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Teacher & Leader Pathways

The Teacher & Leader Pathways Department is responsible for providing professional growth opportunities for prospective teachers, staff, and education professionals employed by Richmond Public Schools. 

Are you an RPS employee interested in becoming a licensed teacher?



Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have a bachelors degree
  • Must be a full time RPS employee (long term substitute, IAs, non-instructional personnel)
  • Commit to 3 years of Teaching in RPS
  • Must be willing to teach in a High Needs Area (Elementary, Secondary English, Secondary Math, Secondary Science, ESL, Special Education, World Languages, or be a Minority Male)

Sign up for the Richmond Public Schools Build Our Own Teachers Program here. You must submit copies of all college transcripts to sign up

Tuition Reimbursement

Portal will reopen for the 2024-2025 school year in the fall (late September/early October)! Be on the lookout for additional details as communicated via the RPS Insider.

RPS employees can receive up to $800 per school year for tuition and licensure assessment opportunities. 

Please ensure you follow the steps outlined by the Teacher and Leader Pathways Department to submit a tuition reimbursement request for coursework completed during this fiscal year (on or after July 1, 2024).  An email does not suffice as a submission. 


1. Complete the Tuition Reimbursement Application form with all required signatures. 

2. Obtain final grade/score (proof of successful completion), and the receipt of payment that lists you as the payee from your college or institution. 

3. Upload all forms and materials (application, proof of successful completion, and proof of payment) to the Tuition Reimbursement Portal (portal link will be available in the fall).

Please be mindful, tuition reimbursement is rendered on a first come, first serve basis as funds are available up to $800 ($500 of which can be used for assessments) per school year. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Teacher and Leader Pathways Department email ( if you have any questions or concerns. 

National Board Certification

Richmond Public Schools offers support for National Board Certification through the Center for Teacher Leadership at the VCU School of Education, the program provides teachers in the Metropolitan Education Alliance (META) school divisions with structured opportunities to clarify each aspect of the certification process and a network of support as they strive to meet the highest standards established for the profession. Contact Rodney Robinson at for more information. 

Richmond Teacher Residency

Richmond Teacher Residency is a highly selective graduate teacher residency program that recruits, trains, and supports teachers for high-needs and hard-to-staff schools. RTR residents learn alongside our top district teachers for an entire year while earning a graduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Yet, our support does not stop there. Our graduates receive one-on-one training with a content-specific career coach throughout the first two years of their teaching careers. With RTR, residents gain the skills and the experience to positively impact the lives of students from historically marginalized communities. Join us to make a difference.


Yale Teacher's Institute

Teachers Institutes are educational partnerships between universities and school districts designed to strengthen teaching and learning in a community’s high-poverty public schools. The Yale Teachers Institute places equal emphasis on teachers increasing their knowledge of a subject and of their developing teaching strategies that will be effective with their students. At the core of its program is a series of collaborative seminars on subjects in the humanities, mathematics, and the sciences. Topics are requested by the teachers based on what they think could enrich their classroom instruction.  Richmond Fellows have participated in the Yale Teachers Institute since 2005. 

License Support

The Virginia Department of Education certifies all teachers employed by Richmond Public Schools. Any questions specific to licensure should be emailed to our Senior Licensure Specialist, Stephanie Sutton,  

RPS has partnerships with the following universities for those seeking classes to obtain course work for a teaching license.

Virginia Union University

VUU Weekend College offers discounted courses for licensure to meet the needs of the classroom teacher. For more information, contact the registrar's office at (800) 368-3227 or Dr. Michelle McQueen-Williams at

University of Richmond

University of Richmond offers coursework towards licensure. Please contact Dr. Laura Kuti at for more information on licensure coursework.  Please contact Kate Cassada at for information on leadership and administration programs.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers a myriad of online options for continuing education and to fulfill licensing requirements.

  • Individual courses to meet provisional license requirements, many at $150 per credit
  • Degree options that lead to teacher licensure, bachelors and masters degrees

For more information, contact Tara Nelson at (602) 247-4671 or 


Mary Baldwin University

To qualify for the program, a teacher must present a copy of the provisional license and the letter from the VDOE outlining the coursework required for full licensure. They may take just the courses designated by VDOE, but must take a minimum of 12 semester hours to receive the certificate. Financial Aid is available and courses are offered at the reduced rate of $325 per credit hour.  Click here for more information or contact Dr. Alice Waddell at 

University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix offers coursed every four or six weeks. Contact Nicole Berkebile at (480) 290-4328 or for help with tuition reduction, courses for certification/recertification, certificates and degrees. Courses can be found here.