Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the TIR program is an approved licensure and/or master's program. We offer several tracks: Secondary education (mathematics and science), and Special Education K-12 General Curriculum. While some of the incentives are quite impressive, the rigor and fast paced nature of the program are also impressive.

The Teacher in Residence (TIR) program at Old Dominion University (ODU) has several alternative teacher education pathways and while they may all work differently, they have a few similar themes. Our programs are geared toward those who want to teach in urban settings and hard to staff teaching positions.

The application process usually begins in March. The programs are best described as both rigorous and rewarding and usually are completed within 12-18 months. Specifically, our students, who are referred to as TIRs, participate in an intensive internship.

The traditional TIR internship occurs Monday-Friday in a public school with a partnering school district (i.e. Norfolk Public Schools, Newport News Public Schools, etc.) with a mentor teacher (a clinical resident instructional coach) during the regular public-school day and take classes at ODU in the evening (Monday - Thursday) over the course of 12-18 months.

The TIR program is intended for those who have an undergraduate degree in an approved area (see program materials) and who have a passion for teaching diverse students in urban school settings. To be eligible, you must complete the TIR and ODU Office of Graduate Admissions applications, which will confirm you have the appropriate undergraduate degree (or in some cases at least 21 credits of math or science within the undergraduate degree).

You will need official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended; at least a 3.0 GPA; passing scores of all licensure exams (see the VDOE website for specific scores); several essays that demonstrate a commitment toward working with diverse students and why the TIR program is an appropriate pathway into teaching for you. So, before anyone begins the process of the application, we recommend that you check your transcript to be sure that you have the courses necessary to teach in your desired area (i.e. middle school science or mathematics, special education, etc.).

Below are the course requirements to teach in Virginia. Go to the VA Department of Education Website to view the criteria for the specific track to which you are applying.

In addition to completing the application online, for the licensure exams, you must complete the following here.

Also, the licensure exams vary per program. All students must take the mathematics Praxis Core for admission to an approved teacher preparation program (this may be waived if the student has applicable SAT or ACT scores). Students must also pass the reading and writing sections of the Virginia Communications and Literacy Assessment (VCLA). The Middle School Science Praxis II or Middle School Mathematics Praxis II (depending on your area of expertise/degree) is required for secondary STEM candidates. The Praxis II for any science content area (biology, chemistry, Earth science, or physics) or mathematics is not mandatory but strongly preferred. Special education candidates must pass the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) exam.

If you are interested in the science track:

  • 3.0 GPA, exemplary application essays/experience/references
  • Undergraduate degree in an applied science area (must include courses in each of the following: biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth and space science; a laboratory course is required in two of the four areas): 21 semester hours.
  • VCLA, and
  • Praxis Core Math (or ACT/SAT equivalent), and
  • Praxis II Middle School Science


If you are interested in the math track:

  • 3.0 GPA, exemplary application essays/experience/references
  • Undergraduate degree in mathematics (must include coursework in algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, and applications of mathematics): 21 semester hours.
  • VCLA, and
  • Praxis Core Math (or ACT/SAT equivalent), and
  • Praxis II Middle School Mathematics


If you are interested in the special education (K-12 General Curriculum) track:

  • 3.0 GPA, exemplary application essays/experience/references
  • Undergraduate degree in Psychology, Sociology, English, Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, Human Services
  • VCLA, and
  • Praxis Core Math (or ACT/SAT equivalent), and
  • RVE

Again, thank you for your interest. We look forward to receiving your TIR application. Just as a planning note, you are required to complete an official application to ODU Graduate Admissions. All official licensure scores of exams must be submitted and received by the date of your interview. Coursework begins June 1 and the internship begins August 20-June 30. For more information about licensure exams, click here.

A segment of this successful and highly competitive program is contingent on grant funding from the Virginia Department of Education, and while we have enjoyed funding for the last several years, this funding is determined on a yearly basis. Because there are only a small number of fully funded spots, individual students and school districts may provide direct pay for our alternative programs.

We offer only a small group of highly competitive selected candidates a graduate salary while participating in the program to off-set the cost of living because participating in outside employment is discouraged. Currently, the stipend for those who participate in a fully funded program is $20,000, but this may change contingent on the availability of these funds.

YES! Once you are admitted to the program you are officially welcomed into the Monarch family, with all the rights and responsibilities expected of an ODU student. This includes access to the facilities and campus events, an ID card, and an ODU email account. Once admitted, you are responsible for paying for parking and any outstanding fees you may incur.

That is a great question! Yes and No. First, once you are admitted into the program, you must complete all the necessary steps that any new hire must complete in the school district (Norfolk, Newport News, etc.) to which you are placed for your internship (i.e. drug testing, fingerprinting, background check, TB test, and application for an NPS ID badge). After doing so, the school district will assign you an official email address so that you can communicate in and across their systems to various stakeholders (other teachers, parents, administrators, HR, etc.). This does not mean that you are an official employee yet. Once you successfully complete the TIR program, you are given interview preference with the school district. For example, NPS has the first right to hire or refuse, and if you are hired by NPS, you are required to teach for a period of no less than three years. On the other hand, if NPS chooses not to hire you, the TIR program will release you from NPS and make you eligible to be hired in other Hampton Roads school divisions that have high need schools. In short, as a contingency of this program, TIRs are required to work in a high need schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

While the first year of this program is known as the preparation year (the coursework and internship), participants are provided ODU supports and expected to participate in ODU related surveys or professional development for a period of three years after the preparation year. So, in essence, this program spans four years. If someone drops out of a fully funded program, repayment of tuition and the stipend is expected. The schedule of payment and the amount of the repayment is coordinated through the ODU Research Foundation and is contingent on the number of years of service provided. If a direct pay participant drops out of the program, he or she may be subject to the terms of the specific agreement made either between the student and a school district or the student and the Old Dominion University Research Foundation.