Career Switcher Program

Online Program Overview

The Career Switcher Alternative Route to Licensure program is designed to enable individuals from various occupational and life experiences to make a career switch to teaching and become a middle school or high school teacher. Our Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) approved Career Switcher Program provides initial licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia in addition to 24 graduate-level credits that can be counted toward the completion of a Master's Degree in Education.

Career Switcher Program Highlights

Curriculum: View Course Sequence & Descriptions
Endorsement Areas: View available endorsement areas.
Length: 24 graduate-level credits. Complete coursework (Level I) and first year of teaching (Level II) in as little as 16 months.
Level I Format — Courses are offered entirely online. All students will participate in 25 hours of practicum experience in a Virginia classroom. Additionally, at least one in-person seminar will be held on campus each semester as required by the VDOE (full details will be provided by the program advisor).
Level II Format — Level II is one year in a full-time, paid teaching position at a public or accredited non-public school. Additional online coursework and mentorship take place during this time.
Results: Highly Qualified – Recommended to the Virginia Department of Education for the Career Switcher Provisional License & 5-year renewable Virginia License.
Important Links: Apply Now | Tuition & Financial Aid | Faculty | Course Schedule | Resources
Features: A one-year, full-time, paid teaching position to be obtained by students once they have received their Career Switcher Provisional License. A personal mentor is assigned by Regent, and s/he is available to each Level II student for the whole of the first year of teaching to assist with lesson plan formation, grading methods etc., and will come into classrooms as often as needed to assist with classroom management and instructional techniques. This mentor is not there to evaluate, but rather to assist in every way possible.

New Students Receive iPad Mini. Learn more >>

Discounted Tuition

A discounted tuition rate of $4,500 plus additional fees (subject to change without notice) for Level I of the program, and a discounted tuition rate of $2,550 plus additional fees (subject to change without notice) for Level II of the program. (Tuition rate listed is valid through Fall 2015 semester.) Note: Students are billed separately for Levels I and II.

Master's Option

Regent's Career Switcher Program not only provides alternate teacher licensure for career switchers, it also provides the majority of credits needed to obtain an M.Ed., which is the professional degree for teachers. By pursuing additional credits, Career Switcher Certificate students may pursue the M.Ed. Individualized or M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction.

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The Chosen Few
Norfolk Public Schools recently closed one of its middle schools and appointed a principal tasked with selecting a new staff, revising the curriculum, and organizing which children the school would serve. For the new math department, the principal selected for interview 16 teachers from across the school division, and from among those 16 only four were finally chosen. Three out of those four are Regent Career Switcher alumni - Marie Carter '10, Kevin Houck '10, and Michael King '09.

The Superintendent is a Career Switcher
Pat McCarty, '09 alumnus, has recently been appointed as Superintendent of Christian Unified Schools of San Diego, CA. Prior to this appointment Pat was the Head of Norfolk Christian Schools in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Pat taught high school math and science prior to being selected for leadership by the school's trustees who recognized his wealth of experience from previous careers in the military, in service industries, and in the corporate world.

Regent Alumni Named Rookie of the Year
Career Switcher Program completer, Mark Howerin, was recently selected as Rookie Teacher of the Year by Suffolk Public Schools. Mark is currently teaching math at Turlington Woods School.

Career Switcher joins her Alma Mater
Cheryl Beauchamp, '11 alumna, has recently been hired by Regent University to teach computer science to undergraduate students. Prior to this appointment Cheryl earned her full license in Virginia and then relocated with her naval spouse and their children to California where she taught STEM subjects in Coronado HS.

Career Switcher Consultant
Chris Martinez, '07 alumnus, is currently a consultant with the Richland One School at the Center for Educator Quality in Columbia, South Carolina, having taught math in Virginia and more recently in Missouri where he also served as an assistant principal in a middle school.

From Russia with Math
Natalia Popko, '09 alumna, is the grade level head of math in Bayside MS in Virginia Beach. Born and raised in Russia, Natalia worked in banking in the USA before transitioning to teaching.

Career Switcher book

Stories of program alumni are detailed in this paperback which is available from all major book outlets. Dr. Emily Feistritzer, a nationally recognized expert in alternative licensure has written this foreword.

We Switched Careers! Alternative Licensure Teachers' Journeys to the Classroom

We Switched Careers! Alternative Licensure Teachers' Journeys to the Classroom Paperback ($16) | March, 2016

by Mervyn J. Wighting (Editor)     Foreword by C. Emily Feistritzer

This book comprises the stories of twelve journeys: the road traveled by former business people, members of the military, pastors, engineers and bankers all of whom responded to the calling to become a teacher. Its purpose is to inspire others who might be contemplating a similar journey in order to transition into teaching. Career Switchers are risk takers. In many instances they leave secure and well paid jobs in order to venture into the unknown world of education and they do this so that they can make a difference in the lives of children. They become students themselves to complete the coursework, they compete with all other candidates to get hired, and they subject themselves to the challenges of teaching instead of remaining in the comfort zone of their previous career. Each of the twelve chapters tells a unique story, and the reader can rest assured that everything in each chapter is absolutely true!

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Watertree Press (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0991104684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0991104680

Career Switcher Program completers will be able to:

  • Achieve and demonstrate competence in the academic content areas that they plan to teach.
  • Demonstrate the pedagogical knowledge and skills to become competent to work with a variety of students in accordance with professional standards.
  • Demonstrate responsive, caring, and reflective teaching skills informed by the School of Education’s conceptual framework and the program completer’s personal faith.
  • Transition successfully from a former career to a career in teaching.

Note: The Career Switcher program is not a degree-seeking program. The program alone will lead to licensure.

"If I had taken this Career Switcher program when I first started teaching in an independent school, I would have been saved a lot of struggle and difficulty. This program has helped me to give further structure, guidance, and options for the teaching I do in the classroom, as well as unlearn bad habits that have developed. Hopefully I will be a more effective teacher this upcoming year as a result."

Paul Gyorfi, 2012 Career Switcher



Teresa Habib, Music Teacher, Regent Career Switcher
Teresa Habib
Music Teacher
Career Switcher, 2012

Read Teresa's Story»


Career Switcher Program Video
Hear from Dr. Mervyn Wighting, Chair
Career Switcher Program