparation at

1.800.982.2378.

Step 4: Finding Employment (cont’d)

Junior ROTC Programs for High Schools

The Troops to Teachers program offers career counseling and assistance in finding initial or future employment as a JROTC instructor. The following links are to the official websites for JROTC in each military branch.

• US AIR FORCE:

http://www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/AFJROTC/AboutJROTC.asp

• US ARMY:

https://www.usarmyjrotc.com/

• US MARINE CORPS: (select cancel if asked for a password) http://www.mcjrotc.org/about/

• US NAVY:

https://www.njrotc.navy.mil/what_is_njrotc.asp

For more information about the Troops to Teachers program and how to become an educator in West Virginia, please visit our program’s federal website at

www.proudtoserveagain.com

our state website at

http://wvde.state.wv.us/troopstoteachers

or contact:

Robert P. Mellace III Troops to Teachers Coordinator West Virginia Department of Education Office of Professional Preparation Building 6, Room 252 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East Charleston, WV 25305

1.800.982.2378

1.304.558.7010

rmellace@access.k12.wv.us

W est V irginia B oard of e ducation 2010-11 Priscilla M. Haden , President

West Virginia Board of education

2010-11

Priscilla M. Haden, President Jenny N. Phillips, Vice President Robert W. Dunlevy , Secretary

Michael I. Green, Member Burma Hatfield, Member Lowell E. Johnson, Member L. Wade Linger Jr., Member Gayle C. Manchin, Member William M. White, Member

Brian E. Noland, Ex Officio Chancellor West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

James L. Skidmore, Ex Officio Chancellor West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education

Jorea M. Marple, Ed.D., Ex Officio State Superintendent of Schools West Virginia Department of Education

Education Jorea M. Marple, Ed.D. , Ex Officio State Superintendent of Schools West Virginia Department of