BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College’s Education Department has announced that their PreK-K Multicategorical with Autism Endorsement is now 100% online. The College received formal notification on Monday that the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has approved Bethany’s request to be able to offer the education endorsement fully online.

In Dec. 2015, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) approved Bethany College’s revised, proposed PreK-K, as well as the K-6 and 5-Adult Multicategorical Special Education with Autism Program.

In particular, the new PreK-K endorsement requires prospective students to complete five courses (14 credit hours), including a six-week clinical student teaching placement in a classroom housing children with autism. In addition to the content specific coursework, prospective students will complete 300 hours of field or clinical placements in classrooms with children having autism. Field observations are subject to Skype or video-taped review. The program revisions and addition of the PreK-K endorsement will help to fill the vacant teaching positions in the state of West Virginia.

To meet the career needs of teachers in the field, courses will be cross-listed as graduate courses so that they may add PreK-K to their existing certifications. Practicing teachers seeking the endorsement will be admitted to Bethany College as non-degree seeking students. This is not a graduate level program, but practicing teachers may receive graduate coursework for the courses if they complete the additional required coursework.

Dr. Sherri Theaker, Chair of the Education Department, is excited with having the online endorsement. “In an ever-growing world of technology, this online PreK-K endorsement is the only one of its kind in the state,” said Theaker. “We are meeting the needs of our students by designing a program that has convenience and flexibility by being 100% online.”

For more information about the online PreK-K endorsement, as well as other education programs at Bethany College, please contact the Education Department at 304.829.7182.

About Bethany College

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.