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Department of Teaching & LearningProfessional Studies Graduate Certificate

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Our Mission

This certificate program is designed to support provisionally licensed teachers, who are employed by a school division in the Commonwealth, in meeting teacher licensure requirements. The certificate consists of four courses—12 semester hours— that move provisionally licensed teachers toward meeting the professional studies competency areas described by the Virginia Department of Education and required by all fully licensed teachers. It is not a state-approved endorsement education program.

Program Overview

Additional information to consider

Coursework in the program consists of the four most required courses provisionally licensed teacher must take:

  • Human Growth and Development
  • Reading Across the Content Areas
  • Classroom and Behavior Management
  • Foundations of Education

Additional courses may be required for licensure. The Darden College of Education and Professional Studies offers many of the professional studies courses, including the area of Curriculum and Instruction Procedures, and required content courses are offered in the other colleges.

  • Courses in the certificate program are offered online. Additional courses required are not guaranteed to be offered in an online format.
  • After completion of the certificate program, up to 12 credit hours can be transferred to the MSED program for licensed teachers.
  • Teachers may qualify for a tuition discount for certificate coursework if employed as a public school teacher in Virginia.

Course Schedule

SPED 613 Human Growth and Development

Designed to give a through overview of human development from birth through adolescence and to develop an understanding of what impact physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development may have on the student, the learning environment, and instructional decisions. Provides an advanced overview of current research and theory in human growth and development and their applications to the classroom. Issues of diversity as it applies to economic, social, racial, ethnic, and religious will be explored as well as the developmental issues related to giftedness or disability and the impact of family.

TLED 608 Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment

Provides students with an understanding of historical, philosophical, economic, and sociological issues in American education, their effect on student achievement, and the impact of social change on existing institutions. Includes the development of instruction based on assessment data including the use, construction, interpretation, and analysis of valid assessments. A 30-hour observation/ participation experience is required in an appropriate prek-6, 6-8, or 6-12 grade level.

The following courses are offered, back-to-back, in a short-session format.

READ 680 Reading to Learn across the Curriculum

This class has an emphasis on advanced techniques in reading for classroom teachers who are not reading specialists. Students develop an understanding of the process of reading to learn across the curriculum including a wide variety of comprehension strategies and an understanding of the complex nature of reading throughout the disciplines. Lecture, demonstrations, development of materials, and practice in the techniques of reading for elementary and secondary classroom teachers and library media specialists are provided.

TLED 640 The Management of Learning and Instruction

This course explores classroom and behavior management techniques including teacher-student relationships, rules and procedures, and disciplinary interventions. Emphasis is placed on building a diverse repertoire of approaches to classroom management at the individual and classroom level. Candidates will develop a classroom management plan that includes techniques for engaging families.

How to Apply

Complete an application as a non-degree graduate student for the professional studies graduate certificate program. With your application, provide a copy of your provisional licensure letter and requirements from the Virginia Department of Education. Applications are reviewed on a continuous basis and teachers can start the program in fall, spring, or summer.

To be admitted in the program, you must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution.
  • If you are a non-native speaker of English, you must submit a minimum score of 230 on the computer-based TOEFL or 80 on TOEFL iBT

Before completing an application for the certificate program, you are encouraged to meet with the program coordinator to discuss application and enrollment guidelines.

Program Contact


Kelly S. Rippard

  • NORFOLK, VA 23529
  • 757-683-5277
  • krippard@odu.edu