Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Georgia

Early Childhood Education in Georgia

Georgia, a southeastern state known for its charm and hospitality, is one of three states struggling to make acceptable academic progress (The Atlanta Georgia-Constitution). However, Georgia is working hard to improve education throughout the state, and received $4 billion from the government’s Race to the Top program. Ranking among the top 10 states for its commitment to education performance and policy in 2011, according to Education Week, Georgia also receives stellar scores for its early childhood education program (The Telegraph). Individuals pursuing a career in early childhood education will find many opportunities in Georgia.

* Rasmussen College, School of Education offers Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs at two levels to meet the needs of early childhood educators at any stage of their career: A 9-month ECE Certificate for those just getting started, or a Bachelor’s in ECE Leadership for those ready to advance their careers by moving into administration.

* The Online Master's in Early Childhood Education from Capella's NCATE-accredited professional education unit will prepare you to effectively engage young students in the pre-K setting. With the option to focus on special education or classroom supervision, Capella's Master’s in Early Childhood Education is designed with the modern pre-K classroom in mind.

* The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the USC Rossier School of Education is designed for aspiring K-12 teachers looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become great teachers and help all students succeed. This teacher preparation program also prepares candidates to be recommended for a teaching credential.

Getting Your Georgia Teaching Certification or Licensure

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission includes extensive information about how to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.

There are four main paths applicants can follow to obtain certification.

To apply, submit an application along with an approved program recommendation form, experience verification, copies of out-of-state certificates, verification of content assessment, and official college or staff development transcripts. Fees vary according to the type of transaction.

Renewable certificates are valid for five years while non-renewable certificates are valid for one to five years depending on the title. These certificates include a variety of subcategories, as Georgia offers flexibility to bring more quality personnel into the classroom.

Be sure to contact the Georgia Educator Certification Call Center (800-869-7775) or emailmail@gapsc.com, should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.

Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education

There are approximately 50 accredited early childhood education colleges in Georgia.

tied for 20th place in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 list of the best universities in the nation. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctorate in early childhood education (pre-K through five).

is the world’s largest contiguous college campus. A bachelor’s and master’s degree in early childhood education (pre-K through five) are available to aspiring teachers. The school also has a Child Development Center where students can practice their craft with children from the surrounding community.

is the Southeast’s leading urban research institution. It offers bachelor’s and master’s and a doctorate in early childhood education (pre-K through five) and serves a large, diverse student body.

located 20 miles north of Atlanta, is the fastest-growing university in the system and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctorate in early childhood education (pre-K through five). It is the leading producer of teachers in Georgia and has the only Montessori “Birth through Five” bachelor’s degree program.

Getting a Job as a Early Childhood Teacher in Georgia

There are several different avenues you can take in pursuing a career in this dynamic profession.

Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. Teach Georgia is the official source for finding public school employment opportunities within the state. You can apply, create, and post a resume online here. The site also provides information about upcoming job fairs.

Other employers to become familiar with are Montessori and other private schools and Head Start. Be sure to research the child care centers in your local area as well, as many of these centers are in constant search for highly-qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.

Georgia’s Professional Groups for Teachers

There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Georgia that share similar goals.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) provides professional learning for educators and has over 84,000 members statewide. It is the state’s largest and most professional organization for teachers, providing insurance, legal services, and a voice for professional lobbying.

The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) has been supporting, protecting, and strengthening Georgia’s educational system for 125 years. Joining your local grassroots organization also enrolls you in the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization.

The Georgia Association of Young Children (GAYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides learning opportunities for early childhood educators. It is also an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The Georgia Federation of Teachers (GFT) supports the economic, social, and professional interests of educators and is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a powerful 1.5 million-member group with multiple benefits.

Click here to view associations that Georgia teachers can join to enhance the teaching of particular subject areas.

Georgia ECE Bloggers

The Georgia Public Broadcasting education blog provides insightful articles about current issues in Georgia’s school systems. Quite a few dedicated teachers also share their personal insights about early childhood teaching.

The Cool Cat Teacher blog is maintained by a full-time teacher who writes about personal development, teaching, leadership, productivity, and technology.

Sharing Kindergarten is operated by a kindergarten teacher who loves incorporating play, creativity, and fun in teaching to encourage natural learning.

The ABC’s of Reading blog is written by an early childhood teacher who integrates the arts with books to aid in developing reading comprehension.

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