1600 Teacher Preparation

The university offers a wide range of educator preparation programs for students who wish to become public school teachers. Some of these programs are administered within the College of Arts and Sciences and some are administered within the College of Education and Human Development. All undergraduate educator preparation programs are overseen by the Professional Education Faculty, which has membership from both colleges and is advised by Atlanta-area schools.

The Professional Education Faculty is accredited at Georgia State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), www.ncate.org. This accreditation covers all 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.

The following undergraduate programs are offered by the College of Education and Human Development or College of Arts and Sciences:

Teaching Field College of Enrollment
Art: preschool through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
Birth Through Five: Infants through Kindergarten Education and Human Development
Early Childhood Education: preschool through 5th grade Education and Human Development
French: preschool through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
German: preschool through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
Health and Physical Education: preschool through 12th grade Education and Human Development
Health Science Technology Education: 7th through 12th grade; nondegree Education and Human Development
Latin (Classical Studies): preschool through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
Middle Level Education: 4th through 8th grade Education and Human Development
Music Education: preschool through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
Physics: 6th through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
Spanish: preschool through 12th grade Arts and Sciences
Trade and Industrial Education: 7th through 12th grade; nondegree Education and Human Development

The College of Education and Human Development offers initial certification graduate programs in  behavior/learning disabilities, communications sciences and disorders (speech-language pathology), early childhood education, educational leadership, English education, mathematics education, middle level education, multiple and severe disabilities, reading specialist, school counseling, school psychology, science education, social studies education, special education, and English to speakers of other Languages.

Educator preparation programs at Georgia State University are field-based; that is, much of the coursework requires structured participation in school settings. Therefore, students must be available for coursework that will be scheduled during elementary, middle, and secondary school hours, typically 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will find it necessary to be free of other obligations during the term of student teaching and will find it highly desirable to have few other commitments during the term in which blocks of coursework must be taken. Blocks are comprised of 6 or 12 hours of coursework, which are taken in the same academic term (i.e., fall semester only) and are field-based. Exit requirements for teacher education are satisfied by successful completion of student teaching. Additional requirements exist for specific programs.

Preparation for Prospective Teachers at the Middle Level (4-8) or Secondary Level (6-12) or of ESOL Students (P-12)

Students interested in applying to a Master of Arts in Teaching program in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education or who wish to explore the possibility of teaching in a content area (gr. 4-8 or 6-12) or in English as a Second Language classrooms (ESOL, preschool -12) are encouraged to take pre-education courses such as the following as part of their undergraduate preparation: EDCI 3250 Introduction to Teaching in the Secondary School; EDLA 3200 Topics in Middle Grades Language Arts; EDLA 3230 Special Topics in the Middle Level Literature Curriculum; EDLA 3240 Special Topics in the Middle Level Composition Curriculum; EDMT 3350 Topics in Middle Grades Math; EDMT 3420 Special Topics in the Middle Level Mathematics Curriculum; EDSC 3250 Topics in Middle Grades Science; EDSS 3400 Topics in Middle Grades Social Science and History; EXC 4020 Characteristics and Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities; or LT 3210 Teaching, Learning, and Technology Integration.

General information for preparing to teach in these areas can be found below. For more information on specific program admission requirements for the various M.A.T. programs in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education, see those program descriptions in the Georgia State University Graduate Catalog.

English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Education (P-12)

Prospective teachers of ESOL students in Georgia may choose any major but should complete at least two sequential semesters of a foreign language. Courses in applied linguistics and English grammar are also encouraged. Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, students should apply for the M.A.T. in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Education which leads to certification as an ESOL teacher (P-12) and a reading endorsement.

Middle Level Education (4-8)

Prospective teachers of middle level education (MLE) level should focus on two content areas, either Language Arts/Social Studies or Math/Science, as part of their undergraduate preparation.

  • For MLE language arts and social studies, students should major in either English or history and take at least 12 hours of upper division coursework in the second area. Within their undergraduate program, students should address the following areas: children’s literature, grammar, composition, literature or folklore, geography, world history, Georgia history, and US history.
  • For MLE mathematics and science, students should take at least 12 hours of mathematics and 12 hours of science as part of the undergraduate preparation. Within the undergraduate program, students should address the following areas: life science, earth science, physical science, geometry, algebra, number theory, and probability/statistics.
  • Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, students should apply for the M.A.T in Middle Level Education which leads to certification in grades 4-8 in two areas of concentration (either Language Arts/Social Studies or Math/Science.)
  • Students who do not follow the suggested preparation for Middle Level Education may be able to enroll in the M.A.T program, but additional coursework will be necessary prior to completion of the program and recommendation for certification.

Secondary Education (6-12)

Students interested in teaching English, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies (history, political science, or economics) at the middle and secondary level should major in Arts and Sciences in the concentration in which they would like to teach. Certification in physics is available within the BS in Physics program.  For all other fields students should apply to the appropriate Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program in the College of Education and Human Development upon completion of an undergraduate degree.

1605 Entry into Teacher Education

Admission to Georgia State University and to the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Education and Human Development (as indicated above) is prerequisite to entry into teacher education. The minimum criteria for entry into teacher education are listed below.

  • Students must have successfully completed Area A (Essential Skills) of the undergraduate core curriculum with a grade of “C” or higher for each course.
  • Students must demonstrate competence in oral communication. Screening takes place in all education courses. At any time during their courses of study, students may be referred to the Georgia State Speech–Language–Hearing Clinic. There, screening assesses the basic communication skills adults are expected to exhibit during communication in professional settings: hearing, articulation, fluency, appropriate grammar, comprehension of spoken language, and the ability to use appropriate voice quality. Completion of referral, evaluation, and the remedial process is necessary for continuation in the program.
  • Students must have demonstrated competence in mathematics and science by successfully completing Area D (Science, Mathematics, and Technology) of the undergraduate core curriculum.
  • Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 based on all undergraduate coursework attempted. For students pursuing degrees in some majors, the minimum grade point average requirement is 2.75. Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisors for information regarding the grade point average requirement for their specific majors.
  • Students must complete a separate application and pay an application fee. Students must also show proof of Tort liability insurance and criminal background check. See section 4000 College of Education and Human Development in this catalog or visit the College of Education and Human Development Office of Academic Assistance web site,  http://education.gsu.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/, for more information.
  • Students must have successfully completed EDUC 2110 Investigating Critical & Contemporary Issues in Education with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Students must present passing scores on the GACE Program Admission Assessment or demonstrate an exemption upon application to an initial educator preparation program.
  • Students must complete the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment – Program Entry (350).

Contact the Counseling Center (404-413-1740) or the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Academic Assistance or College of Education and Human Development Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions for an examination schedule and application form. Students interested in teacher education are encouraged to take the GACE Program Admission Assessment as soon as they complete Area A of the undergraduate core curriculum.

Additional criteria, including departmental requirements, may be added. Students are assigned an advisor to plan an appropriate course of study within the guidelines provided by this catalog. Entry into teacher education is a prerequisite for courses designated “(TE)” in the course description section.

1610 Educational Field Experiences and Student Teaching

Classroom Observations

Prior to acceptance into a teacher education program, students enrolled in courses which require observation experiences in a school setting will complete the online application for observation placements.

Prior to completing the online application, students must complete a criminal background check through the university-approved vendor. Instructions for the background check are provided at http://education.gsu.edu/student-services/office-of-field-placements/criminal-background-checks/. 

Students can access the online application at http://education.gsu.edu/student-services/office-of-field-placements/classroom-observations/.

If the course requires the student to complete an observation in a community setting as designated by the course instructors, students do not need to submit an observation application to the Office of Field Placements and may manage their own placement request.

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.

Educational Field Experiences and Student Teaching

Educational field experiences and student teaching are clinical in nature. They are designed to complement the humanistic, behavioral, and pedagogical studies in teacher education and to offer experiences in a variety of settings.

At the baccalaureate level, a sequence of clinical and field experiences is planned to complement the professional education courses included in the students programs of study.

The Opening School Experience provides practical experience in the school and classroom setting during the week of preplanning and the first week of school. Students learn effective procedures necessary for setting up a classroom at the beginning of the year. This takes place at the beginning of the students’ senior year prior to the student teaching experience. Students in early childhood education and health and physical education must apply for this experience in advance and must register for the course during early registration of the fall term of the year in which the experience takes place. Students should check with their departments for the deadlines to apply for their Open School Experience.

Student teaching is the culmination of the clinical field experiences. Student teaching involves full participation by the students for at least one full academic term. Because student teaching constitutes a full load of academic credit, it is recommended that the students attempt neither regular employment nor other courses during the term of student teaching.

To be eligible for enrollment in student teaching, students must be admitted to teacher education and have:

  • successfully completed the specific required courses of the program;
  • earned an overall grade-point average no less than 2.50 (2.75 for early childhood education majors) the term prior to the student teaching experience;
  • earned a minimum grade-point average of 2.50 (2.75 for early childhood education majors) in the major teaching area courses and in professional education courses. (Students who earn a grade of “C-,” “D,” or “F” in a major teaching field or professional education course must repeat that course and earn a grade of “C” or higher. The grade of “C,” “D,” or “F” will still be included in the overall grade-point average.) Early Childhood Education and Middle Level Education majors must earn a grade of “B” or higher in majors courses specified in the program of study.
  • must complete the requirements to obtain a Pre-Service Certificate through the Georgia Professional Standards Commission which includes a criminal background check and the ethics module.
  • will not be able to begin their field placement(s) until they receive their Pre-Service certificate number from the GaPSC and provide proof to the Office of Field Placements.

The Professional Education Faculty believes that all students who are in field experiences must be personally and psychologically equipped as well as academically prepared. Students may be denied entry to field experiences based on departmental prerequisites or the professional judgment of faculty based on observed performance and behavior. This policy is based on the premise that educators should be part of the evaluation of the students’ ability to function adequately and safely in classrooms and that educators have a right and responsibility to make such judgments prior to placing students in schools.

The practicum or student teaching supervisor has the authority to withdraw students from their classroom experience if their performance constitutes a detriment to the children in the class. If such removal is necessary, students will be given an F in each corresponding course.

Applications and deadlines for student teaching are posted at http://education.gsu.edu/student-services/office-of-field-placements/.

Failure to submit applications on or before prescribed deadline dates will result in a delay of one or more terms in student teaching or practicum placement. Further information regarding educational field experiences, practicum, and student teaching experiences for each major is available from the appropriate department in the College of Arts and Science or the College of Education and Human Development.

An additional lab fee of $125 will be charged at the time students register for the student teaching experience. Educator preparation students must be aware that extra costs such as tort liability and transportation will be incurred at various times during the completion of the various teacher education field experiences, particularly during the students’ senior year.

Final Student Teaching Seminar

At the completion of the student teaching semester, all students who are eligible for certification must attend a final seminar to complete all requirements. Information concerning this seminar will be sent to the students.

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 Office of Field Placement any criminal events described below that occur after the criminal background check required for field placements was conducted (notice to Office of Field Placement 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.

Criteria on Academic and Professional Integrity

The College of Education and Human Development 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 and Human Development adhere to both the University’s Student Code of Conduct as described online 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.

1615 Teacher Certification

Teachers and other educational personnel must be certified by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to be employed in the state’s elementary, middle, and secondary public schools. Private elementary and secondary schools may also require state certification for employment.

Completion of Teacher Education Requirements: A requirement for initial certification in Georgia is completion of teacher education requirements. This may be accomplished in one of the following ways at Georgia State University. (Options vary by program.) In all cases, “Entry into Teacher Education” criteria apply.

  • Students may complete an approved educator preparation degree program as described in the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Education and Human Development chapter of this catalog.
  • Students may complete or present a non-educator preparation bachelor’s degree and all additional components of an approved educator preparation degree program.

Initial certification programs in Behavior/Learning Disabilities, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Educational Leadership, English Education, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics Education, Multiple and Severe Disabilities, Reading, School Counseling, School Psychology, Science Education, and Social Studies Education are available only at the graduate level. The College of Education and Human Development offers  seven Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs which prepare students for initial certification in the following fields: Early Childhood Education, English Education, Mathematics Education, Middle Level Education, Reading, Language and Literacy Education (ESOL), Science Education, and Social Studies Education. See the current Georgia State University Graduate Catalog for more information on the university’s master’s level programs.

1620 University Recommendation

Students who complete a Georgia State University educator preparation program and who present  passing scores on the appropriate GACE Content Assessments, Georgia Educator Ethics – Program Exit (360) Assessment, and edTPA may be eligible for the Georgia State recommendation for teacher certification. The College of Education and Human Development’s Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions can issue the recommendation to the prospective teacher shortly after Commencement following the term of completion of requirements. Instructions for applying for certification can be found here: http://education.gsu.edu/student-services/office-of-academic-assistance/applying-for-certification/certification-requirements/.

1625 Application for Teacher Certification

Prospective teachers must apply for teacher certification. It is the students’ responsibility to complete the certification application submission process with the College of Education and Human Development. The Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions will work with the student to issue the recommendation to the Georgia PSC shortly after Commencement following the term of completion of requirements. Instructions for applying for certification can be found here: http://education.gsu.edu/student-services/office-of-academic-assistance/applying-for-certification/certification-requirements/.

1630 Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE)

This information is for candidates seeking admission to or enrolled in a teacher preparation program. The state of Georgia requires such candidates to take various GACE and Educator Ethics assessments as part of the educator certification process. These computer-delivered assessments have been developed by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) and are delivered by the Education Testing Service (ETS). You will take these tests at different times.

Program Admission and Content Assessments:

Program Admission Assessment [Combined Test I, II, and III (700)] is an admission requirement (unless candidate meets qualifications for exemption – scroll down to “Options to Satisfy the Program Admission Assessment Requirement”). When registering for the assessment, program entry candidates must add your program provider (Georgia State University – school code 5090) as a score recipient when you register or we will not receive notification that you have completed the assessment.

Content Assessment (different content assessments for each program) tests your content knowledge and is taken after enrollment and prior to program completion. You will receive specific information regarding this test as you near completion of your program (required for certification).

Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment: 

Georgia Educator Ethics – Program Entry (350) Assessment is an admission requirement. Completion of this assessment is required for admission, though there is no “Pass/Fail” grade assigned. Program entry candidates must add your program provider (Georgia State University – school code 5090) as a score recipient when you register or we will not receive notification that you have completed the assessment.

Georgia Educator Ethics – Program Exit (360) Assessment is taken after enrollment and prior to program completion. You will receive specific information regarding this test as you near completion of your program (required for certification).

How to Register:

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the test supplier for the GACE and for the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment.

Important Step:  you must first establish a MyPSC account at the MyPSC website. As you create your account, you will indicate a different “Reason for Testing” specific to the test and your student status:

-Program Admission — select Reason for Testing #1 . Program entry candidates must add your program provider (Georgia State University – school code 5090) as a score recipient when you register or we will not receive notification that you have completed the assessment.
-Georgia Educator Ethics – Program Entry (or Program Exit) — select Reason for Testing #7  (Be sure to review the 4-step registration process on the link provided here: Register for the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment). Program entry candidates must add your program provider (Georgia State University school code 5090) as a score recipient when you register or we will not receive notification that you have completed the assessment.  NOTE: Step #3 of registration — check your email SPAM folder for the email from ETS. Step #4 of registration is tricky — you are now in the ETS portal (not MyPSC) and you must create a new account under “Registration”…choose the option: Test Takers.
Content Assessments – Undergraduate students (or graduate students in Educational Leadership, School Psychology, or Counseling):  select Reason for Testing #2 
– Content Assessments – Graduate students (except in Educational Leadership, School Psychology, or Counseling):  select Reason for Testing #3 (students in Educational Leadership, School Psychology, or Counseling select Reason for Testing #2)

1631 edTPA

Teacher preparation candidates will be required to pass an externally scored  portfolio assessment (edTPA) to be eligible for certification.  This portfolio assessment requires candidates to submit evidence of ability to teach in a subject-specific classroom.  Candidates must develop and teach a unit of instruction and then submit materials based on three to five lessons from this unit.  The portfolio includes video clips of student-teacher interactions, lesson plans, learner work samples, and candidates’ reflective analysis.

In the event a candidate has passed their student teaching/practica course included in their teacher preparation program but fails to pass edTPA, candidates may be eligible to graduate but not be eligible for certification.  Students in this situation may enroll in EDUC 4750 Clinical Experience for one credit hour to participate in a practicum experience to create and implement a unit of instruction and complete a new edTPA portfolio.

1635 Teacher Education Core

The teacher education core is common to all educator preparation programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Development. The core is comprised of the following three courses:

EDUC 2110 Investigating Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education
EDUC 2120 Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity in Educational Contexts
EDUC 2130 Exploring Learning and Teaching

 

1640 Professional Education Faculty (PEF)

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 and Human Development 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 and Human Development, students appointed by their departments, and school personnel representing Metro-Atlanta school systems. 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 and Human Development.

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

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 and Human Development mission statement and includes the Professional Education Faculty’s purpose, assumptions guiding our programs, and candidate outcomes. The conceptual framework is described fully at http://education.gsu.edu/faculty-staff-resources/coe-professional-education-faculty/

1650 Teacher Education Warranty

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

  • The Professional Education Faculty of Georgia State guarantees the quality of any educator that they recommend for initial certification in Georgia.
  • Georgia State 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 educator in a Georgia school who fails to demonstrate essential skills can receive additional training at no expense to the educator or the employer.