Elementary/Special Education Non-Degree Certification

Become certified to teach grades P through 5

Mercer University’s Elementary/Special Education non-degree certification program is designed for aspiring teachers who currently hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education. The program prepares students for initial teacher certification in grades P through 5, but students do not earn a degree. Certification- and degree-seeking students who currently hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education may choose to pursue a master’s degree through Mercer’s Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education.

Successful completion of the program and passing scores on the appropriate GACE Content assessments lead to eligibility for initial teacher certification.

Designed for busy and working adults

Students pursue the Elementary/Special Education non-degree certification program through a blended combination of online and in-person meetings at Mercer’s Atlanta, Douglas County, Henry County, or Macon location. With the program’s flexibility, many of our students are able to continue working while earning initial teacher certification.

  • The majority of each course is offered in a synchronous, online format with students attending class in person two nights per course.
  • Most students register for two courses per eight-week session.
  • Sessions begin five times a year in January, March, May, August, and October.
  • Students are also required to participate in field experiences during the day.

Expand your knowledge

Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to:

  • Understand the young child from a holistic perspective with an emphasis upon the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, as well as the child’s environment
  • Understand various curriculum models and best practices
  • Demonstrate competency in developing and implementing a wide variety of diagnostic and assessment techniques and strategies
  • Integrate technology into the curriculum

Learn more about our Elementary/Special Education non-degree certification

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admissions counseling appointment, or contact Renee Slaton at 678.547.6500 or enroll@mercer.edu for more information.

Additional Steps

Keep planning ahead

Prepare for the GACE

Mercer offers workshops, preparatory courses, and more to help students prepare for the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission assessment. Students may access the preparatory course prior to enrolling at Mercer. The GACE website also provides materials to help students prepare for the GACE assessments.

Explore teacher candidacy

During sophomore year, students apply for full admission to teacher candidacy to gain eligibility to enroll in junior year courses. Admission criteria include submitting the online application for teacher candidacy, passing the GACE Program Admission assessment and the Georgia Educator Ethics assessment, maintaining a 2.5 GPA, and more.

Gain valuable field experience

To expand on the academic perspective covered in their courses, students spend time in public school classrooms in the local community. Throughout the program, students complete a variety of field experiences, including pre-practicum, professional practicum, and student teaching. Field experiences are coordinated through our Office of Field Placement.

Meet the Faculty

Mercer’s Tift College of Education is supported by faculty and staff who devote themselves to preparing students to become transforming educators within their communities and throughout the world.