Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher Education

 How do I submit my application documents?

All materials must be submitted to the Education Support Center (ESC).

VCLA, Praxis Core Math, and SAT or ACT scores must be submitted to JMU by the testing organization. When you register for your test, list JMU as a score recipient. If you did not list JMU as a score recipient, log into your testing account and request for an official score report to be sent to JMU.

Your cumulative JMU GPA and courses taken at JMU will automatically be sent to the ESC once final grades are posted. If you took WRTC 103, PSYC 160, or EDUC 200 at another institution, then official transcripts with final grades posted must be sent to the JMU Office of the Registrar who will evaluate the courses for transfer credit. Approved transfer credits will be posted to your JMU transcript and at that point will be automatically sent to the ESC.

Submit the contact information for your two professional references via the link on the Applying to Teacher Education PDF. Your references will be sent links to a survey they will need to complete.

Submit your CPR/First Aid/AED and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Training certificates to the ESC by emailing them to

Submit your pre-professional self-assessment in Tk20. If it has been longer than six months since you turned in your initial application (step 1) to Teacher Education, then your 6-month free-subscription to Tk20 may have expired and you will need to subscribe to Tk20 in order to complete this part of the application.

 If I haven't taken EDUC 200/PSYC 160/WRTC yet, can I still apply to the Teacher Education program?

Yes, you can still complete Step 1 and all other pieces of your Teacher Education application. You just won't be admitted to the Teacher Education program until all items are completed. After you complete Step 1, the application items can be completed and submitted in any order.

For more information on admission to Teacher Education, click here.

 How do I know if I have applied to the Teacher Education program?

You can check your application and admission status in Tk20. If you are unable to access Tk20 then contact the Education Support Center, your College of Education advisor, or the MSME Department to assist you.

For more information on admission to Teacher Education, click here.


 How do I get an override into a course I need?

Each department is in charge of it's own courses and no one else's and each department has its own override procedures. Use the Override Procedures resource to determine how to request an override.


 When do I sign up for classes?

You can find your enrollment appointment in your Student Center in MyMadison. Enrollment appointments are typically released about a week before each enrollment week.

Enrollment week for summer courses is typically near the end of March. 

Enrollment week for fall courses is typically near the beginning of April.

Enrollment week for winter session and spring courses is typically mid-November.

For help navigating MyMadison, check out these tutorial videos.

 What classes do I need to enroll in?

Great question! Use the Student Information Packet and the Licensure Requirements Checklist for your content area to determine which classes you need to take each semester. These documents can be found on your program's webpage, linked below:


 When do I have to decide whether I want to do the 5-year program or the 4-year program?

If you at all think you may want to complete the 4-year Secondary Education program (double majoring in Secondary Education and your content area major), then you should declare that program. It's easier to switch from the 4-year program to the 5-year Secondary Education program than the other way around.

You should definitively decide by end of the fall semester of your sophomore year. Both programs are fairly similar up to that point but diverge after that.

 How do I know what content area courses I need to take?

Very important question! In addition to proving to the Virginia Department of Education that you have the pedagogical knowledge (how to teach), you also have to prove to them you have the content knowledge (what you're teaching). VDoE has specific content area knowledge requirements that are met by certain courses at JMU. Use the content area checklists linked below to guide your content course selection:

Praxis Core/VCLA/Praxis Subject Assessments

 What score do I need to pass the Praxis Core Math test?

The passing score for the Praxis Core Math is 150. This assessment requirement can be waived by the following SAT or ACT Math section scores.

  • ACT Math score of 22
  • SAT Math score of 560 (if taken on or after 3/1/16) or SAT Math score of 530 (if taken between 4/1/95 and 2/29/16)

JMU will not accept a score report from you; it must be sent to JMU directly from the testing organization.

Visit the Education Support Center's website for more information regarding testing and registration.

 What score do I need to pass the VCLA?

The passing score for the VCLA is a 470 combined score for the reading and writing sub-tests. It can be helpful to take each sub-test separately rather than at the same time. If you take the combined test and don't score a combined 470 but do pass one of the sub-tests with a passing score of at least 235, you could consider just retaking the sub-test that you didn't pass.

Have your score report sent to JMU or you can email your official score report to

Visit the Education Support Center's website for more information regarding testing and registration.

 What score do I need to pass my Praxis Subject Assessment?

Each state or agency requires different passing scores for the various Praxis Subject Assessments. To find out what the Virginia requirements are for passing Praxis tests follow this link, select sort by state or agency, and use the drop-down menu to select Virginia.

Have your score report sent to JMU or you can email your official score report to

Visit the Education Support Center's website for more information regarding testing and registration.

 Can I take my Praxis Subject Assessment before taking my 400-level methods course?

Yes. The only requirements are that you must pass the Praxis Subject Assessment(s) before student teaching. If you are in one of our graduate licensure programs, you must pass your Praxis Subject Assessment(s) before you take more than 12 graduate credit hours.

These subject assessments are designed to test your content knowledge, so many students choose to wait until they have completed the majority of their content courses before taking the Praxis Subject Assessments. 

Have your score report sent to JMU or you can email your official score report to

Visit the Education Support Center's website for more information regarding testing and registration.

 Are there testing accommodations?

Yes. Testing accommodations can be requested when you register for the Praxis and VCLA tests. 

For Praxis Assessments, you must create an account and then apply for your accommodations before registering for a test. Check out the ETS website for more information on this process. 

For the VCLA, you must complete an accommodation request form and submit it with your initial test registration. Use the VCLA website for more information on this process. 

 How do I get a waiver for the Praxis test fee?

In order to get a waiver for the Praxis fee, you must apply and be found eligible through the ETS website. For more information about this process click here

 What happens if I don't pass my Praxis Core Math/VCLA/Praxis Subject Assessment?

Passing scores for these tests are required for licensure in Virginia, so you most likely need to retake them until you pass. Take a deep breath though because you are not alone; the College of Education is here to support you! The Education Support Center offers tutoring for the VCLA and Praxis Core Math assessments. They can also point you to resources that will help you study for your Praxis Subject Assessments. Contact or visit their website for more details.  

Additional preparation resources can be found on the Canvas MSME Advising site for current students.

Other great tutoring resources are the JMU Learning Centers. Check out the Communication Center, English Language Learner Services, Science & Math Learning Center, and the University Writing Center.

Field Placements and Student Teaching

 Can I have a job while student teaching?

It is not advised that you hold a job while student teaching. The student teaching experience is essentially a full-time internship. As a student teacher, you will be the primary instructor in your placements and will take on the responsibilities just as if you were the teacher of record. That means you will be in the schools every day, all day, and will have additional planning and grading outside of school. In addition, you will be completing your graduate capstone project in conjunction with your student teaching.

We cannot prohibit you from getting a job if it is necessary for you to be able to support yourself financially however we have found that students who are employed in addition to their student teaching internships find their student teaching semester to be very busy and not as rich of a learning experience.

The Graduate Program

 How do I take grad classes early (while still in undergrad)?

In order to begin taking graduate-level courses while still an undergraduate student you will need to meet two conditions.

  1. You must have completed all of your minor courses for the pre-professional Secondary Education minor or the pre-professional Middle Grades Education minor.
  2. You must apply to the Graduate School by October 15th for a spring semester start.
Be sure to set up a meeting with your adviser or contact the MSME office if you need assistance in this process.

 What grad classes can I take early (while still in undergrad)?

The graduate courses available to take early will vary based upon the classes being offered that semester and the program that you are pursuing. Generally, the following courses are offered each spring semester:

  • EDUC 540: Educational Technology
  • EXED 512: Behavior Management in the Classroom
  • EXED 520: Differentiation of Instruction and Assessment to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners
  • MSSE 625: Assessment in Secondary Education

You should consult with your advisors, browse the course catalog for your program, and use the schedule planner in MyMadison to make informed decisions about enrolling early in graduate classes.

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