7 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Georgia
Want to become a teacher in Georgia? Here are the 7 steps you will need to follow.
Step One: Provide proof that you hold a bachelor’s degree. If you are enrolled in a teacher education program approved by the state of Georgia, you must apply for a certificate of eligibility, which transfers to certification upon employment. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree in education, you can become certified by completing an educator certification program at an approved college.
Step Two: Hold a 2.5 GPA. Students who completed their bachelor’s degree within 10 years of applying for teacher certification must possess a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. Minimum GPA requirements don’t pertain to students with a bachelor’s degree earned more than 10 years before pursuing certification or to those with a graduate degree.
Step Three: Complete your approved student teaching hours. Students who are in a state-approved educator preparation program must complete a teaching residency. This is also known as student teaching. Applicants for a Georgia teaching certificate must possess documentation of completed student teaching hours when they submit official college transcripts.
Step Four: Receive a passing grade on all required exams. Candidates for teaching certification in the state Georgia must complete a series of certification exams administered by the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE). This series of tests is a replacement for the PRAXIS. The first exam that teacher candidates take is a basic skills assessment required for admission to a Georgia teacher education program. Applicants for certification also complete a content assessment that tests subject area knowledge.
Step Five: Pass a background check. Teachers must pass a criminal background check to teach at a public or private school in Georgia. Educators must pass a criminal background check every five years to renew their certification. Also, students who are seeking a pre-service certificate before graduation must complete a background check. School districts pay for the background check as part of the hiring process.
Step Six: Submit a Teaching Certification Application. Students who are seeking initial teacher certification must submit an online application, which can be found on the GaPSC website. Also, candidates must provide official college transcripts, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a copy of a photo ID. Graduates of a Georgia teacher education program submit a program completion form. Educators who earned their degree from a state other than Georgia must submit an experience verification form. These documents will be submitted through the applicant’s online GaPSC account.
Step Seven: Pay all your fees. Candidates who are seeking certification must pay a $20 processing fee upon submission of an application. This fee is waived for initial certification. Students seeking enrollment in a state-approved teacher education program must complete an admissions test that costs $78. Educators must also pay $30 for the Georgia educator assessment of ethics and $123 for a content assessment.