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Middle Education Frequently Asked Questions

 Why should I choose JMU for teacher education?

JMU faculty are experienced, engaged, and eager to help you become the teacher you dream about becoming. With over 100 years of experience in helping students become teachers, JMU programs are time-tested while also based on cutting-edge research and instructional practice. Students are in the field working with children early and often in our programs.

JMU’s education programs are highly recognized and are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP), approved by the Virginia Department of Education, and JMU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The JMU College of Education has been awarded by CAEP with the Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement which shows our commitment to maintaining top notch programs using the most innovative and effective pedagogical practices in preparing our teacher candidates.

 Will I be able to teach when I graduate?

JMU undergraduate teacher education programs prepare you for a Virginia Teaching License. Upon completion of an approved teacher education program at JMU – which includes completing course work, field experiences, and required assessments – teacher candidates are eligible for a teaching license. The Education Support Center in the College of Education helps students navigate the initial teaching license application with the Virginia Department of Education.

 Should I attend JMU if I want to become a teacher outside of Virginia?

Many students attend JMU for their teacher training, but then seek to teach in a different state. JMU programs are approved programs for the state of Virginia and through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, Virginia’s Teacher License is accepted by almost all of the U.S. states and territories (see

For more information about out of state licensure, please see

 What do I need to do to get a teaching license?


To get a teaching license you need to meet the requirements in three areas: content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and testing and training.

To complete your content knowledge requirement through this program, you will minor in at least one content area endorsement area: English, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies.

To complete your pedagogical knowledge requirement through this program you will also major in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in your content area.

To complete your testing and training requirement through this program, you will apply to the Teacher Education Program here at JMU. See “What is Teacher Education and how do I get fully accepted” for more information on this program.

 When do I begin my education course work?

You will begin your education coursework in your first year at JMU! You start with key foundational courses (critical reading and writing, developmental psychology, and foundations of education) that will fulfill your General Education requirements and meet Teacher Education admission requirements. Each following semester you will take one or more education courses, culminating in your Student Teaching experience in the spring semester of your senior year.

You will be assigned an education advisor. Please consult your advisor each semester to make sure you stay on track with your academic plan!

 What is Teacher Education and how do I get fully accepted?

Once you are accepted to JMU there will also be some requirements to begin your upper-level education coursework. These requirements are certificates or tests you need to accomplish for your teaching license and/or for data purposes for continued accreditation of JMU’s teacher education programs. You will need to be accepted to Teacher Education in order to start many of your upper-level education classes. These requirements will be reviewed with you in advising sessions and you do not need to get started until you have been directed to do so. Pre-requisite courses; entry assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics; a minimum GPA; certificates in Child Abuse Prevention and First Aid/CPR/AED; and a pre-professional self-assessment are some of the requirements you will need to meet. Information related to Teacher Education can be found on the Education Support Center website at:

Our Teach Ambassadors are peer advisors that will gladly answer your questions about the process to apply and be accepted into Teacher Education or any other questions you may have. You can contact them at

 What should I expect in my education classes?

Students will experience taking their education classes in small cohorts, having meaningful discussions, engaging in hands-on learning, and building personal relationships with peers and professors. JMU teacher candidates engage in reflective thinking that will broaden their understanding and move them beyond their comfort zone to where rich learning experiences happen.

 How do JMU teacher candidates engage with the community?

Teacher candidates have many opportunities to engage in classrooms during field placements in schools throughout the Shenandoah Valley for a broad range of experiences in urban, suburban and rural communities. Many clubs promote volunteerism in the community and classes have service-learning opportunities. Additionally, our students love the Harrisonburg area and surrounding community – including the restaurants, shopping, hiking, and local events.

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