I know people currently at both schools majoring in education and some who recently graduated and have jobs from both schools. Both JMU and VT are excellent. JMU is a bit smaller, more undergrad focused, and has an exceptionally great freshman orientation program, complete with an optional adventure trip (the whole orientation program has two parts -- one time in the middle of the summer for administrative stuff like registering for classes followed by the adventure trip (this part is called Springboard, and even includes an orientation for parents), then a full week in August just before all the other students come back wherein freshmen have the campus to themselves and a week of amazing activities designed to get them acclimated to college life, meeting their hallmates, and making friends). Other than that, they seem pretty similar. On campus life, they both have tons of school spirit, great food, vibrant campus lives and very happy students. There is a huge network of JMU teachers throughout the state of VA -- I believe they graduate more education majors than any VA school (after all, it was their original mission as a "state normal school for women" back in the early 1900's). But Hokies are great networkers, too. So I'd go by which campus make you feel more at home and more comfortable -- going back for a visit at each should be helpful. Also keep in mind, that if you're from NOVA, spending tons of time on I-81 can get tiresome (-: JMU is two hours closer to DC (far enough away to be getting out on your own, but close enough that you only have to spend about 50 minutes on I-81, and one hour on I-66, depending on where you're coming from). Just some thoughts. Good luck!