State Requirements for Initial Certification
The Georgia Professional Standards Commission requires students to complete a state approved program, including student teaching, before applying for certification in the State of Georgia. Mercer has state-approved programs in the following areas for initial (first time) certification:
- Early Care and Education (Birth-through-Five) (Henry County, Douglas County, Atlanta Campus)
- Early Childhood/Special Education: General Curriculum (P-5) (Regional Academic Centers and Macon Campus Residential, as the Holistic Child program)
- Middle Grades (4-8)
- Secondary (6-12) - Macon Campus Residential and Atlanta Campus:
Economics (Atlanta Campus only)
Geography (Atlanta Campus only)
Physics (Atlanta Campus only)
- P-12 Music Certification - Macon Campus Residential Only
In order for Mercer University to recommend a candidate for certification in the state of Georgia, the candidate must do the following:
- Successfully complete the student teaching or internship experience
- Complete all program requirements with the minimum GPA (2.75 for undergraduate students; 3.0 for graduate students)
- Submit transcripts showing the necessary degree
- Pass the appropriate GACE Content Assessment for the field of certification sought
- Submit to the Certification Officer a completed Application for Certification (The Application for Certification asks candidates to explain and document any criminal history they might have. Failure to disclose correct history may make the candidate ineligible for a teaching certificate in the state of Georgia.)
The Certification Officer will meet with all student teachers and interns at the beginning and end of the final clinical experience to advise them on the certification application process.
Tift College of Education’s Role and Responsibilities
to provide a letter from the Teacher Education Admissions Officer regarding admission status. For those students holding a bachelor's degree and pursuing initial certification through the certification only programs, the letter will outline courses to be taken. However, the student is responsible for following this program outline.
- to provide advising as outlined in the programs section of the Teacher Education Handbook to ensure a student's completion of a state approved program.
- to provide instruction concerning the application procedure for teacher certification in the State of Georgia to those students completing student teaching
- to complete college recommendation forms and submit teacher certification packets to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Student’s Role and Responsibilities
- to seek and to follow advising to ensure completion of the state approved program.
- to attend the teacher certification seminar at completion of the student teaching experience.
- to submit certification checklist, application packet, complete copies of GACE scores, and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended to the Office of Certification.
Undergraduate Graduation without Certification
A student admitted to the Teacher Education Program may apply to receive a degree in Education without certification:
- when a student realizes that teaching is no longer his/her chosen profession, but he/she wishes to complete an education degree without certification rather than changing major OR
- when career goals require a degree in education without teacher certification OR
- when circumstances prohibit loss of employment while student teaching
student receiving a degree in Education without certification must:
- notify his/her advisor, in writing, no later than the semester prior to student teaching of the desire to pursue an Education degree without certification, naming one of the three reasons listed above as the basis for the request;
- complete the appropriate agreement form and submit it to the advisor. The advisor will forward the form, with his or her signature, through the appropriate Chair to the Dean and the Certification Office, where it will be filed.
- with the exception of student teaching, successfully complete all the courses and field experiences (including Practicum) required for a degree;
- follow all policies and procedures and regulations outlined in the Teacher Education Handbook and Mercer University Catalog related to teacher education;
- satisfy the full admission requirements for teacher candidacy and the criteria for progression;
- with the approval of his/her advisor, select and complete fifteen (15) additional semester hours of electives. These 15 semester hours of electives replace the student teaching requirement.
A student who chooses to receive the Bachelor’s Degree in Education without certification is not eligible for recommendation for certification by the Tift College of Education until such time that the student successfully completes all certification requirements through the Tift College of Education.