Teaching certification earned in West Virginia is recognized by Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia without any additional testing or coursework requirements.
New Jersey will recognize and adopt WV certification if the teacher has at least three years of teaching experience or if the teacher has a coursework GPA of at least 3.0.
Certifications are granted by area of study. For example, you can be certified to teach physics while not being certified to teach biology. Earning certification in multiple areas is allowed and encouraged; generally speaking, a teacher who is certified to teach physics, chemistry, and biology is a more appealing potential hire than is a teacher who is certified to teach only biology.
Certification processes and requirements are determined within each state, so different states have different systems. The general format, though, is a first test or set of tests to establish general abilities in reading, writing, and basic math, followed by a second bank of tests focus in on teaching skills and/or content knowledge within an area. Many states use the same examinations for this, but passing scores may still differ by state.
Ohio uses its own set of all tests, the Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE), for initial licensure, but West Virginia and all other nearby states use the Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) exam to test for basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Some of these states also accept other qualifications – such as ACT, SAT, or GRE scores, a certain score on their own state-created test, or an advanced degree – in lieu of passing the CASE exams. See our overview page or the page for the specific state you are interested in for details.
Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia require passing the Praxis® Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test – in addition to the others mentioned here – for initial certification. Pennsylvania requires passing the Praxis® Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge exam instead of the PLT.
Except for Ohio, all nearby states use the Praxis® 2: Content Knowledge exams for qualifying within a certification area. Areas may be classified slightly differently in other states, but West Virginia’s areas of secondary certification most relevant to science majors are biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and space science, general science, mathematics, and physics. In West Virginia and many other states, a certification area can be added to an existing certificate by passing the corresponding Content Knowledge exam.
A quick state-by-state comparison can be found on our overview page, but complete information on each state – including lists of available alternative licensure programs and lists of colleges with MAT programs – can be found in the files linked below.
As an example: To earn initial certification to teach physics in West Virginia, in addition to required coursework and supervised experience, you would need to achieve:
Any one of these four:
- 156 on CASE Reading and 162 on CASE Writing and 150 on CASE Math
- 26 on the ACT
- 1170 on the SAT
- a master’s degree
- 157 on the Praxis® PLT exam
- 126 on the Praxis® 2: Physics Content Knowledge exam
There are many scholarships available to students who are pursuing a degree in education or who commit to teaching in a public school. Eligibility for different scholarships can also vary by major and degree level.