School of Education

 SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

Dean: Dr. Lettie J. Watford
Education Center, Room 202A
(229) 931-2173
lettie.watford@gsw.edu

Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Education is to prepare effective teachers who demonstrate the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to promote student achievement.

The School of Education is committed to the following:

  • Developing leaders in education who have the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions to make skilled, reflective decisions and who view student learning as the focus for their work.
  • Motivating life-long learning to adapt to the evolving needs of a global society and its diverse populations through high quality programs based upon exemplary instruction, knowledge of content, emergent technologies, and relevant research.
  • Developing candidates who accurately assess, reflect and make appropriate decisions about instruction resulting in achievement for all learners.
  • Collaborating professionally with families, schools, community partners, and others to improve the preparation of candidates and the effectiveness of practicing teachers.

The School of Education endorses the mission statement of Georgia Southwestern State University and envisions its mission within the context of those principles.

Education as a Career

A career in education is multi-faceted. Teaching in public or private schools, teaching for industry, teaching abroad, human services positions in a variety of agencies, tutoring, and operating an educational clinic are some options available.

Teaching, wherever it occurs, offers challenge, personal satisfaction, interaction with individuals in diverse situations, congenial colleagues, good working conditions, opportunities for advancement, increased financial rewards, choices of location, and the professional and personal growth which accrues from advanced study in the college and university environment. The School of Education at Georgia Southwestern State University is comprised of professional educators with extensive experiences in the public schools, the community, and professional organizations.

The mission of the School of Education is the preparation of teachers for Georgia schools. Through cooperative efforts with other schools and departments of the University, the School of Education offers Teacher Education programs for Early Childhood, English, Health and Physical Education, History, Mathematics, Middle Grades Education, Music, and Special Education. The School of Education provides leadership in professional development and extension programs for teachers within the area served by the University and collaborates with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, school systems, professional organizations, and other groups in evaluating and improving education programs and services.

Programs in Education at Georgia Southwestern

Student Learning Outcomes

Teacher education programs represent the cooperative planning of the School of Education and the other major academic units of the University. All programs are coordinated by the School of Education and are designed to produce teachers who demonstrate the following skills:

  • incorporate and apply knowledge of the skills and central concepts of their disciplines into an integrated curriculum;
  • define and describe the growth and development characteristics of P-12 students; identify critical historical, philosophical, and theoretical themes in education;
  • instruct students from diverse populations who vary in rate, ability, compatibility, cultural background, and style of learning;
  • plan and implement a variety of instructional strategies to promote critical thinking, problem solving, and performance in P-12 students;
  • apply classroom management skills using various techniques including the ability to manage the physical classroom environment;
  • employ different types of communication strategies to insure active participation of all P-12 students;
  • plan, create, and evaluate materials appropriate for instruction;
  • apply a variety of assessment techniques for diagnosing and prescribing teaching strategies to impact achievement inP-12 students;
  • use reflection, research, and inquiry to support professional development and professional practice;
  • identify appropriate and effective collaboration, communication and interpersonal skills with P-12 students, teachers, parents, administrators, and others in the community;
  • identify attributes of professional dispositions;
  • integrate technology into teaching practices to enhance learning and impact achievement in P-12 students

The prospective candidate has many options. Programs leading to degrees and/or eligibility for initial certification are offered in Early Childhood Education, English, Health and Physical Education, History, Mathematics, Middle Grades Education, Music, and Special Education. In addition, students may earn the Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Recreation and Exercise Science/Wellness, non-teaching degrees.

Employment Opportunities

Highly qualified teachers are in demand in Georgia public schools. Georgia and other states in the southern region offer attractive employment opportunities to teachers and graduates of education programs, especially those in critical fields such as mathematics, science, and special education.

Basic Requirements for All Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs

Teacher Education programs at Georgia Southwestern State University are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Successful completion of an approved Teacher Education program leads to recommendation for a professional teaching certificate. Since these professional programs lead to licensure, candidates must meet requirements and responsibilities not common to other degree programs.

Academic Requirements

All Teacher Education candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for Admission to Teacher Education, for Admission to Student Teaching, and for graduation. In addition, candidates must earn grades of C or better in the professional sequence and teaching field courses for their chosen field of study. (See individual program descriptions for professional sequences and teaching field courses). Professional course credit may not be earned by correspondence.

Field Experiences

The School of Education strongly believes that field experiences are essential elements in all preservice teacher education programs. Field experiences provide developmental, systematic, and authentic contact between Teacher Education candidates and the tasks involved in teaching P-12 students. Most education courses have field experience requirements as an integral part of the course requirements. Collaboration with area Professional Development Schools enables candidates to observe and participate in classrooms beginning with the Education foundation courses and continuing through the capstone field experience--Student Teaching. Candidates are expected to complete the equivalent of one year of field experience hours including student teaching. Candidates must have documented a Criminal Background Check prior to beginning field experience assignments, and provide proof of educational liability insurance.

Admission to Teacher Education Programs

All candidates following a Teacher Education program must be formally admitted to Teacher Education. The Admission to Teacher Education process is an advisement and tracking procedure designed to assist candidates in completion of degree requirements. Admission to Teacher Education is a prerequisite for enrollment in professional education courses. Failure to make application at the appropriate time can jeopardize timely program completion. Deadlines for submitting applications for Admission to Teacher Education are posted each semester in the School of Education and on the School of Education website.

Application for Admission to Teacher Education should be made upon completion of 50 semester hours of core curriculum credit. Transfer students with at least 50 semester hours of credit must make application for Admission to Teacher Education immediately upon entering the University. Application forms may be obtained from the School of Education office.

All applicants must submit the application and a two-page autobiography to the School of Education office. Students are notified by letter of admission to a Teacher Education program. Admission to Teacher Education must occur at least two semesters prior to the Student Teaching semester, and prior to enrollment in any 3000 or 4000 level program courses.

Formal Admission to the Teacher Education program will be granted to candidates meeting the following requirements:

  1. Completion of EDUC 2110 (Investigating Issues in Education), EDUC 2120 (Exploring Diversity in Education), and EDUC 2130 (Exploring Teaching and Learning) with a grade of C or higher.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 50 semester hours of General Core Curriculum (Areas A-F) credit with a minimum grade point average of 2.50 on all work taken, whether at other colleges/universities or at Georgia Southwestern State University, that is foundational to Teacher Education. Achievement and maintenance of a core GPA of at least 2.50 is required to be admitted and to remain in the program.
  3. An institution grade point average of 2.50 or higher in all program course work taken whether at other colleges/universities or at Georgia Southwestern State University is required to be admitted and to remain in the program.
  4. Successful completion of the GACE I academic skills tests in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.*
  5. Proficiency in communication skills, which is subject to review by the School of Education at any time during the program. Communication skills are measured by completion of the Humanities component of the core with a GPA of 2.25 or higher and successful demonstration of proficiency in communication skills or completion of COMM 1110 or THEA 1110 with a grade of C or higher. COMM 1110 or THEA 1110 may be taken in Area B to satisfy this requirement.
  6. Recommendation by the academic advisor and one other professor who has recently taught the student (other than the instructor of EDUC 2110).
  7. Recommendation by the appropriate program faculty, and approval by the Dean of the School of Education.

* NOTE: Candidates are exempt from this requirement if they have earned qualifying scores on any of these tests:

SAT minimum score: 1000 (critical reading score plus math score);
GRE minimum score: 1030 (critical reading score plus quantitative score); or
ACT minimum score: 43 (English score plus math score).

Opening School Experience

During the academic year in which a candidate completing a degree program with certification is scheduled to student teach, she/he must complete the Opening School Experience in the placement where the student teaching is to be completed. Opening School Experiences, student teaching placements, and all other field experiences will be authorized by the Clinical Director in consultation with program faculty and Professional Development School liaisons.

Admission to Student Teaching

Completion of Student Teaching, under the guidance of a Professional Development School master teacher and a university supervisor is required of each Teacher Education candidate. Student Teaching occurs during the senior year and is considered a "full time" experience. Candidates may not enroll for additional courses while Student Teaching without special permission, nor should they engage in outside activities that divert attention and energy from Student Teaching.

Student Teaching is conducted in elementary, middle, and secondary Professional Development Schools. Each assignment is made by the School of Education after a careful study of the candidate’s academic record and general college/university experience. The School of Education reserves the right to assign a student to any Professional Development School according to the best interests of the candidate and the University.

Applications for Student Teaching must be filed with the Clinical Director.

Prerequisites for Student Teaching are as follows:

  1. Admission by letter to a Teacher Education program at Georgia Southwestern State University at least two semesters prior to the Student Teaching semester;
  2. Completion of fifteen semester hours of credit in residence at Georgia Southwestern, including the content methods course specific to the majors;
  3. Completion of the General Core Curriculum with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on all core work whether taken at other colleges/universities or at Georgia Southwestern;
  4. Completion of all course work required except Student Teaching with a grade of C or higher whether taken at other colleges/universities or at Georgia Southwestern. A minimum grade point average of 2.50 is required in each concentration for Middle Grades Education candidates;
  5. An institution grade point average of 2.5 or higher in all program course work whether taken at other colleges/universities or at Georgia Southwestern;
  6. Recommendation by major advisor and endorsement by the appropriate area curriculum committee.
  7. Documentation of a Criminal Background Check and proof of educational liability insurance.

Exit Examination

The GACE Content Assessment serves as the exit exam for undergraduate candidates completing a teacher preparation program. Teacher education candidates must take the GACE in the appropriate certification area and have scores submitted to the School of Education prior to graduation. Passing scores on the GACE Content Assessment are not required for graduation; however, teacher education candidates must have passing scores submitted to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission in order to obtain initial teacher certification.

Certification

Teacher certification is granted by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Candidates successfully completing all requirements in a baccalaureate Teacher Education program and meeting GACE I and GACE II requirements may apply to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for a clear-renewable professional certificate. Application forms for certification may be obtained from the School of Education Office. Candidates should complete application forms and submit them prior to the end of the semester in which they anticipate completing certification requirements.

DEPARTMENT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD, READING, AND SPECIAL EDUCATION

Department Chair: Dr. J. YeVette McWhorter
Professors: Dr. J. YeVette McWhorter
Assistant Professors: Katherine O. Barnetson, David J. Hunter, Rebecca Short, Dr. Sheryl F. Venable, Dr. Chu Chu Wu
Lecturers: Gavin M. Bernstein, Jennifer Dickens, Lynn Larsen

Early Childhood

The candidate who specializes in Early Childhood Education has career options in a variety of settings: public and private preschools, agencies, community programs, child care, public schools, and private enterprise. With advanced training, supervisory and administrative positions are available. Candidates who plan to teach in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade (P-5) must enroll in this program to obtain certification.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION WITH A MAJOR IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Core Curriculum Requirements: Core curriculum requirements should be completed during the first two years of college study. Candidates must meet the General Core Curriculum requirements as established by the University and the School of Education.

Admission to Teacher Education: Admission to Teacher Education is required for a candidate to enroll in all 3000-4000 level program courses. A grade of C or higher is required in each professional and teaching field course, and an institution grade point average of 2.5 is required for both student teaching and graduation.

Early Childhood Education Professional Sequence: The Early Childhood Education professional sequence enables candidates to develop understanding and abilities that are essential for teaching young students.

Academic Concentrations: The Early Childhood Education program requires the completion of a concentration in Reading. Courses that are taken to complete this requirement include EDRG 3020, EDRG 3040, EDRG 3280, and EDRG 4100.

The Early Childhood Education program requires the completion of a concentration in Mathematics. Courses that are taken to complete this requirement include EDEC 3100, MATH 2008, MATH 3002, MATH 3003 and MATH 4490.

Click HERE for Early Childhood Curriculum Sheet and Requirements.

Special Education

Candidates planning to teach individuals with disabilities should enroll in this program leading to Georgia T-4 certification in Special Education.

A degree in Special Education qualifies an individual for professional opportunities in public schools and other settings concerned with meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION WITH A MAJOR IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

Core Curriculum Requirements: Core Curriculum requirements should be completed during the first two years of college study. Candidates must meet the General Core Curriculum requirements as established by the University and the School of Education.

Admission to Teacher Education: Admission to Teacher Education is required for a candidate to enroll in all 3000-4000 level program courses. A grade of C or higher is required in each professional and teaching field course, and an institution grade point average of 2.5 or higher is required for both Student Teaching and graduation.

Professional Sequence: The Special Education professional sequence enables candidates to develop understanding and competencies essential for teaching students with disabilities.

Academic Concentration: The Special Education program requires the completion of a concentration in Reading. Courses that are taken to satisfy this requirement include: EDRG 3020, EDRG 3040, EDRG 3060, EDRG 3280, and EDRG 4100.

Required Teaching Field Courses: Teaching Field requirements are established by the School of Education. Major teaching field courses should be taken during the junior and senior years. Teaching field courses, including the Special Education Block, must be completed prior to Student Teaching.

Special Education Block: All candidates seeking initial certification in Special Education are required to complete the Special Education Block prior to Student Teaching. The Special Education Block is a full-time experience of course work and internship. Candidates spend approximately 20 hours per week as interns serving special education students in public schools under the supervision of master teachers. Additionally, they are enrolled in university course work on campus.

Click HERE for Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Special Education Curriculum Sheet and Requirements.

DEPARTMENT OF MIDDLE GRADES AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, AND HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE

Department Chair: Dr. Gregory M. Hawver
Professors: Dr. Gregory M. Hawver, Dr. Lettie J. Watford
Associate Professors: Dr. Queen H. Brown
Assistant Professors: Dr. Rachel Abbott, Dr. Andrew Bosak, Dr. Joseph R. Nichols
Instructors: Kelly J. Britsky, W. Michael Leeder, Bryan S. McLain, Carrie Rahn, Christina Ward

Middle Grades Education

Middle Schools serve a student population undergoing physical, intellectual, and psychological changes. Teachers prepared to meet the developmental needs of young adolescents are at the heart of the Middle School. The School of Education's Middle Grades program prepares teachers who understand the nature of the learner, create meaningful learning environments, empower students, collaborate with other teachers, and know the value of caring. The Middle Grades program prepares candidates to become responsive, knowledgeable, and capable teachers of adolescents.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION WITH A MAJOR IN MIDDLE GRADES

Core Curriculum Requirements: Core curriculum requirements should be completed during the first two years of college study. Candidates must meet the General Core Curriculum requirements as established by the University and the School of Education.

Admission to Teacher Education: Admission to Teacher Education is required for a candidate to enroll in all 3000-4000 level program courses. A grade of C or higher is required in each professional and teaching field course, and an institution grade point average of 2.50 is required for both Student Teaching and graduation.

Professional Sequence: The Middle Grades Education professional sequence enables candidates to develop understanding and competencies essential for teaching students in grades 4-8.

Required Teaching Field Courses: Teaching field requirements are established by the School of Education. Major teaching field courses should be taken during the junior and senior years and must be completed prior to Student Teaching.

Academic Concentration: The Middle Grades Education program requires completion two concentration areas, each requiring a total of 15 semester hours of course work. A minimum grade point average of 2.50 is required in each concentration area. The concentrations must be selected from the areas of Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics.

The following courses marked with an asterisk (*) are required when a candidate chooses that specific area for Concentration I or Concentration II. A grade of C or higher is required in each teaching field course. Major teaching field courses should be taken during the junior and senior years.

Language Arts: EDRG 3030*, ENGL 3211, ENGL 4010, ENGL 3220 or ENGL 4030, EDRG 4100 or 3 hour English elective.

Social Science: EDMG 4050*, and at least one course from each of the following areas: Regional Perspectives (HIST 3510, 3730, 3770, 3810), World Perspectives (HIST 4110, 4770, 4800, POLS 3210), US Government Perspective (POLS 3110, 4460, 4470, 4570), 3 hour Social Studies elective.

Science: EDMG 3060*, 4-hr science elective*, and at least two additional courses from the following:

BIOL 3300, BIOL 3600, BIOL 3710, BIOL 4050, BIOL 4350, BIOL 4500, BIOL 4800, GEOL 3111, GEOL 3311, OR GEOL 3411.

Mathematics: EDMG 3100*, 3002, 3003, 4490, 3 hour Mathematics elective.

NOTE: Other courses in concentration may be approved where appropriate at the discretion of the advisor and the Department Chair.

Click HERE for Middle Grades Education Curriculum Sheet and Requirements.

Secondary and P-12 Education

Georgia Southwestern State University offers programs leading to certification in secondary education in English, History, and Mathematics. A P-12 program is offered which leads to certification in Music. These programs complement a strong academic background in the teaching field while providing the knowledge, skills, and experiences that are prerequisite to effective instruction. Candidates who plan to teach grades 6-12 must enroll in the appropriate secondary program. Requirements for each program are established jointly by the School of Education and the School of Computing and Mathematics or the College of Arts and Sciences and respective departments. Candidates are assigned academic advisors from within the respective academic school or department and the School of Education. The School of Education plans and schedules courses in the professional sequence. All programs are designed to lead to eligibility for the initial teaching certificate in Georgia.

Candidates should be familiar with the BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL UNDERGRADUATE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS listed previously, denoting requirements specifically for Teacher Education candidates. Changes in major program requirements must be approved in writing by the Dean of the School of Education and the dean of the appropriate academic school or college.

Core Curriculum Requirements: Candidates must meet the General Core Curriculum requirements as established by the University for each Teacher Education program. A GPA of 2.5 or higher is required for courses used to meet General Core Curriculum requirements. This applies to course work taken at other institutions as well as at Georgia Southwestern State University. Transfer students must meet the same core GPA requirements. Because of the several options in Teacher Education programs, the specific courses required in Area F of the core will vary from program to program. Candidates should take such courses only with the approval of the appropriate academic area advisor. COMM 1110, THEA 1110 or demonstrated competence in Speech is a requirement in all Teacher Education programs. COMM 1110 or THEA 1110 may be taken in Area B to satisfy this requirement.

Admission to Teacher Education: Admission to Teacher Education is required for a candidate to enroll in all 3000-4000 level program courses. A grade of C or higher is required in each professional and teaching field course, and an institution grade point average of 2.50 is required for both Student Teaching and graduation.

Professional Sequence: The professional sequence consists of twenty-six semester hours of professional education courses. Admission to Teacher Education is required for a candidate to enroll in all 3000-4000 level education courses including EDRG 3060, EDUC 3200, EDUC 4620, EDSC 4060, EDSC 4080, EDSC 4100, EDSC 4970, EDSC 4980, EDSC 4990, EDUC 4970, EDUC 4980, and EDUC 4990.

Required Teaching Field Courses: Teaching field requirements are established by the academic departments and the School of Education. A grade of C or higher is required in each course applied to a teaching field, and an institution grade point average of 2.5 is required for both Student Teaching and graduation. All teaching field courses in addition to required General Core Curriculum courses, Certification Core courses, and the professional sequence courses must be completed prior to Student Teaching. Specific requirements for English, history, and music can be found in Arts and Sciences departmental information and for mathematics in the Computing and Mathematics departmental information.

Click HERE for B.A. in English with Teacher Certification Curriculum Sheet
Click HERE for B.S. in History with Teacher Certification Curriculum Sheet
Click HERE for B.S. in Mathematics with Teacher Certification Curriculum Sheet
Click HERE for B.A. in Music with Teacher Certification Curriculum Sheet

HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE

Health and Human Performance offers a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a teaching major in Health and Physical Education, a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Exercise Science/Wellness, and a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Recreation. The growth of sports in the American culture, the increased public interest in health and physical fitness, and the emphasis on equal opportunity have resulted in expanded sports programs throughout the nation.

The purpose of the Health and Physical Education curriculum is to prepare majors for careers in teaching students at the preschool level through the secondary level and for coaching positions at the middle and secondary level. Completion of degree requirements and successful completion of the GACE Exam lead to certification by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

The Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a concentration in Exercise Science/Wellness is designed to prepare graduates who prefer careers in corporate fitness and wellness. Completion of the program will provide the undergraduate student with the entry level skills and the knowledge base to function competently in a wide range of fitness/wellness employment opportunities.

Required Teaching Field Courses: Teaching field requirements are established by the academic departments and the School of Education. A grade of C or higher is required in each course applied to a teaching field, and an institution grade point average of 2.5 is required for both Student Teaching and graduation. All teaching field courses in addition to required General Core Curriculum courses, Certification Core courses, and the professional sequence courses must be completed prior to Student Teaching. Specific requirements for English, history, and music can be found in Arts and Sciences departmental information and for mathematics in the Computing and Mathematics departmental information.

Students enrolled in other programs offered by the University must complete physical education courses required in the specific programs.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION WITH A MAJOR IN HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Candidates planning to teach Health and Physical Education in grades P-12 must enroll in this program leading to Georgia T-4 certification.

Core Curriculum Requirements: Core curriculum requirements should be completed during the first two years of college study. Candidates must meet the General Core Curriculum requirements as established by the University and the School of Education.

Admission to Teacher Education: Admission to Teacher Education is required for a candidate to enroll in all 3000-4000 level program courses. A grade of C or higher is required in each professional and teaching field course, and an institution grade point average of 2.5 is required for both Student Teaching and graduation.

Professional Sequence: The Health and Physical Education sequence enables candidates to develop understanding and competencies essential for teaching students in grades P-12.

Required Teaching Field Courses: Teaching field requirements are established by the School of Education. Major teaching field courses should be taken during the junior and senior years, and must be completed prior to Student Teaching.

Click HERE for Bachelor of Science in Education with a Major in Health and Physical Education Curriculum Sheet and Requirements.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION WITH A MAJOR IN EXERCISE SCIENCE/WELLNESS

This program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in corporate fitness and wellness. The program does not lead to certification to teach.

Click HERE for Bachelor of Science in Education with a Major in Exercise Science/Wellness Curriculum Sheet and Requirements.