Designed for aspiring elementary and middle school teachers, the program combines academic learning with hands-on experience so that you master both lesson material and teaching methods.

The Professional Semester

Teaching becomes tangible during your last semester, called the professional semester, when coursework focuses on teaching methodology and classroom management. The semester concludes with 14 weeks of full-time student teaching.

Bluefield State’s placement coordinator works with students, either at one of the local partner schools or through a school near where they live to schedule their placements. Students typically choose two placements (K-2, 3-5 and/or middle school) depending on their focus.

To apply to the professional semester, you will need to complete the following.

  1. Complete a minimum of 96 program hours with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher. This needs to include 100, 200 and 300-level Professional Education courses, as well as your specialization courses.
  2. Submit an application to the director of Teacher Education early in the semester prior to the one in which you’ll be doing your student teaching. You can obtain an application from a faculty member or from the Teacher Education Handbook.
  3. Participate in an interview with faculty to review your status and plan for your placement before you register for the professional semester.

Student Teaching Portfolio

Once you've completed your student teaching, you'll be responsible for compiling a portfolio that includes student teaching evaluations, lesson plans, case studies and research papers from throughout your coursework; a video offering a self-analysis; and other materials. Your professors will guide you in compiling the portfolio, and the full list of components is available in the handbook.

Praxis Subject Assessments

Designed for students preparing to enter the teaching profession, the Praxis Subject Assessments test your knowledge of teaching skills and basic subjects. In order to graduate, you’ll need to take the following Praxis exams: Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (5001), Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 (5622), and Teaching Reading: Elementary Education (5203).  Students adding an additional endorsement in a middle grades subject area or K-6 Multi-Categorical BD, MI, SLD (excluding autism) will need to receive a qualifying score on the following Praxis exams:

To Be Certified in You Need to Take Test Code Qualifying Score
English (5-9) Middle School English Language Arts 5047 164
General Math through Algebra 1 (5-9) Middle School Mathematics 5169 165
General Science (5-9) Middle School Science 5440 150
Social Studies (5-9) Middle School Social Studies 5089 151
Multi-Categorical BD, MI, SLD (excluding autism) Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications 5543 153
Autism Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications 5543 153

Students are responsible for paying for the tests. You can register for your exam here.

To view a full list of current tests required for all licensure areas in West Virginia, please click here.

Teacher Certification

During your final semester, the director of Teacher Education will work with you to submit the necessary paperwork to the WV Department of Education so you can seek your certification and begin teaching. Students who want to seek certification in other states can consult the director.