Georgia Certification Terminology

alternate (non-traditional) certification route = an option outside of undergraduate, graduate or non-degree/post-baccalaureate programs that leads to state certification while in the classroom.  Teachers on alternative certification pathways must have a teaching job in the desired field of certification.

certification  =  a required license to teach

elementary education (former early childhood education) certification = pre-kindergarten- grade 5

edTPA = a subject and level specific summative capstone assessment of content pedagogy skills used by many states for evaluating the effectiveness of beginning teachers. Georgia educators are no longer required to pass the edTPA to obtain Georgia certification as of July 1, 2020.

GACE = Georgia Assessments for Certification of Educators  = the three required licensing exams in basic skills (reading, writing and mathematics), content area(s), and ethics;

GACE content assessment = a required Georgia exam in a specific content area, e.g. English

GACE Educator Ethics Assessment = a required Georgia exam that measures understanding and knowledge of compliance obligations of the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators as well capacity and disposition to act ethically as a professional;

GACE Program Admission = a required exam that measures skills in reading, writing, and mathematics; exemption is possible if meet SAT, GRE or ACT score criteria;

GaTAPP/TAPP Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy = a collection of alternate certification programs in Georgia that allows someone to complete certification while teaching. Approved providers of GaTAPP

GaDOE Georgia Department of Education = the state government agency that oversees Georgia public education, enforces the laws and regulations pertaining to education, and monitors the appropriation and proper allocation of state and federal funds for local school systems. The GaDOE does not oversee state certification for teachers.  Certification is the responsibility of the Georgia Professional Standards commission (GPSC), although both groups work very closely together.

GPSC/GaPSC/PSC Georgia Professional Standards Commission = the state agency which oversees all certification for public school employees for grades P – 12

G.R.E. = Graduate Record Exam = the exam needed to apply for many graduate school programs

induction certificate = a 5-year, non-renewable initial certification granted to those who have completed all certification requirements through a traditional pathway except for having three successful years in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures; teachers seeking certification through alternative pathways can convert a provisional certificate to an induction certificate once they have completed certification requirements but still need three years of successful teaching in the classroom. See other terms: traditional certificate, provisional certificate

interstate reciprocity = an agreement with other states that recognizes out-of-state teaching licenses upon meeting certain criteria

K – 12 = applicable to kindergarten through grade 12; P – 12 includes pre-kindergarten

M.A.T. = Master of Arts in Teaching = a graduate program which leads to a master’s degree and an induction level teaching certificate in Georgia.  M.A.T. programs exist across the country. Certification is state-based, and students receive certification from the state in which the M.A.T. program is based, even if online. Programs must be accredited and approved by the home state’s certification board and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to be recognized by the state of Georgia.

M.Ed. = Master of Education typically for teachers already certified and with some teaching experience

middle grades/level certification = certification to teach grades 4 – 8

pedagogy = the science of education which includes the study of physical and cognitive development as they relate to teaching, learning, and theory

professional certificate = a 5-year, full, renewable teaching license acquired after completing all of the requirements of a three year induction certificate period. You must have an induction certificate before qualifying for a professional certificate if initial certification takes place in Georgia.

provisional certificate = a 3-year, non-renewable certificate given to teachers completing certification through an alternative pathway while teaching.  Teachers who complete the certification requirements before gaining three years of successful teaching in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures convert the provisional certificate to a non-renewable, 5-year induction certificate.  Upon completing three years of successful teaching in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures and while holding an induction certificate, teachers may then convert to a renewable, 5-year professional (full) certificate. Teachers with a provisional certificate who already have 3+ years of successful teaching experience in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures when they complete the certification requirements can convert a provisional directly to a full, 5-year, renewable professional certificate.   See other terns: induction certificate, professional certificate.

RESA = Regional Educational Service Agency  = a state agency that shares services designed to improve the effectiveness of the educational programs of member school systems; one service RESAs offer are alternate certification programs (see GaTAPP andTAPP).

salary schedule = pay scale which includes a state salary + a county/school system supplement and available on individual school system websites

secondary certification  = certification to teach grades 6 -12

TAPP GaTAPP = Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy = a collection of  alternate certification programs throughout the state. Teachers in TAPP programs receive a provisional certificate until they complete the TAPP program. See provisional certificate.

traditional certification route = a certification route in which you earn a degree in a subject applicable in K-12 teaching while also completing all requirements for induction certification before graduation.  You find a teaching job after graduating.