1600 Educator Preparation

Initial and advanced educator preparation programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels are administered by the Professional Education Faculty, an organization of faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and local public school teachers and administrators. The Professional Education Faculty is a multidisciplinary team committed to teaching, research, and service in partnership with school and community agencies. Its mission is to prepare educators as leaders, thinkers, and change agents who are grounded in theory, content, and practice. Advanced educator preparation programs beyond the master’s level are administered by the College of Education.

The Professional Education Faculty at Georgia State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), www.ncate.org. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs at Georgia State University. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.

Teacher preparation programs in Music Education are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, and teacher preparation programs in Art Education are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The Master of Education program in School Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs; and the Master of Science program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

1610 Organization of the Professional Education Faculty

The Professional Education Faculty’s primary duty is to promote and facilitate constructive interaction of the members of the Professional Education Faculty, especially along interdisciplinary lines, in the interest of maintaining excellence in professional education programs at Georgia State University.

The Dean of the College of Education is the presiding officer of the Professional Education Faculty. The faculty meets at least twice each year, once during Fall Term and once during Spring Term. Quotidian governance of the Professional Education Faculty is conducted by the Professional Education Council, which consists of faculty members elected from the various teacher education areas, faculty members appointed by the Dean of the College of Education, students appointed by their departments, and is advised by representatives from various Atlanta area schools, which are a part of the Metro-Atlanta P-16 Community Council. The chair of the Professional Education Council is elected annually, and the position alternates between members of the College of Arts and Sciences and members of the College of Education.

Additional information about the Professional Education Faculty and its activities is available at  http://education.gsu.edu/faculty-staff-resources/coe-professional-education-faculty/.

1620 Conceptual Framework

The Professional Education Faculty’s conceptual framework illustrates its philosophies and purposes in regard to effective teacher preparation. The framework builds on the College of Education mission statement and includes the Professional Education Faculty’s purpose, assumptions underlying educator preparation, and candidate outcomes. The conceptual framework is described fully at http://education.gsu.edu/faculty-staff-resources/coe-professional-education-faculty/.

1630 Programs

Initial Certification Programs

The following majors provide initial teacher preparation to qualified students:

  1. Master of Art Education with a major in Art Education (College of Arts and Sciences)
  2. Master of Art in Teaching with a major in
    • Early Childhood Education
    • English Education,
    • Mathematics Education,
    • Middle Level Education (Language Arts and Social Studies or Mathematics and Science),
    • Reading, Language, and Literacy Education (English  to Speakers of Other Languages),
    • Science Education
    • Social Studies Education
  3. Master of Education with a major in
    • Behavior/Learning Disabilities,
    • Early Childhood Education—Urban Accelerated Certification and Master’s Program,
    • Health and Physical Education,
    • Multiple and Severe Disabilities, [with concentrations in Adapted Curriculum (Intellectual Disability), Adapted/General Curriculum (Autism Spectrum Disorders), Deaf Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Physical and Health Disabilities (Orthopedic Impairments)]; or
    • School Counseling
  4. Master of Science with a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  5. Master of Education and Specialist in Education with a major in School Psychology
  6. Non-degree special education programs in special education general curriculum: consultative, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, deaf education, early childhood special education, physical and health disabilities.

Advanced Programs

The following degree programs provide advanced teacher preparation for qualified students:

  1. Master of Art Education with a major in Art Education (College of Arts and Sciences)
  2. Master of Education with a major in
    • Behavior/Learning Disabilities;
    • Elementary Education;
    • English Education;
    • Health and Physical Education;
    • Mathematics Education;
    • Multiple and Severe Disabilities [with concentrations in Adapted Curriculum (Intellectual Disability), Adapted/General Curriculum (Autism Spectrum Disorders), Deaf Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Physical and Health Disabilities (Orthopedic Impairments)];
    • Reading, Language, and Literacy Education with a concentration in Reading Instruction;
    • Science Education;
    • Social Studies Education;
    • Urban Teacher Leadership
  3. Master of Music with a major in Music Education (College of Arts and Sciences)
  4. Specialist in Education with a major in
    • Educational Leadership,
    • School Counseling,
    • School Psychology
  5. Doctor of Philosophy with a major in
    • Counseling Psychology,
    • Counselor Education and Practice,
    • Early Childhood and Elementary Education,
    • Education of Students with Exceptionalities (with concentrations in Autism Spectrum Disorders; Behavior Disorders, Communication Disorders; Deaf/Hard of Hearing; Early Childhood Special Education, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Physical and Health Disabilities (Orthopedic Impairments),
    • Educational Policy Studies (Educational Leadership),
    • Educational Psychology,
    • Instructional Technology (with concentrations in Alternative Instruction Delivery Systems, Instructional Design, , Management, Research and Consulting)
    • Kinesiology (with concentrations in Biomechanics and Physical Rehabilitation, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Psychology, and Physical Education Teacher Education),
    • School Psychology,
    • Teaching and Learning (with concentrations in Language and Literacy, Mathematics Education, Music Education, Science Education, Social Studies Education, or Teaching and Teacher Education)

Teacher Education Warranty

Georgia State University teacher education programs provide a limited warranty and guarantee the following:

  • The Professional Education Faculty of Georgia State University guarantees the quality of any educator that they recommend for initial certification in Georgia.
  • Georgia State University guarantees educators during the first two years immediately following graduation from Georgia State or following recommendation by Georgia State for an initial certificate, whichever occurs first.
  • Any Georgia State University educator in a Georgia school who fails to demonstrate essential skills can receive additional training at no expense to the educator or the employer.

1640 Graduate Professional Education Core

All students enrolled in professional education programs at the master’s level must complete the graduate professional education core as it is described in the program requirements for their major. The professional core consists of three areas of study: research, social foundations, and psychology of learning. The Professional Education Faculty has designated the following courses as fulfilling the professional education core requirements:

Research (minimum of 3 semester hours)

  • EPRS 7900 Methods of Research in Education (3)
  • EPRS 7910 Action Research (3)
  • EPRS 7920 Classroom Testing, Grading, and Assessment (3)

Social Foundations (minimum of 3 semester hours)

Psychology of Learning (minimum of 3 semester hours)

  • EPY 7080 The Psychology of Learning and Learners (3)
  • EPY 7090 The Psychology of Learning and Learners: The Young Child (3)

1650 GACE Assessments

Students seeking certification from the State of Georgia Professional Standards Commission are required to pass the GACE Program Admission Assessment (or provide an exemption) and GACE Content Assessment in their fields.

The Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators® (GACE®) is Georgia’s state-approved educator certification assessment program. The purpose of the assessments is to assure that the knowledge and skills acquired by prospective Georgia educators are aligned with state and national standards for educator preparation and with state standards for the P–12 student curriculum — the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS). The GACE program helps the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) meet its goal of ensuring that educator candidates meet these standards before receiving their educator certification in the state of Georgia. The GaPSC has contracted with Educational Testing Service (ETS) to assist in the development and administration of the GACE program.

To review more information about the GACE Assessment, please go to http://gace.ets.org/.

Questions about educator certification in other states should be addressed to the State Department of Education in the capital city of that state.

1660 Educational Field Experiences

An additional lab fee of $125.00 will be charged at the time students register for selected field experiences. Educator preparation students must be aware that extra costs such as tort liability, criminal background check, and transportation will be incurred at various times during the completion of educational field experiences.

Field Experience Placement Policies

Below are the policies governing the field placements of students in sites and schools. All students must comply with the prerequisites for placements and the continuing requirement to report any criminal events, and must acquire tort liability as outlined in the sections which follow.

Field Placement – Prerequisites

Georgia State students enrolled in educator preparation programs or in education coursework requiring field-based experiences must fulfill the Georgia State prerequisites set forth below before the University will initiate field placement efforts. However, fulfilling Georgia State’s prerequisites is not a guarantee of placement for a field-based experience or licensure by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.1 Field placement sites/schools set their own placement requirements and may have additional requirements before a placement is finalized.

As a prerequisite, students must:

  1. provide written consent to a criminal background check with a vendor designated by Georgia State University for the purpose of obtaining copies or summaries of any criminal records pertaining to the student that are held by any local, state or federal government agency or private entity; and
  2. if the criminal background report indicates the student has prior convictions,2 as defined by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, or pending criminal charges against him/her, then the student must also provide written consent for the release by Georgia State of the student’s criminal background report to field placement sites for review and decision regarding acceptance for field placement at the site. Georgia State will not release the report to field placement sites for placement purposes without student consent. Georgia State may cross-reference a student’s criminal background history with the information supplied on the student’s application for admission to Georgia State. Misrepresentations revealed by such cross referencing may result in sanctions up to and including revocation of admission to the University.

Georgia State will contact the student if his/her criminal background report indicates prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges. The student will have the opportunity at that point to:

  1. Provide written consent allowing Georgia State to forward the criminal background report to field placement sites for their review and decision regarding field-placement at their institution for student teaching. No field placement attempts will be initiated by Georgia State University for students with prior convictions or pending charges except with such a consent;
  2. Withdraw from Georgia State’s field placement process. Student must also formally withdraw from any corresponding Georgia State courses for which field placement is a requirement to avoid earning a failing grade; or
  3. Contest the accuracy of the report with the background check vendor or reporting entities. No further attempts will be taken to place the student in the field unless the student subsequently consents to Georgia State’s release to field placement sites of the student’s criminal background report or the submits official documentation showing to the University’s satisfaction that the background check report was erroneous.

Field Placement – Continuing Duty to Report Criminal Events

In addition to the continuing duty Georgia State University students have to report criminal events that occur after application to the University per the Georgia State Student Code of Conduct, students enrolled in educator preparation programs or in education coursework requiring field-based experiences must (1) report to the College of Education Office of Academic Assistance any criminal events described below that occur after the criminal background check required for field placements was conducted (notice to COE Academic Assistance must be made within 72 hours of the student’s notice of the event); (2) consent to a new criminal background check; and (3) provide written consent for the release of the criminal background report and all information about the criminal event to any field placement site at which the student is currently student teaching or at which Georgia State attempts to place the student in the future. Failure to comply with the notice requirement described herein may result in sanctions up to and including immediate withdrawal from the University. Failure to comply with the criminal background check and release of information requirement described herein will result in immediate removal from all current field placements and courses and denial of future requests for field placement.

  1. Conviction of a crime other than a minor traffic violation.
  2. Criminal charges filed against the student.
  3. Entering a plea of guilty, a plea of no contest, a plea of nolo contendere, an Alford plea, or a plea under any first offender act in response to charges filed against the student.

Policy Regarding Tort Liability

Teacher education and counseling students are required to purchase tort liability prior to placements in field experience courses, practica, or student teaching. Students will be expected to show proof of coverage to program coordinators/supervisors prior to field placements.

  1.  The Professional Standards Commission was created by the Georgia General Assembly as of July 1, 1991, to assume full responsibility for the certification, preparation, and conduct of certified, licensed, or permitted personnel employed in the public schools of the State of Georgia. The Commission is also responsible for the development and administration of teacher certification testing. The Commission handles the investigation, advisement, monitoring, and due process of cases associated with educator discipline. In 1999, the Georgia Teaching force Center was placed in the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for administration purposes. The Teaching Force Center is one component of the Georgia P-16 Council’s Title II Plan for having a Qualified Teacher in every Classroom in Georgia by 2006.
  2.  Conviction includes a finding or verdict of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought; a situation where first offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; and a situation where an adjudication of guilt or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge or the charge was otherwise disposed of in a similar manner in any jurisdiction.

1670 Criteria on Academic and Professional Integrity

The College of Education is committed to upholding standards of academic and professional integrity. These standards require that students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within the College of Education adhere to both the University’s Student Code of Conduct as described on-line at  http://codeofconduct.gsu.edu/ as well as their individual degree program’s Policy on Student Professionalism, Integrity and Retention. Students should contact their department for a copy of their degree program’s policy.