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Virginia Expands its Partnership with iteach to 52 K-12 School Divisions 

The alternative teaching certification program fills teaching vacancies by offering an expedited path to the classroom for Virginians with a bachelor’s degree

To help fill more than 3,600 teaching vacancies, the Commonwealth of Virginia has expanded its partnership with iteach to 52 school divisions, including those with special education curriculum requirements. Since the summer of 2023, over 500 Virginians have enrolled in the program, and more than half are completing the residency component of the program in their own classrooms.

“As a former teacher, principal, and Virginia administrator myself, I’ve seen first-hand how even one teaching vacancy can affect an entire school,” said Laura Estes, Ed.D., iteach program director for Virginia. “iteach has been enormously beneficial for Virginia’s students because it places qualified teachers in the classroom in a matter of months, not years. These new teachers bring passion and excitement to their schools and provide Virginia’s students the rich and engaging education they deserve.”

For aspiring teachers who have completed a bachelor’s degree, the iteach program offers a one-year path to teacher certification, making it both faster and less expensive than certification through a university. Candidates complete iteach coursework online on a flexible schedule, and have free access to the Teaching Channel professional development platform as well as test prep resources from Passage Preparation. When they’re ready to look for their dream job, they can consult iteach’s job board and take advantage of free resume tips and templates. 

Once a new teacher has been hired, iteach provides access to one free continuing education course from Teaching Channel, and the district assigns a Classroom Supervisor as a mentor to help them navigate the challenges of their first year in the classroom. 

Henry County Public Schools has been extremely pleased to be one of the first Virginia school divisions approved to partner with iteach as an Alternate Route to Licensure,” said Christy Landon, Director of Human Relations at Henry County Public Schools. “The iteach program is affordable, and its online format allows our program participants to complete coursework when their schedules permit. It is critical that we have the qualified teachers needed to support our diverse community of learners. The iteach program offers a cost-effective and flexible path to licensure, supporting Henry County Schools with another resource to help us recruit and retain the teachers we need.”

“Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is excited to begin our partnership with iteach,” said ACPS Chief of Staff, Dr. Grace Taylor. “This collaboration provides a pathway for those eager to pursue licensure and lays the foundation for a sustained and flourishing career in education. As the division continues to strategize innovative ways to recruit qualified candidates, iteach will foster a community of dedicated individuals committed to shaping the future of learning, supporting the continued growth of our candidate pool.”

The iteach program has helped certify more than 29,500 teachers around the country, and currently works with more than 1,500 districts and Local Education Agencies in 11 states. iteach is the only non-university alternative teacher certification program that has earned accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. According to iteach’s most recent survey, 96% of school administrators and HR professionals would recommend the program to their peers based on teachers’ ability.

I wanted to become a special education teacher to help those that do not have a voice or are underrepresented,” says Brianna McCook, a woman with two bachelor’s degrees completing her iteach residency with Shenandoah County Public Schools. “I’m enjoying my experience with iteach, especially how they present bite-sized, comprehensive information and I was able to complete the prerequisites while working. I love working with special needs children and foresee a long future as an educator.”  

I am extremely thankful for iteach,” said Chelsea Brooks, who is doing her residency at Campbell County Public Schools and going through iteach with two other friends. “I started out as a substitute teacher in 2023 and quickly realized how much I loved being able to teach, encourage, love, and inspire little minds. iteach is the perfect opportunity for me to fulfill my goal and dream of becoming a teacher. I think I’ve told a handful of people recently that at my age, I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up – and that’s a teacher. The future is bright!”

According to the Virginia Department of Education, here are the 52 divisions currently partnering with iteach:

  • Accomack County Public Schools
  • Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Amherst County Public Schools
  • Arlington County Public Schools
  • Bedford County Public Schools
  • Botetourt County Public Schools
  • Buckingham County Public Schools
  • Campbell County Public Schools
  • Caroline County Public Schools
  • Charles City County Public Schools
  • Chesapeake Public Schools
  • Chesterfield County Public Schools
  • Colonial Heights Public Schools
  • Danville Public Schools
  • Dinwiddie County Public Schools
  • Essex County Public Schools
  • Fairfax County (City) Public Schools
  • Greensville County Public Schools
  • Halifax County Public Schools
  • Hampton City Public Schools
  • Hanover County Public Schools
  • Henry County Public Schools
  • Hopewell City Public Schools
  • Isle of Wight County Public Schools
  • Lancaster County Public Schools
  • Loudoun County Public Schools
  • Lunenburg County Public Schools
  • Lynchburg City Public Schools
  • Madison County Public Schools
  • Manassas Park City Schools
  • Mathews County Public Schools
  • Middlesex County Public Schools
  • Newport News City Public Schools
  • Northampton County Public Schools
  • Orange County Public Schools
  • Petersburg City Public Schools
  • Pittsylvania County Schools
  • Powhatan County Public Schools
  • Prince George County Public Schools
  • Rappahannock County Public Schools
  • Roanoke County Public Schools
  • SECEP Public School Consortium
  • Southampton County Public Schools
  • Shenandoah County Public Schools
  • Suffolk Public Schools
  • Sussex County Public Schools
  • Washington County Public Schools
  • Waynesboro City Public Schools
  • Westmoreland County Public Schools
  • Williamsburg- James City County Public Schools

An informational webinar open to the general public on Thursday, March 14th, 2024 at 4 p.m. EST. Interested individuals that feel they fit the criteria to become a teacher in Virginia can sign up through this link.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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