The university offers a wide range of educator preparation programs for students who wish to become public school teachers. These programs are administered within the College of the Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the College of Education and Human Development, depending on the program. All undergraduate educator preparation programs are overseen by the Professional Education Faculty, which has membership from the three colleges and is advised by Atlanta-area schools.
The Professional Education Faculty governs all educator preparation programs leading to licensure by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The GaPSC approval process covers all initial teacher preparation programs, programs leading to service and educational leadership certificates, and endorsements in teaching or service fields offered at Georgia State University.
The following undergraduate programs are offered by the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the College of the Arts:
||College of Enrollment
|Art: preschool through 12th grade
|Birth Through Five: Infants through Kindergarten
||Education and Human Development
|Elementary Education: preschool through 5th grade
||Education and Human Development
|Health and Physical Education: preschool through 12th grade
||Education and Human Development
|Middle Level Education: 4th through 8th grade
||Education and Human Development
|Music Education: preschool through 12th grade
|Physics: 6th through 12th grade
||Arts and Sciences/Education and Human Development
|Special Education: preschool through 12th grade
||Education and Human Development
|World Languages Teacher Education: (French and Spanish) preschool through 12th grade
||Arts and Sciences/Education and Human Development
The College of Education and Human Development offers initial certification graduate programs in communications sciences and disorders (speech-language pathology), elementary education, educational leadership, English education, English to speakers of other Languages, foreign language education, health and physical education, mathematics education, middle level education, reading specialist, school counseling, school psychology, science education, social studies education, special education, and world languages education.
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 Secondary Schools ; EDLA 3200 - Topics in Middle Grades Language Arts ; EDMT 3350 - Topics in Middle Grades Mathematics ; 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/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, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies as part of their undergraduate preparation.
- For language arts education, students should complete 12 hours of English courses with at least 6 hours of upper division coursework. Within their undergraduate program, students should address the following areas: children’s literature, grammar, composition, and literature or folklore.
- For mathematics education, students should complete 12 hours of mathematics courses with at least 6 hours of upper division coursework. Within their undergraduate program, students should address the following areas: geometry, algebra, number theory, and probability/statistics.
- For science education, students should complete 12 hours of science courses with at least 6 hours of upper division coursework. Within their undergraduate program, students should address the following areas: biology, physical science, and earth/space sciences.
- For social studies education, students should complete 12 hours of social studies courses with at least 6 hours of upper division coursework. Within their undergraduate program, students should address the following areas: geography, world history, Georgia history and U.S. history.
- 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 (Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and/or Social Studies).
- 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 (biology, chemistry, earth/space science, or physics), or Social Studies (economics, geography, history, or political science) 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 B.S. in Physics program in the College of Arts and Sciences. 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, the College of the Arts, 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.
- Unless otherwise specified in specific program requirements, students must have successfully completed Area A (Essential Skills) of the undergraduate core curriculum with a grade of “C” or higher for each course and demonstrated competence in mathematics and science by successfully completing Area D (Science, Mathematics, and Technology).
- 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 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 interested in teacher education are encouraged to take the GACE Program Admission Assessment within their sophomore year or as soon as they complete Area A of the undergraduate core curriculum. For more information see the College of Education and Human Development website: education.gsu.edu/gace-georgia-educator-ethics/.
- Students must complete the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment (360).
- Students must complete a separate application for entry to teacher education programs.
- Students will need to have Tort liability insurance for field placement and field experiences.
- 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.
1610 Educational Field Experiences and Student Teaching
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.
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 Certification 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 should check with their departments for the deadlines to apply for their Opening 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 birth through five and elementary education majors) the term prior to the student teaching experience;
- earned a minimum grade-point average of 2.50 (2.75 for birth through five and elementary 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 a 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. Elementary Education and Middle Level Education majors must earn a grade of “B” or higher in major courses specified in the program of study. Birth Through Five and Special Education majors must earn a grade of C” or higher in major courses in the program of study. Health and Physical Education majors must earn a grade of “C+” or higher in specific major courses in the program of study. World Languages Teacher Education majors must earn a grade of “B” or higher in major 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 and Certification.
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.
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 the Arts, 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 Placements and Certification any criminal events described below that occur after the criminal background check required for field placements was conducted (notice to Office of Field Placements and Certification 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.
- Conviction of a crime other than a minor traffic violation.
- Criminal charges filed against the student.
- 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 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 the Arts, 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.
The College of Education and Human Development offers nine (9) Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs which prepare students for initial certification in the following fields: Elementary Education, English Education, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Education, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics Education, Middle Level Education, Science Education, Social Studies Education, and Special Education. The College of Education and Human Development also offers initial certification programs at the graduate level in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Educational Leadership, Reading Specialist, School Counseling, School Psychology, and World Languages 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 and Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment (360) may be eligible for the Georgia State recommendation for teacher certification. The College of Education and Human Development’s Office of Academic Assistance can issue the recommendation to the prospective teacher shortly after Commencement following the term of completion of 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 Field Placements and Certification 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: education.gsu.edu/admissions/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:
GACE Program Admission Assessment [Combined Test I, II, and III] is an admission requirement (unless candidate meets qualifications for exemption). 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 tests your content knowledge and is taken after enrollment and prior to program completion. There are different content assessments for each program. 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 Assessment (360) 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. Select Reason for Testing #2.
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 (360) - select Reason for Testing #7. Be sure to review the four-step registration process on the link provided here. 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. N
Content Assessments - Undergraduate students select Reason for Testing #2
1635 Teacher Education Core
The teacher education core is common to all educator preparation programs in the College of the Arts, 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 position of the Professional Education Chair will be filled in alternative years by (a) a member of the faculty of the College of Education and Human Development and (b) a member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences or College of the Arts or Perimeter College.
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.
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.