Admission to Teacher Candidacy
All students must formally apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program. Admission to the University does not constitute admission to a Teacher Education Program. Applications are available in the Teacher Education office on all campuses. Because of the sequencing of courses and because of prerequisite courses for admission, a student should declare his or her specific major or certification intent in the Tift College of Education and should access a copy of the Professional Education Handbook in the first semester of enrollment so as to become aware of teacher education requirements, policies, and procedures.
Once a student is admitted to the Teacher Education Program, that student must continue to make satisfactory progress. The Tift College of Education reserves the right to review periodically the progress of each student and also reserves the right to remove any student from a Teacher Education Program for failing to continue to meet the established criteria and policies in effect at the time of admission, and/or for demonstrating conduct that has been judged unethical or illegal based on the Code of Ethics, on the Mercer University Honor Code, on the Standards of Conduct published by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC). If a student is denied admission to Teacher Education, that student must meet any revised admission requirements in effect at the time of re-application.
Applicants for full admission to candidacy must view an online information session about field experience requirements and pass the test - this documents that the online information session was viewed and understood. Students may view the online information session multiple times, if they choose. Students may also revisit the online information session, even after passing the test, in order to refresh their understanding of the field experience requirements. In order to view the online information session and access the test for the first time, applicants must create an account from the following web page (this is the same page you access to apply for a field experience): Application System.
Requirements for Full Admission to Candidacy
Full admission is required before a student can enroll in any restricted education courses. The student will receive written notification of the admission decision from the Tift College of Education Admissions Officer. For Georgia students seeking the Promise Scholarship, full admission is the only status that will meet the current requirement that a student be admitted into a Teacher Education program.
To be fully admitted, a student must:
- Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5
- Undergraduates: Have taken and have earned no grade below a “C” in FYS 101 and FYS 102 or LBST 175 and LBST 180. MAT and certification-only students: Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
- Undergraduates: Have taken and have earned no grade below a “C” in the math core class.
- Have passed all education courses taken and have earned no grade below a “C” (undergraduates) or “B” (MAT/graduate-level students).
- Have passed all courses taken for areas of concentration in middle grades or for certification in secondary and P-12 content areas and have earned no grade below a “C”.
- Have passed all GACE I basic skills tests with a score on each test that reflects the minimum score set by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Students may be exempt from this requirement if they provide official documentation of qualifying scores on any of these tests: SAT, ACT, GRE, CBEST, CLAST, FTCE-GK.
- Undergraduates: Have declared a major in teacher education. Secondary education students need to declare the appropriate major in the College of Liberal Arts and need to declare the intent to seek Secondary Education Teacher Certification (See Major–Minor Form.) Those students seeking P–12 certification in music should declare Music Education as a major in the Townsend School of Music (See Major-Minor Form.)
- Have submitted an application for admission to Teacher Candidacy in the semester prior to registering for any restricted education courses.
- Have viewed and passed the online information session about field experience. (See link above, under "Online Information Session and Test" or in the menu on the left.)
Once a student is admitted to Teacher Candidacy, he/she must:
- Undergraduates: Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. MAT candidates: Earn at least a B in all courses applied towards the degree.
- Undergraduates: Maintain a 2.75 GPA or better in all education courses required for the major, including courses required for areas of concentration in middle grades or courses required for certification in secondary content areas or in special subjects, e.g., music.
- Successfully complete all education courses. An undergraduate teacher candidate who receives a grade below “C” in more than two (2) education courses will be dismissed from the Teacher Education Program. An MAT candidate who receives below a B in more than two education courses will be dismissed from the program. Only two (2) education courses with grades below the required minimum may be repeated, and no education course may be repeated more than one time. An MAT candidate may not re-take an equivalent class at another institution to replace a grade earned at Mercer.
- Have positive recommendations from each field experience in order to advance in the sequence of field experiences. Please note that field experience placements must meet all diversity criteria, i.e., placement in a minimum of three (3) different schools and placement in required grade clusters.
- Have successfully completed all education courses and all content courses required for certification prior to recommendation for student teaching. Further, in order to be recommended for student teaching, an undergraduate degree-seeking student may have no more than eight (8) hours of general education coursework to be completed in the term following student teaching.