Pursue your career switcher program online at Regent University, Virginia Beach.

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

School of Education

Top 5 Best Online Graduate Education Programs in Virginia, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, 2020

CAEP Accredited

850+ Teachers of the Year

Ranked Among Top National Universities, U.S. News & World Report, 2019 & 2020

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 on-campus 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. 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). 


Enjoy teaching opportunities in public and private schools.


Inspire children to aim higher and dream bigger.


Meet the education needs of today's students.


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.


Experience Regent, ranked among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report for two consecutive years (2019 & 2020). Its programs have also been recognized among the Top 5 Online Graduate Education Programs in Virginia for seven consecutive years. Regent graduates are empowered to make a difference in lives, which has led to more than 850 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.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Logo

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.

The only fully online CS program in VA

8-week course sessions

The only CS program in VA with M.Ed. Option





Take Your Career to the Next Level

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.


  • Elementary School Teacher (Pre-K-3; Pre-K-6)
  • Middle School Teacher
  • High School Teacher

CAEP Accredited

Click any section below for additional information or access your course schedule.

2020-2021 Semester Check-In Deadlines:

All new students are expected to check-in for the semester 2 weeks prior to 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.


Semester Check-In

Session Start Date

Session A

Friday, August 14

Monday, August 24

Session M

Friday, September 11

Monday, September 21

Session B

Friday, October 16

Monday, October 26

Session C

Tuesday, January 5

Monday, January 11

Session T

Friday, January 29

Monday, February 8

Session D

Friday, March 5

Monday, March 15

Session E

Friday, April 30

Monday, May 10

Session F

Friday, June 11

Monday, June 21

Application Process - Career Switcher

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

If you are planning to teach either pre-K-3 or pre-K-6 in an elementary school, click here for the outline admission requirements; detailed requirements 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.

2019-20 Tuition Rates

Degree Level / Program Cost Per Credit Hour

Career Switcher Courses

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

$250 per credit (In-State & Out-of-State)

$550 per credit (In-State & Out-of-State)


Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (Online Students) $550
Library Orientation $50 (one-time fee)
Blackboard Orientation $50 (one-time fee)

2020-21 Tuition Rates

Degree Level / Program Cost Per Credit Hour

Career Switcher Courses

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

$250 per credit (In-State & Out-of-State)

$550 per credit (In-State & Out-of-State)


Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (Online Students) $600
Library Orientation $50 (one-time fee)
Blackboard Orientation $50 (one-time fee)

*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.

Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

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

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 and Information Technology

Career & Technical Education*

Computer Science

Dance (Pre-K-12)

Elementary Education (Pre-K-3)

Elementary Education (Pre-K-6)*


English – Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)*

Family and Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages (Pre-K-12)*

Health and Physical Education (Pre-K-12)

History and Social Science

Marketing Education


Middle Education* (6-8)




     History and Social Sciences

Music (Pre-K-12)

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 2019-20 as defined by VDOE.

What are the Steps to Licensure?


Level I preparation includes a minimum of 180 clock hours of instruction, plus field experience. After completing Level I preparation, all candidates are required to apply for a one-year Career Switcher Provisional License and are expected to obtain employment in a Virginia public or accredited non-public school. If employment is not secured immediately, the license can be renewed. For Career Switcher Provisional License requirements, visit the Virginia Department of Education.


Level II preparation is taken during the first year of teaching and consists of two courses and mentorships — 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 mentorships take place during this time. On successful completion of Level II and on the recommendation of the employing school division, the Level II CS is awarded a full 10-year renewable license by VDOE.

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

Troops to Teachers LogoAbsolutely! 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.


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.

M.Ed. Option*

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.

Upon completion of 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.

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)

*Because acquiring the M.Ed. is optional, if you complete the Career Switcher requirements and you don't want to earn a master's degree or you would like to defer obtaining one until a later time, you may do so within five years. All of the courses must be taken in the School of Education.

Our Career Switcher team is available to answer your questions:

Mervyn J. Wighting, Ph.D.

Mervyn J. Wighting, Ph.D.
Career Switcher Program Chair

Brenda Vaughan

Brenda Vaughan
Field Placements Coordinator

Rachel Copeland

Rachel Copeland
Certification/Licensure Official

Read Transcript

Right, my name is John Pienkowski. I teach at Brandon Middle School, I teach Science, seventh grade Science, and this is my second year teaching. When I found out that I was a joint winner I was just, again, just super excited and just, still, part of it is still, I'm just still amazed. I don't know if it's all sunk in yet. I'm still amazed, like, wow, what an opportunity that I have here because now I can share my experiences with others and you know, just get the word out about how great it is to be in education.

So, the three things that added up to it was my friends and my father teaching, having that experience in the navy with young sailors coming out of high school and young officers coming out of college — leading, mentoring them, and teaching them — and then working with the Boy Scouts, young men, teaching and leading and developing life skills. All those three things combined really opened my eyes to an opportunity that I could still give back to the younger generation in education. And I wanted to do that to have an impact on young adults.

In a classroom of 30 students, you have 30 different backgrounds, and so it's, you have to be able to kind of open yourself up a little bit to be able to understand maybe where they are coming from and you have to be transparent yourself, and, kind of, you know — you're putting yourself out there. The most rewarding piece then is when you actually see them and their whole demeanor change and their face lights up and they get a smile on their face when they finally get a concept or understand something that we were just talking about. Or especially if they make a connection with something that they personally dealt with or something real world that might be going on and something that we were talking about in the classroom. If students can make that connection then that's the most rewarding piece of education.

It's all very scary transitioning from the military into the civilian workforce. The Military Resource Center at Regent was very helpful, especially at the beginning when I was just trying to get accepted to Regent and that transition. They helped that transition between the GI Bill benefits and payment plans and then just having that community of other military, you know, whether they're retired military or even active duty, but just having that small group of retired military folks that understood where I was coming from. Having them, kind of, take me in and then help me be successful as a student at Regent.