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Georgia Alternative Teacher Certification

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
If you want to become a teacher in Georgia but have not taken an undergraduate educator preparation program, the state offers several alternative pathways to certification. Read on to learn about the prerequisites and requirements for each.

Alternative Teacher Certification Options in Georgia

While earning a baccalaureate degree in education through an educator preparation program is the traditional route to teacher certification, Georgia offers aspiring teachers three alternative certification paths, all of which must be completed through a school that is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC):

  • Advanced Degree Programs. These master's degree educator-preparation programs are designed for those who already have a bachelor's degree. Programs are widely available at colleges and universities. If a student in an advanced degree program is hired by a Georgia school district, they may be eligible to teach for three years as they complete the program.
  • Certification-only Programs. Many colleges and universities also offer certification-only preparation programs for those who hold baccalaureate degrees. While these are similar to advanced degree programs, they typically have fewer academic requirements and students do not receive a graduate-level degree. Like those enrolled in advanced degree programs, students in certification-only programs who are hired by a school district may be eligible to teach for three years as they finish their programs.
  • Alternative Programs. Designed for those who have been hired by a Georgia school district but have neither completed nor are currently enrolled in a traditional or alternative educator preparation program, these alternative programs are typically completed through the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy.

Pathway for Those Who Have Been Hired Prior to Completing a Program

If an individual is hired by a Georgia school district before finishing an advanced-degree or certification-only preparation program, they may receive a three-year induction certificate if they:

  • Had at least a 2.5 GPA when earning their bachelor's degree, or receive an exception from the GaPSC by proving acceptance into a preparation program
  • Pass the GACE program admission assessment
  • Pass the relevant GACE subject test
  • Pass the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Entry

To convert this induction certificate to a professional certificate, one must complete a preparation program and pass the state's content pedagogy assessment.

Pathways for Those Who Have Not Been Hired

Those who have not been hired by a school district while completing an alternative certification preparation program may earn a five-year certificate of eligibility if they meet the requirements outlined below. Once employed, they will receive an induction teaching certificate.

Requirements for Those Taking a Program Within Georgia

  • Complete the approved alternative certification preparation program
  • Pass the GACE program admission assessment, relevant GACE content test, the Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit test, and the content pedagogy assessment
  • Complete a class on identifying and educating exceptional children

Requirements for Those Taking Out-of-State Programs

Out-of-State Program + Student Teaching: A student taking an alternative certification program and completing student teaching outside of Georgia must:

  • Complete the approved preparation program or possess an out-of-state professional teaching certificate
  • Pass the appropriate GACE content test, or submit documentation of passing a similar out-of-state certification test
  • Complete a class on identifying and educating exceptional children and the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit*
  • Pass a content pedagogy test**

*Not required for induction certificate, but must be completed to renew induction certificate or receive a professional certificate.

**Required to renew induction certificate or receive a professional certificate if a candidate does not have acceptable experience for at least one of the five years before receiving an induction certificate.

Out-of-State Program + Student Teaching in Georgia: A student taking an alternative certification program outside of Georgia but completing student teaching within the state must:

  • Complete the approved preparation program
  • Complete a class on identifying and educating exceptional children
  • Pass relevant GACE content test, Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit test, and content pedagogy assessment

Assessment Prep Resources for All Candidates

To help those who are studying for required GACE assessments, Study.com has created a series of prep courses that focus exclusively on the content of these tests. Self-paced and available online 24/7, these courses help aspiring teachers understand and master all the concepts and topics they will encounter on their exams. See, for example:

Program Admission Assessment Prep Courses:

Prep Courses for Content Assessments

Study.com's online practice and study guide courses for content assessments include:

Science

Math

English Language Arts

Social Studies

Other

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