Frequently Asked Questions about Certification


What are the minimum requirements to become a Teacher?

A teacher must hold at least a BA degree from a regionally accredited college and meet one of the routes to licensure requirements as set forth by the VDOE. Please review the Become a Teacher webpage for more information:

Can I apply for a provisional Virginia Teaching License prior to being hired?

No, you must be contracted with a Virginia School division to be eligible for a provisional license.

Can I be hired as a contracted teacher if I hold an expired license issued by the Virginia Department of Education?

Candidates holding an expired full renewable license issued by the Virginia Department of Education are eligible to be hired. Candidates must meet all training requirements to apply for a one-year extension to the license upon hire. More information on requirements found on the License Renewal Web page.

Candidates holding an expired provisional license issued by the Virginia Department of Education must be able to show completion of all deficiencies for full licensure or provide one of the following in order to be eligible for hire in a contracted teaching assignment:

  • A full, renewable license from another state with no deficiencies and eligible for full reciprocity with the Virginia Department of Education
  • Verification of performance evaluations meeting or exceeding final/summative ratings for all three years of the provisional license and provide a planned program of study to show the ability to complete all provisional license deficiencies within one year.

How long do I have to apply for my Virginia teaching license after accepting a contracted teaching assignment?

All newly hired employees have 30 days from their Benefits/Licensure Orientation to turn in all documents to the PWCS Certification Office reflecting eligibility of Virginia Licensure or to provide a copy of a valid Virginia Teaching License endorsed in the area in which they were hired to teach. All currently employed instructional staff is required to hold and maintain a valid Virginia Teaching License while employed with PWCS.

Do I need to apply for a Virginia License if I hold a valid fully certified license from another state and I am eligible for reciprocity in Virginia?

Yes, all instructional staff employed in a Virginia School Division must hold a valid Virginia Teaching License. All out-of-state license holders must complete the Initial License Process to obtain a valid Virginia Teaching License. All forms and instructions for licensure processes are found on the certification webpage then select Licensure/Initial Licensure.


What address do I send my transcripts/documents to for certification purposes?

All documents including transcripts must be ordered and sent to the employee’s home address. Once all documents are received by the employee to complete the Licensure process, a complete packet is sent to the Certification Office with a completed Licensure Request Form clearly indicating the licensure request via interoffice mail or US mail to: PWCS Certification Office, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108.


How can I check the status of my initial licensure request or renewal?

You can check the Alpha Roster to view the status of your licensure requests that are sent to the Virginia Department of Education.


How long do I have to take the Virginia Assessments (VCLA, Praxis II, or VRA)?

PWCS requires employees to complete all assessments for licensure within the first year of teaching with PWCS. More information on assessment requirements and exemption criteria (Word).


How do I renew an expired Virginia License?

Current employees of PWCS can use the Certification License Renewal webpage to obtain Licensure Renewal Instructions and Forms.


How do I get reimbursed for classes?

There are several coursework reimbursement opportunities available to PWCS employees depending on budget and/or your license status and position – review the reimbursement options 


What classes/professional development opportunities are offered by PWCS?

Student Learning and Professional Development offer an online course catalog. For more information on Professional Development offerings,visit the Professional Learning webpage.


What is highly qualified? Am I HQ?

In general, all instructional employees must hold and maintain a valid Virginia teaching license endorsed in all areas in which they are the teacher of record. Special Education teachers must hold and maintain a valid Virginia Teaching License endorsed in the area of special education for the students being served and if they are the teacher of record for any verified credit courses, dual endorsement is preferred.

My transcripts are from a non US institute, do I have to get them evaluated for US equivalency?

Yes, all non-US transcripts must be evaluated and have a course-by-course analysis performed for US equivalency by an approved agency. Information for graduates of foreign institutions of higher learning (Word).


What is the difference in a masters program and an approved licensure program?

Masters programs completed at a regionally accredited institute that are not approved programs for licensure will be accepted to add Masters to a license and to qualify for a salary upgrade but they will not be accepted to meet full licensure requirements. Any program completed that is not an approved licensure program accepted by the Virginia Department of Education will be subject to a course-by-course analysis for licensure purposes. License holders are encouraged to enroll in approved licensure programs that will lead to licensure in an area offered by the Virginia Department of Education.