FAQ and Teacher Prep Jargon
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I become a teacher?
- What if I have an undergraduate degree in an area besides teaching?
- Are courses at USG institutions only offered during the day?
- Do I have to go to school full time?
- Are there any online courses or programs for teaching?
- What are the financial benefits to becoming a teacher?
- Is financial aid available to future teachers?
- Do you need a teaching license to teach in Georgia?
- How do I find a teaching position in Georgia?
How do I become a teacher?
You will need at least a four year degree to become a teacher. Depending on your major and the grade level you want to teach, this four year degree should meet the first requirement to become a teacher. If your four year degree is in another content area, you may have additional requirements. For more information, read becoming a teacher.
What if I have an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree in an area besides teaching?
You can enroll in a post-baccalaureate (courses after completing an undergraduate degree) or a master’s of arts in teaching degree program at one of our University System of Georgia institution’s teacher preparation programs or another state approved program. The Georgia TAPP program is open to students who possess an undergraduate degree and who are employed by a school system.
Are courses at USG institutions only offered during the day?
Many students have work or family responsibilities that prevent them from attending day classes. University System of Georgia institutions try to be sensitive to these considerations and try to schedule classes at a variety of times including the late afternoon, evenings, and some institutions offer classes on weekends. The best way to determine if an institution offers a variety of times is to contact the Colleges of Education in these colleges.
Do I have to go to school full time?
Most education programs provide as much flexibility as possible. Fulltime attendance is most likely to be required for courses which include field experiences or student teaching. Again, it is best to check with individual institutions.
Are there any online courses or programs for teaching?
In order to be receptive to students’ needs, the University System of Georgia offers courses and programs on-line. To learn about these programs, see our GeorgiaONMyLINE website. You particularly want to read about the new education programs being showcased on this site. We are exceptionally proud of these programs, and we are developing new courses all the time.
What are the financial benefits to becoming a teacher?
Obviously teaching is a very rewarding career. Sure, you will help educate the future citizens of the state and make a difference in so many students’ lives, but teaching is also rewarding financially. According to the Georgia Department of Education (PDF), the baseline entry salary for 2007-2008 is $32,609 with individual school districts adding supplements to that base. The average teacher salary in Georgia is $45,938. With the addition of graduate degrees and years of experiences, teachers’ salaries increase. In addition, school districts offer a variety of benefits including life, dental and health insurance, flexible spending accounts, optional savings accounts, credit unions and state teacher retirement systems. For more information, you may contact the school district that you wish to teach in.
Is financial aid available to future teachers?
State and national financial aid is available for students wanting to become teachers. In particular, the Georgia HOPE scholarship offers service repayable loans to Georgia students who qualify—the HOPE Promise Scholarship and the HOPE Teacher Scholarship.
Do I need a teaching license to teach in Georgia?
Yes. Any professional serving in the public schools must hold a valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission is the official certifying body in Georgia. Educator certificates are classified by types, fields, categories, and levels. The Certification Section of the PSC web page delineates these classifications. As part of the qualifications for a Georgia Teaching Certificate, you will also need to pass the GACE Basic Skills Assessment and the appropriate GACE Content Assessments.
How do I find a teaching position in Georgia?
Georgia is in great need of highly qualified teachers, so there should be many openings around the state. Many students looking for teaching positions register on Teach Georgia, a web-based resource tool for educators in Georgia. Registered users can use the site to create a profile, which serves as an online resume, perform a job search and apply for jobs posted on the web site by our local school systems. TeachGeorgia.org also provides information about job fairs, information sessions and upcoming events. Other students apply directly to the school systems of their choice for positions.
Teacher Prep Jargon you may not know
Baccalaureate Degree or Bachelors Degree can include a teacher preparation program and a recommendation for certification. Prospective teachers can attain a Baccalaureate Degree which does not include a recommendation for certification and then enter teaching through other routes.
A Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) or Non-Degree Program leads to certification but does not include a degree. Many USG institutions offer post-baccalaureate programs.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs are designed for potential teachers who have undergraduate degrees in subjects not related to teaching or have degrees that did not include teacher preparation classes. These programs are good choices for newly graduated non-education majors and career changers and enable MAT completers to start teaching at a higher salary level.
The Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (Georgia TAPP) is a classroom-based teacher preparation option for individuals who have the basic qualification to teach but have not completed a teacher preparation program. TAPP programs are offered by various providers and require employment in a school system.
Non-Renewable Test-Out Options are available under specific situations for qualified candidates with a PSC-accepted college degree, passing scores on the appropriate GACE assessments, and a current job offer. Such candidates may obtain a Non-Renewable Certificate and complete additional program requirements.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree is designed for certified teachers who want to expand their knowledge in the field they are teaching or gain knowledge and expertise in another field. People often confuse the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree and the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. The Master of Arts in Teaching is a graduate degree designed for potential teachers who have undergraduate degrees not related to teaching. Colleges and universities also offer Education Specialist degrees (Ed.S), Ph.D.s.
Endorsements In addition to full-field certificates, Georgia educators may be issued endorsements in specific areas to recognize additional expertise. In some areas, the endorsement is required in order to be considered in-field in a designated area, while in other cases the endorsement is not required but simply strengthens and enhances competency levels.