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Career Switcher program graduates: Pursue the program online at Regent University, Virginia Beach.

Career Switcher Program for Accelerated Teaching License with M.Ed. Option

Become a Teacher via the Career Switcher Program

Have you dreamed about becoming a teacher, but feel stuck in your current career path? You’re not alone. Regent’s Career Switcher program graduates come from all types of backgrounds and professions, such as ranking military, pastors, engineers, bankers, and stay-at-home mothers. 

Through this route to licensure, you can earn initial licensure to teach in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although residency is not required, students complete four mandatory workshops during Phase I (two Saturdays per semester). If you’re interested in earning your master’s degree through the Career Switcher program, please see the “M.Ed. Option” tab below. You can transfer up to 50% of your previous studies to achieve your master’s degree. Whichever path you choose, you can start changing lives through the power of education by preparing to become a teacher at the elementary, middle, or high school level. Just like former naval officer and the 2018 National Outstanding New Educator award winner John Pienkowski (’17) and former forensic scientist Breanna Calkins (’16) both did (pictured above). 

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October 25, 2021
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NEW CAREER OPTIONS

Enjoy teaching opportunities in public and private schools.

FULFILL YOUR PASSION TO TEACH

Inspire children to aim higher and dream bigger.

DELIVER SUCCESSFUL CURRICULUM

Meet the educational needs of today’s students.

PURSUE A TEACHING CAREER ONLINE

Join the only fully online Career Switcher program in Virginia. This is also the only such program with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) option.

ALIGN YOURSELF WITH EXCELLENCE

Experience Regent has been ranked among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report for two consecutive years (2019 and 2020). Its programs have also been recognized among the Top 5 Online Graduate Education Programs in Virginia for nine years in a row. Regent graduates are empowered to make a difference in lives, which has led to more than 875 alumni being recognized as Teachers of the Year in Hampton Roads since 2004.

Watch Video: Program Chair Welcome. Dr. Mervyn Wighting invites you to learn how you can become a Career Switcher.

To learn more about this program, please complete the Request Information form on this page.

The School of Education’s educational leadership and teacher preparation programs and the College of Arts and Science’s interdisciplinary studies program are awarded TEAC accreditation by the Inquiry Brief Commission of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for a period of seven years, to 12/31/2023.

On completing this Career Switcher program, you’ll be able to:

  • Assess and evaluate students under the mentorship of a seasoned instructor.
  • Smoothly transition from former career to teaching.
  • Manage a classroom and develop curriculum.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Elementary School Teacher (Pre-K-3; Pre-K-6)
  • Middle School Teacher
  • High School Teacher
$62Thousand
Approximate 2019 Median Pay for High School Teachers Bureau of Labor Statistics

Understand the historical, philosophical and sociological foundations underlying the role, development and organization of public education in the United States. Attention will be given to the legal status of teachers and students, including federal and state laws (e.g., SOLs; child abuse regulations). The concept of school as an organization/culture and contemporary issues in education (e.g., language acquisition, reading across the curriculum and teaching children whose first language is not English) are included. School/family communications and ways of involving families in student learning are explored.

Understand the presuppositions of worldviews and then examine content for evidence of different worldviews. Integrate character principles into the school environment and curriculum. Examine curriculum content and its relationship to cognitive development as a tool for designing instruction to promote higher-level thinking.
Develop an understanding and application of classroom and behavior management techniques. Effective intervention strategies will be presented and practiced. Diverse approaches to classroom management will be presented based on upon behavioral, cognitive, affective, social and ecological theory and practice. Teacher/student relationships are examined together with classroom community building.
Focus on classification and sequencing learning outcomes, and the differentiation of instruction. Review the principles of learning, the application of skills in discipline-specific methodology, communication processes, reading in the content areas, selection and use of resources, including media and technology. Examine the relationships among assessment, instruction, and measuring and documenting individual student progress.
Using the principles of educational measurement, construct and interpret valid assessments using a variety of formats in order to measure student attainment of essential skills in a standards-based environment. Develop the ability to analyze assessment data to make decisions about how to improve instruction and evaluate and improve student performance. Emphasis will be placed on the design of "alternative" and traditional assessment instruments.

A study of the physical, cognitive, cultural, social/emotional, spiritual, and psychological development of children and adolescents with an emphasis on knowing and understanding theories of human development, and incorporating children's individual differences to guide learning experiences.

Topics for the continued transition into teaching of Level II Career Switchers to include classroom management strategies, diversity in student learning and data-driven decision making. Course content will be linked to the VDOE requirements for teacher evaluation.

Topics for the continued transition into teaching of Level II Career Switchers, including advanced differentiation of teaching and learning, inclusion and special needs in a regular classroom, addressing the needs of the at-risk learner, and tiered instruction. Course content will be linked to the VDOE requirements for teacher evaluation.
For first-year (Level II) students an official mentor of the School of Education is assigned to assist and act as a resource throughout the semester.
For first-year (Level II) students an official mentor of the School of Education is assigned to assist and act as a resource throughout the semester.

2021-22 Semester Check-In Deadlines

All new students are expected to check-in for the semester two weeks before the session start date. Students should apply, be accepted, enroll in their first courses, and confirm a plan to pay for their courses prior to this date.

SessionSemester Check-InSession Start Date
Session AFriday, August 13Monday, August 23
Session MFriday, September 10Monday, September 20
Session BFriday, October 15Monday, October 25
Session CTuesday, December 21Monday, January 10
Session TFriday, January 28Monday, February 7
Session DFriday, March 4Monday, March 14
Session EFriday, April 29Monday, May 9
Session FFriday, June 10Monday, June 20

Application Process – Career Switcher

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and three years of professional work experience are required for both CS (elementary) and CS (secondary). All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent University and cannot be returned.

Additional Requirements

  • CS (Elementary): If you are planning to teach either pre-K-3 or pre-K-6 in an elementary school, click here for an outline of admission requirements.
  • CS (Secondary): If you are planning to teach in either a middle or high school, you will need a Praxis II pass in the subject area you plan to teach, plus a pass in the Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA).

Detailed requirements for entry to the CS program will be provided by a Regent University Admissions counselor. To contact Admissions, call 888.713.1595 or edadmissions@regent.edu.

Step 1: Application & Application Fee

Submit your application using our Regent University Online Application.

Pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee by check or money order mailed to Regent University, Enrollment Support Services, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

Note: If you are unable to complete our application due to a disability, please contact our Admissions Office and an admissions representative will provide reasonable accommodations to assist you in completing the application.

Step 2: Submit your Unofficial College Transcripts*

We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcript from a U.S.-based school, which indicates successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program, in order to review you for an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SOE Master’s Application Pieces.

Non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an NACES-approved company. For further details, please review the International Admissions Checklist on the International Students Admissions page.

International Applicants: Please visit the International Students Admissions page for a more detailed explanation of the Regent University application information and to determine whether or not you qualify as an international student.

*Upon conditional acceptance to the program by review of unofficial transcripts, Regent University’s Admissions Office will attempt to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institution, which indicate successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program. We will notify you if your previous institution will not release transcripts directly to us.

Step 3: Complete Your Admissions Questionnaire

Please complete a brief admissions questionnaire based on your professional goals and interests. This should only take a few minutes to complete, but please answer the questions completely and thoughtfully. This gives us a better opportunity to get to know you and align your objectives with our programs. The admissions questionnaire can be found here. Once completed, it will be sent directly to an admissions counselor who will be in touch with you right away to help complete the rest of your application.

Step 4: VDOE Application and Report on Experience

Submit the VDOE Career Switcher Application and Report on Experience Forms and mail to the address below.

Mailing Address:
Regent University
Enrollment Support Services
1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Note: Prospects should not call VDOE concerning this program; any questions will be answered by Regent University.

Step 5: VCLA Scores

Arrange to have official VCLA scores sent directly to Regent University using Regent ETS code: 5135.

Step 6: Praxis II Scores

We are able to accept an unofficial copy of your Praxis II exam in order to review your file for an admission decision. Please submit your unofficial scores to our Admission Office by email to apply@regent.edu using the subject line: SOE Master’s Application Pieces.

Step 7: Admissions Interview

If an interview is necessary, the admissions office will contact you to schedule an appointment. The interview can be conducted on campus or over the phone and typically takes about 20 minutes.


Additional Requirements

Background Check: Because the program includes direct contact with students in field experiences, applicants to the Career Switcher Program must submit a background check. Regent University School of Education has entered into an agreement with CastleBranch, a private vendor that conducts background checks for many universities and educational institutions. After you are admitted into the program, you will be provided instructions to set up an online profile with CastleBranch and request your background check. Learn more.

First Aid, CPR, AED Training: Documentation that verifies completion of certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). The certification or training program shall be based on the current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Note: VDOE no longer accepts training certificates obtained from an online source – training must be conducted in person.

PART-TIME STUDENTS

Degree/ProgramTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Career Switcher$2506$1,500
Master of Education (M.Ed.)$5506$3,300
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)$7756$4,650
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)$7753$2,325
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)$7753$2,325

Full-Time Students

Degree/ProgramTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Career Switcher$2509$2,250
Master of Education (M.Ed.)$5509$4,950
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)$7759$6,975
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)$7756$4,650
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)$7756$4,650

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$800
University Services Fee (Online Students)$650

Part-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Career Switcher$2506$1,500
Master of Education (M.Ed.)$5506$3,300
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)$7756$4,650
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)$7753$2,325
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)$7753$2,325

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Career Switcher$2509$2,250
Master of Education (M.Ed.)$5509$4,950
Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)$7759$6,975
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)$7756$4,650
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)$7756$4,650

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$750
University Services Fee (Online Students)$600

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Estimated Cost of Attendance: View the estimated cost of attendance to see an example of the total cost of tuition and fees.

How can I use a Career Switcher license?

The Career Switcher Program leads to elementary, middle or high school (Pre-K-12) teacher certification in the state of Virginia upon the successful completion of all program requirements. Regent has the only fully online Career Switcher program in Virginia. Prior to beginning the program, applicants must submit passing scores for Praxis II and the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA).

What are the Career Switcher endorsement areas?

Business & Information Technology

Career & Technical Education*

Computer Science

Dance (Pre-K-12)

Elementary Education (Pre-K-3)

Elementary Education (Pre-K-6)*

English*

English – Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) (K-12)

Family & Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages (Pre-K-12)*

Health & Physical Education (Pre-K-12)

History & Social Sciences*

Marketing Education

Mathematics*

Middle Education* (6-8)

Music (Pre-K-12)

Science*

Science – Biology*

Science – Chemistry*

Science – Earth Science*

Science – Physics*

Theatre Arts (PreK-12)

Visual Arts (PreK-12)

All endorsements are for grades 6-12 unless otherwise indicated.

* Indicates critical shortage areas for 2020-21 as defined by VDOE.

What are the Steps to Licensure?

LEVEL I

Level I preparation includes a minimum of 180 clock hours of instruction, plus field experience. After completing Level I preparation, candidates are awarded a one-year Career Switcher Provisional License and are expected to obtain employment in a Virginia public or accredited non-public school. For Career Switcher Provisional License requirements, visit the Virginia Department of Education.

LEVEL II

Level II preparation is taken during first year of teaching and consists of two courses and a mentorship — trained mentors are assigned to assist candidates throughout their first year of employment. Format includes one year in a full-time, paid teaching position at a public or accredited non-public school. Online courses and the mentorship take place during this time.

I’m in the military, can I be a Career Switcher?

Absolutely! Go from serving your country to serving your community as a teacher. Regent’s alumni include former and retired service members from all branches of the military who are now teaching throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our program is designed to meet your needs and enables you to start even before you’ve left the military. Regent University and the Virginia Troops to Teachers Center collaborate to support active military and veterans interested in obtaining their teaching license. Registering for Troops to Teachers is a complementary service to your educational program. Regent’s Military Resource Center is dedicated to helping you identify your military benefits and walk you through the steps of enrollment, financial aid and how to reach your academic and career goals.

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Career Switcher Testimonials

Career Switchers have a desire to teach and help children learn. As they embark on their journey to make a difference in the world of education, each has a unique story to tell that bridges former life experiences with a renewed calling. Read these inspiring testimonials from Career Switcher alumni.

Course Sequence

Sequence of course offerings: Level I

Summer Sessions E/F: All six courses are offered
Fall Session A: EFND 532 B: 530 & 535
Spring C: 531 & 533 D: 530 & 534

Sequence of course offerings: Level II

Fall Session B: EFND 536 Spring Session C: EFND 537

Regent offers the only Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in Virginia for a Career Switcher Program — which now includes an elementary school teaching path — all fully online. Whether you want to teach at the elementary, middle or high school level, we will enhance your understanding of classroom best practices and the latest advances in educational technology. Taking the additional credits to acquire your master’s degree is optional, but our Master of Education in Individualized Studies for Career Switchers builds upon the skills you acquired during the teacher preparation program. Presented from a Christian worldview, this degree is supported by award-winning faculty in Virginia Beach.

On completing this CAEP-accredited M.Ed. program, you’ll be able to:

  • Teach at the elementary or secondary level depending selected path.
  • Integrate new and innovative skills to enhance teaching.
  • Apply instructional strategies to improve classroom learning.
  • Identify, select, modify and use instructional materials to meet the needs of diverse student populations.

For students who entered the program prior to January 2021 the requirement for the degree is 32 graduate credit hours; for students entering on or after that date the requirement is 30 hours.

Level I & II

M.Ed. Option for Career Switchers who have completed Level I

Students must complete at least 14 credits in addition to Career Switcher (18) credit hours:

  • EDIP 543 Technology in Education (3)
  • EFND 598 Professional Project (2)* (No longer required for students entering the program from January 2021 onwards.)
  • ETSL 540 Multicultural Education (3)
  • ETSP 570 Instructional Methods for Students with Disabilities (3)

Choose one elective from the following:

  • EDIP 541 Developmental Leadership (3)
  • EFND 509 Character Education Curricula, Instruction & Assessment (3)
  • ETSL 505 Serving English Language Learners in K-12 Classrooms (3)

M.Ed. Option for Career Switchers who have completed Level II

Students must complete at least 8 credits in addition to Career Switcher (24) credit hours:

  • EFND 598 Professional Project (2)* (No longer required for students entering the program from January 2021 onwards.)
  • ETSL 540 Multicultural Education (3)

Choose one elective from the following:

  • EDIP 543 Technology in Education (3)
  • ETSL 505 Serving English Language Learners in K-12 Classrooms (3)
  • ETSP 570 Instructional Methods for Students with Disabilities (3)

Our Career Switcher team is available to answer your questions:

Dr. Mervyn Wighting, the Career Switcher Program Chair at Regent University.

Mervyn J. Wighting, Ph.D.
Career Switcher Program Chair
mervwig@regent.edu

Brenda Vaughan, Career Switcher Program's Field Placement Coordinator at Regent University.

Brenda Vaughan
Field Placements Coordinator
bvaughan@regent.edu

Rachel Copeland
Certification/Licensure Official
rachcop@regent.edu