Want to teach? PDCCC can help

Published 10:43 pm Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Virginia Community College System Career Switcher Program is offered through the Division of Workforce Development at Paul D. Camp Community College. This fast-track program provides professionals with bachelor’s degrees an opportunity to become teachers in critically needed subject areas. Following are details derived from the VCCS Web site.

Career Switcher Program

An alternative path to teacher licensure, the Career Switcher Program through the Virginia Community College System is designed to attract individuals from various occupational and life experiences to become classroom teachers, thereby increasing the quality and diversity of applicants to the profession.

And the good news for those considering a career switch to teaching is that the traditional four-year teacher training programs are no longer the only way to satisfy state certification requirements. Now, experienced professionals with baccalaureates who are seeking a career change have a way to enter the teaching profession on a fast track.

The Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure Program in Virginia was created in response to critical teacher shortages, particularly in math and science, and as a way to attract individuals who have considerable life experiences, career achievements and academic backgrounds suited to the teaching profession.

Requirements

Individuals who are interested in enrolling in the Career Switcher Program must apply for admission directly to a certified program provider and must have met these prerequisites: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; five years of professional work experience; coursework required for the desired teaching area; and qualifying scores on the professional teacher’s examinations — Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, Praxis II, and the Virginia Reading Assessment (if applicable).

Program benefits

The VCCS Career Switcher Program offers the following benefits:

Preparation to teach in a field with a high job demand

Coursework delivered in a concentrated, fast-track timeframe of 16 weeks

Assistance with preparation and prerequisites prior to program acceptance

Regional advisors to help along the way

Cohort atmosphere — participants will progress with their peers throughout the entire sequence of courses

Course schedules that allow participants to continue working full-time or part-time

Mentoring by seasoned teaching veterans

Supervised classroom experience

Potential for tuition assistance through dislocated worker funding

No-penalty “opt out” after an initial classroom observation period

The opportunity to follow a dream and make a difference

For more information on the Career Switcher Program at PDCCC, contact Betsy Brantley, Career Switcher Advisor, at 569-6709.

For details on other programs available at the college, call 569-6700, or visit www.pdc.edu.