CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) launched two major efforts as a part of its TeachWV campaign during the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) meeting today, February 9, 2022.

The first of these efforts is a revision of the TeachWV.com website. The intent is for the website to be a resource for those interested in earning a teaching certificate. The TeachWV.com website has been redesigned to provide more information about options to earn a teaching certificate. The site’s new navigation allows individuals to plot their pathway based on a variety of variables. It also highlights testimonials from current college students pursuing their teaching degrees as well as those from educators, and information from teacher preparation programs around the state.

The second major effort of the WVDE is the pilot launch of a Grow Your Own (GYO) teacher preparation program. The State Superintendent Clayton Burch supports the program, believing it will be put to good use in the school system.

“The Grow Your Own pathway is teeming with potential. The county option is a good step forward, but we expect to offer other opportunities for licensure that will give people more flexibility as they explore the profession. We are at a critical stage, along with the rest of country, in dealing with the teacher shortage and we must work creatively, collectively and with consistency to address the challenges to recruitment and retention.”

State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch.

Grow Your Own models are designed to provide innovative, low-cost pathways into teaching. Grow Your Own West Virginia is one model that partners each county with an institution of higher education.

Modeled after the nursing career technical education pathway, high school students begin the journey into the profession by earning credits and eventually classroom teaching experience before graduating high school. The goal is for candidates to enter a college with a minimum of 22 credit hours. In this model, once the student reaches senior year in college, they are eligible to return to the classroom as a teacher providing much needed relief at the local level as well as gaining experience and a salary.

Counties supporting the program will work with colleges and universities to provide college-level instruction while also building supports around each student as they develop professional teaching practices. By starting their career with practical classroom experience while surrounded by professionals in education, the student will have a better entry into the profession.

The counties participating in the ‘Grow Your Own’ pilot program to date are as follows:

BerkeleyLewisPutnam
BraxtonMarionSummers
CabellMcDowellTaylor
CalhounMingoUpshur
FayetteMonroeWayne
GreenbrierNicholas 
JeffersonOhio 
Kanawha Pocahontas

The next regularly scheduled WVBE meeting is Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Building 6, Room 600, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, WV.

Documents presented during WVBE meetings can be found on the wvde.us website. For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.