To become certified as a teacher there are a series of steps, or expectations, that you [the candidate] must successfully complete. Once those expectations are successfully met at Southern Polytechnic, you will be recommended to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for teacher certification. The certificate for teaching may be issued within six weeks of successful completion of these expectations, but you can be in the process of securing a teaching position well before receiving the certificate.
Obtaining teacher certification requires successful completion of the following, in order:
- Criminal background check
- EDUC 1101 Step 1 AND EDUC 1102 Step 2 (field experience), OR EDUC 1103 Step 1/2 Combo
- Passing the GACE in basic skills, OR a minimum combined verbal and mathematics SAT score of 1000 (excluding writing), OR a minimum combined English and mathematics ACT score of 43, OR minimum combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1030
- EDUC 2010 Knowing and Learning
- Admission to the Teacher Education Program, as a “teacher candidate”
- The following courses:
- EDUC 2020 Classroom Interactions (field experience)
- EDUC 4030 Project-Based Instruction (field experience)
- RSCH 3610 Research Methods
- STS 3347 Perspectives on Science and Mathematics
- MAED 2010 Functioning and Modeling (Mathematics students)
- Science or mathematics courses required for a major in the teaching discipline
- Passing the GACE in the content area
- Admission to Apprentice Teaching
- EDUC 4401 Apprentice Teaching Seminar AND EDUC 4406 Apprentice Teaching (field experience)
- Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition assessments throughout the program and recommendations of professors
Throughout the course work you must maintain a GPS of 2.50. Academic advisors will work with you throughout the program, mentoring you to a successful career in teaching. You will be counseled about both strengths and weaknesses, so that you will understand and achieve your potential.
Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition
During every course with a field experience, you are observed and assessed on your Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition—the foundations of what makes a successful teacher. The assessments are cumulative, evaluating professional growth over the duration of the program. The Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions of a successful SPSUTeach professional reflect the mission and vision of the University and of the Teacher Education Program. You will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Teacher as role model, means that the candidate:
- Listens attentively
- Displays an appropriate range of affect & emotions
- Uses appropriate body language
- Dresses appropriately
- Communicates with standard oral language
- Communicates with standard written language
- Comports dignity (personal and social)
- Is ethical
Teacher as scholar, means that the candidate:
- Is curious, inquires, is a critical thinker, engages in meaningful reflection
- Is enthusiastic about learning & shows evidence of being a life long learner
- Is knowledgeable of science, technology, and mathematics, and their specific teaching field
- Values reading
- Writes coherently
- Integrates ideas
- Applies knowledge to new areas
- Is knowledgeable of current educational issues and trends
Teacher as global citizen, means that the candidate:
- Values and embraces diversity
- Respects the values of other persons
- Uses language that is free from bias
- Collaborates with collegiality
- Promotes equity (gender & ethnic)
- Understands implication of actions
- Integrates divergent concepts
Teacher as professional, means that the candidate:
- Uses research based strategies
- Collects and analyzes data, and uses in decision making
- Networks with other professionals
- Demonstrates a belief that all students can learn
- Sets goals
- Is organized
- Fulfills commitments
- Meets deadlines
- Adapts to change
- Plans effectively for instruction
- Integrates technology
- Promotes a culture that is physically, intellectually, and emotionally safe
- Practices student-centered learning
- Functions within local, state, and national expectations and standards
Teacher as leader, means that the candidate:
- Is member of & participates in professional organization (and maintains tort insurance)
- Serves as volunteer for mathematics or science events, such as science competitions (e.g., Science Olympiad, Science and Engineering Fair, SimCity, or robotics)
- Volunteers for leadership roles
- Participates in leadership opportunities
Field Experience Courses
These courses will introduce you to the profession of teaching and guide you through precise teaching experiences. You are required to successfully complete all course requirements and teaching opportunities, including the accompanying paperwork and digital logs, with successful Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions evaluations.
- You will be evaluated on all course assignments and examinations.
- You will receive detailed written commentary on your teaching from mentor teachers in the field and from course instructors and master teachers. Lessons may be video recorded for analysis and evaluation.
- You will be evaluated on the lessons you teach in public schools. In courses with field experiences, sufficiently poor performance during teaching can result in failing the course.
- You will complete a teaching portfolio, a final document of your accomplishments aligned with state standards and additional UTeach program requirements.
- Assessments of your work include a final evaluation of your teaching proficiency, based on their classroom performance, that involves multiple trained observers using a tool such as the UTeach Teacher Development Rubric (TDR).
These courses provide you with the professional knowledge and skills about learning and teaching, about the disciplines of science and mathematics and their implications for learning, and about the current research on effective teaching. You are required to successfully complete all course requirements, including accompanying paperwork and digital logs, with successful Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions evaluations.
Passing GACE (Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators)
Successful candidates for teacher certification are required to show knowledge competence in two areas. They are as follows:
- Basic Skills (required for admission as a teacher candidate, OR to exempt, a minimum combined verbal and mathematics SAT score of 1000 (excluding writing), OR a minimum combined English and mathematics ACT score of 43, OR minimum combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1030)
- Discipline Knowledge (required for admission as an apprentice teacher)
Review procedures of Teacher Candidates for Recommendation for Certification
Before you begin any work in the schools, you must pass a criminal background check. Throughout Step 1 and 2 (or the Step 1/2 combo) you will be assessed on your lesson plans, how you deliver them, your Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition, and general performance in the course. Failure to complete your teaching experiences will result in a maximum grade of C, requiring you to retake the course if you wish to continue to seek certification.
You must show that you have mastered basic skills (including writing), by either passing the Basic Skills GACE test, or proving exemption. Knowing and Learning requires at least a C grade and faculty approval to continue.
Admission to Teacher Education Program
You must successfully pass the Step courses, Knowing and Learning, with faculty recommendations, and have completed at least 45 hours of course work at SPSU, with a minimum 2.5 GPA, to be considered as a candidate for teacher certification.
After admission into Teacher Education, you are reviewed every term to determine your progress towards teacher certification. Field experience courses will evaluate your teaching and classroom deportment. In all education courses listed below, you will be evaluated for academic success and on your Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition. Maintaining a 2.5 GPA and a clean criminal background is prerequisite to staying in the Teacher Education Program. The chart below is maintained in your Teacher Education folder.
Admission to Apprentice Teaching
Once you have successfully completed the courses listed below, with faculty recommendations from each course, and have maintained a clean criminal record, a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and have completed the content area GACE, completing almost all your course requirements, you will be evaluated for admissions into Apprentice Teaching.
Throughout your SPSUTeach program experience you will be evaluated on all of the columns below, before you are recommended to the State of Georgia, Professional Standards Commission for certification.
Applying for Admission to the SPSUTeach program
GACE Basic Skills Assessments
GACE Content Assessments