The Georgia Professional Standards Commission
One of the first steps in obtaining teacher certification in Georgia is to review the information found on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website at www.gapsc.com. You will find the answer for most of your certification questions there. Review the section under "Steps to Teach" on the right side of the page and pay special attention to item # 6, the Certification Self Evaluation.
The GACE Assessment
All new teachers certifying in Georgia must complete the requirements of the "Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators " (GACE®). There are two parts to the GACE assessments; the two exams are the GACE Basic Skills Assessment and the GACE Subject Content Area Assessment.
The GACE Basic Skills Assessment is normally taken prior to the GACE Subject Content Assessment. The GACE Basic Skills Assessment is four hours long and It includes separate exams in General knowledge math, reading comprehension and writing.
The GACE Subject Content Assessment is the second part of the GACE requirement. It is a subject specific assessment designed to evaluate the specific subject area in which you intend to certify and teach.
Assessment Preparation Materials (Study Guides) for all GACE Assessments are available on the GACE Web Site which is www.gace.nesinc.com.
If you live in Georgia, go directly to the GACE web site to register to take the GACE Assessments. These exams are also available at military base education centers for military personnel living outside the state of Georgia.
There are several possible avenues available for completing your initial teacher certification requirements in Georgia.
Traditional Certification Options
- University Programs: The first option is to enroll in a state approved university teacher certification program. A list of state universities and the subject areas certification programs that they offer can be found by linking to Georgia University Programs.
- Distance Learning Programs: There are also universities that offer online certification via distance learning programs. For a list of some of those universities go to Distance Learning Programs. Completion of an online certification program from an out of state university requires an additional step for Georgia Certification, but due to reciprocity agreements between most states the process is fairly simple in most cases.
Non-Traditional Certification Methods
- Intern Program (old GaTAPP Program): The Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GATAPP) is the state’s official alternative teacher certification program. It was designed specifically for career switchers and has proven to be a valuable asset to individuals desiring second careers as teachers. It enables individuals with non-education backgrounds to enter the teaching profession via an alternative certification-training program. Teachers enrolled in GaTAPP are actually allowed to teach while completing state certification requirements. GATAPP is one of the quicker routes to teaching. To find the GaTAPP website click on GaTAPP
- One Year Practicum Program: In March 2004, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission approved the Test Based Option or One Year Supervised Practicum Program as a fourth possible method of obtaining initial teacher certification. This method of certification is a one-year program that allows individuals with specific colleges majors to combine the associated GACE Assessments with a formal one-year on-the-job program of supervision that satisfies the Professional Standards Commission requirements for Georgia certification. To find out more about this option go click on Test Based Option.
As with any profession, networking your skills and talents is essential to finding a teaching position. Many Troops to Teachers candidates have found working as a substitute teacher to be an excellent way to network in a school district. To become a substitute teacher simply go to your local board of education and request a substitute teacher application. The process is fairly simple and it is a great way to get experience in the classroom. Once you have met the GACE Basic Skills and GACE Subject Content Assessment requirements and proven yourself in the classroom as a substitute teacher there are a number of things a school system can do to assist you in the employment process.
Georgia Teachers Vacancies Website
We also recommend that you register on the state’s www.teachgeorgia.org web site. It is Georgia’s official website where school systems post their teacher vacancies. It will prove to be a valuable tool in your employment search. Most of Georgia's 181 school systems post their job vacancies there.