School of Education - George Mason University

We know that you may have many questions regarding the requirements and opportunities for your field experience and internship.

As the Coronavirus Crisis continues to unfold, we will post updates here as we have them. The Teacher Track programs are making decisions as they learn more information from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the School Divisions of the Commonwealth, as well as our university. Some issues remain ambiguous and uncertain as school divisions are still deciding how to provide learning in the fall semester.

Please check your Mason email regularly for updates from the Teacher Track office and your program, in addition to the frequently asked questions below.

FAQs

Licensure Testing: Since most testing centers have closed, what guidance and/or flexibility can the Virginia Department of Education provide for students who cannot take their required exams for Virginia licensure?

The Virginia Department of Education is aware of and is considering this issue. They will provide specific guidance in the near future.

How will this pandemic impact my job search with school districts?

Mason: You should stay in close contact with Mason’s Career Services to continue exploring employment opportunities as they become known and more information is available. We are confident that school divisions will identify mechanisms for the recruitment, selection, and hiring of teachers and other personnel for the academic year 2020–2021.

School Districts: We will update you as we receive information from school divisions. Most recently, for example, Fairfax County Public Schools (3/20) announced that they have “already offered several recruitment contracts for teaching assignments this coming fall” and will continue to interview for expected openings. We understand that other school divisions also soon will continue their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Additional information will be forthcoming.

I applied for a fall 2020 student teaching placement. Will I still be able to move forward with my placement?

We are in regular contact with our partnering school divisions to continue making requests for fall placements on behalf of all students who submitted a student teaching application by the Mason deadline. The Clinical Practice Coordinator is currently in the process of contacting applicants regarding additional school division requirements. Please monitor your Mason email for updates. If you have questions, please contact internsh@gmu.edu.

I was scheduled to take an outstanding licensure test like Praxis or VCLA, and my test was canceled due to testing site closures. What should I do?

Students should be prepared to schedule and complete exams as soon as possible.

  • For Praxis exams, scheduling updates are provided by ETS here.
  • For VCLA and VRA exams, scheduling updates are provided by Pearson here.
  • Current and Fall 2020 student teachers: additional updates regarding licensure testing requirements will be provided after we receive guidance from the Virginia Board of Education.
Have the on-the-job internship requirements or application deadlines changed?

No, the application schedule for internships has not changed and is available here. Please contact internsh@gmu.edu with any questions.

What if I am a provisionally licensed teacher?

Provisionally licensed teachers should work directly with their employing school division. Mason offers online professional studies courses that may help you meet your requirements. Additional guidance has been provided by VDOE here.

Some Final Thoughts

We encourage you to stay in close contact with your mentor teacher and university supervisor. If there are questions that they cannot provide answers for you, do not hesitate to contact Roberto Pamas, associate professor of education leadership and Director of TEACHERtrack@Mason.

While we are dependent upon Virginia Department of Education policies and associated regulations, as well as local school division guidelines and practices, we will continue to share information as it becomes available related to the impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on your academic program and learning needs, state regulations governing the requirements for licensure, school division practices, and associated career opportunities.

In the meantime, as best as you can, please take time to care for yourselves and your family. Stay safe, healthy, and well.