Career Switcher Program - Center for Teacher Leadership


Thinking of a career in education? 

For professionals with at least three years of full-time experience and who are passionate about teaching and education, the VCU School of Education Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure program (Career Switcher Program) is built for you.

Developed by experienced practitioners to integrate best practices for the world of teaching today. If you are looking for a meaningful career and a straightforward path to becoming a licensed educator in Virginia, this program is for you.

Endorsement Areas

VCU School of Education Career Switcher Program Offers Preparation for the Following Endorsements Areas


  • Health and Physical Education PK-12
  • English as a Second Language PK-12

Secondary (6-12) 

  • Foreign Languages 
  •  Career and Technical Education
    • Business and Information Technology
    • Marketing, Technology
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Sciences
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Science
    • Physics
  • History and Social Studies
  • English
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra I add-on endorsement (available as an additional endorsement when seeking another endorsement) 
  • Computer Science

** Note ** Applicants must take and pass the Praxis assessment in the endorsement area AND the VCLA before being admitted to the program. Detailed information on assessments is available here.  

Application Dates

Application Deadline: July 1, 2024 (for Fall 2024 Start)

Level I modules will begin on August 20, 2024 

>> Apply Here *
*The first step is creating an account.

Note: International applicants must have their transcripts evaluated by one of the approved evaluating agencies and include the evaluation when applying.

Program Cost

$2,500 flat fee for the VCU School of Education Career Switcher Program

Requirements & Overview

  • Level One* 
    • A series of online modules on topics including:
      • Curriculum and instruction (including instructional technology)
      • Reading in the content area
      • Language acquisition
      • Differentiation of instruction
      • Classroom/behavior management
      • Instructional design based on assessment data, human growth and development, and other specific course work related to the Virginia Standards of Learning
    • 30 observation/clock hours (20 additional hours if completing a PK-12 endorsement (50 hours total) 
  • Level Two**
    • Candidates obtain a full-time teaching position in the endorsement area 
    • Complete monthly check-ins with teacher coach
    • Complete monthly seminar sessions (September-May) 

*Applicants will successfully complete Level I before being approved for Level II. A one-year provisional license can be awarded upon successful completion of Level I requirements. 

**The successful completion of Level I and II are required to apply for the ten-year renewable license from the Virginia Department of Education 

Application Requirements

  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum 2.5 overall GPA
  • To upload your application, you must have ALL required components and documentation.
  • Three years of full-time work experience (does not have to be in education) 
  • Completed and passed VCLA and Praxis assessments (Praxis must be completed in the desired endorsement area; can submit passing Praxis scores for more than one endorsement area) 
  • Applicants to the Career Switchers program may be subject to a criminal background check at some point during the admissions process and an additional cost may be paid by the applicant.   
  • All VDOE training modules must be completed, and proof of completion must be submitted with your Career Switcher Program application. Required modules are:
    • Child abuse
    • Dyslexia
    • Cultural competency
    • Restraint and seclusion 
    • CPR


Sharrie Merrite, VCU School of Education, Career Switcher Program, Project Coordinator,

Additional Resources

VDOE Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure website 

Praxis assessment website 

VLCA (Virginia Communication & Literacy Assessment)