Georgia Alternative Teacher Certification

Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. The state of Georgia offers alternative routes to teacher certification for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree but have not yet completed a teacher preparation program. These programs can be a good fit for career-changers as well as recent graduates from bachelor’s degree programs. There are two main alternative teacher certification pathways in Georgia, which are outlined below. If you haven’t yet earned your bachelor’s degree, visit our guide to traditional teacher certification in Georgia.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

Regardless of experience or completion of a teacher preparation program, all candidates for certification in Georgia must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. To become a fully certified teacher, candidates must also pass the same required exams as traditional-pathway teachers and complete one of the available alternative teacher preparation programs. These programs typically take 18 months to two years to complete and commonly result in a post-baccalaureate certificate, a graduate certificate, or a master’s degree. You can view a list of approved alternative preparation programs through the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP).

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Georgia

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission requires that prospective teachers hold a bachelor’s degree (except in certain career and technical education subjects) and complete an approved teacher preparation program. Through alternative routes to licensure, teachers can work to complete a teacher preparation program while teaching in Georgia public schools.

Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP) Pathway

The most direct route to earning alternative teacher certification in Georgia is the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP) pathway. This pathway is designed to encourage highly qualified prospective teachers to switch careers to the classroom. To be eligible, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in the subject that they wish to teach. Candidates apply to a Georgia approved educator preparation program and then complete the program requirements, including the Ethics and Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) tests, while teaching under individualized mentorship and professional coaching. Candidates must complete the program requirements within three years of entry. Upon completion, program graduates are eligible for an Induction certificate, the entry-level teaching certification in Georgia.

Georgia Non-Renewable Certificate (Induction Pathway 4)

Prospective teachers who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a content area, have not completed teacher preparation, but are otherwise eligible for an initial teaching certificate may receive a temporary, non-renewable certificate or teaching permit while they work to fulfill the remaining certification requirements. Candidates must be employed by a Georgia school, post a passing score on the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment and appropriate content assessment(s), and pass the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment. Once issued, the Non-Renewable Provisional Certificate allows the individual to teach for three years while completing a Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC)-approved teacher preparation program.

Note that in Georgia, prospective career and technical education teachers typically follow the Georgia Non-Renewable Provisional Certificate route. However, educators in this field may not always be required to hold a bachelor’s degree. Instead, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) may accept an equivalent combination of education, experience, and industry certification. See the rules on career and technical specializations for further details.

Testing Requirements for Georgia Alternative Certification

Before teaching in a classroom as part of pre-service training through a teacher preparation program, candidates must take and pass the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment. In order to earn initial teaching certification upon completion of a teacher preparation program, candidates must also post passing scores on the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment and appropriate content assessment(s) for the subject(s) to be taught.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

It is possible to earn Georgia teacher certification through reciprocity if the applicant holds a current and valid professional (not temporary or provisional) teaching license or certificate in another state. Candidates seeking reciprocity must take and pass the same set of exams as all other Georgia educators. For more information on the process applicants should contact the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Georgia

The below list of school-based certification programs in Georgia includes programs that typically result in the award of a certificate or master’s degree which have been approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) for teacher licensure. In order to ensure that you qualify for licensure, it’s important to complete a certification program that is approved by the state.

  • Albany State University (Master’s)
  • Augusta University* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Brenau University (Master’s)
  • Clark Atlanta University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Clayton State University (Master’s)
  • Columbus State University* (Master’s)
  • Covenant College (Master’s)
  • Dalton State College (Certificate)
  • Georgia College and State University* (Master’s)
  • Georgia Southern University (Master’s)
  • Georgia State University (Master’s)
  • LaGrange College* (Master’s)
  • Mercer University (Master’s)
  • Piedmont College (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Savannah State University (Certificate)
  • Shorter University (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Spelman College (Certificate)
  • Thomas University* (Master’s)
  • University of Georgia* (Certificate, Master’s)
  • University of North Georgia (Master’s)
  • University of West Georgia (Certificate, Master’s)
  • Valdosta State University (Master’s)
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College* (Alternative)
  • Young Harris College (Master’s)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

1. Georgia Professional Standards Commission: https://www.gapsc.com/