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College of Education and Health Professions

College of Education and Health Professions

Quality Assurance System [Handbook]
Educator Preparation Programs

VIII. Procedures for Monitoring Advanced Candidates' Progress

The Quality Assurance Plan identifies three common key transition points for candidates in advanced programs (M.M., M.Ed., and Ed.S.):

  1. Admission to Advanced Program
  2. Exit from Advanced Program
  3. Follow-up or Induction

Programs for other school personnel have an additional transition point (entry to practicum or internship) connected to the practicum or internship requirements in those programs.

Admission to Advanced Program

To qualify for admission to a M.Ed. program, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (regular admission) or 2.50 (provisional admission) on all undergraduate work at an accredited United States institution in fulfillment of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree;
  • Minimum grade point average (GAP) of 3.0 for admission to the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, Tier I;
  • Applicants must hold one of the following:
    1. A current induction certificate in any field if in the State of Georgia
    2. A current professional teaching certificate if in the State of Georgia
    3. A current valid teaching certificate in other states
  • The successful applicant must not have a criminal record or discharge from the armed services that would prevent recommendation for related teacher certifications.

To qualify for admission to a specialist (Ed.S.) program, candidates must meet the following requirements:

EdS in Teacher Education
Candidate requirements:
  1. GPA of at least 3.0 on all graduate course work at an accredited United States institution in fulfillment of the requirements for a graduate degree
  2. Applicants must hold one of the following:
    1. A current induction certificate in any field if in the State of Georgia
    2. A current professional teaching certificate  if in the State of Georgia
    3. A current valid teaching certificate in other states
  3. The successful applicant must not have a criminal record or discharge from the armed services that would prevent recommendation for related teacher certifications
  4. Minimum of three years of teaching experience
EdS in Educational Leadership
750 Hours of Internship (Not necessarily consecutive semesters)

As stated in Georgia Educational Leadership Rule 505-3-.0.

Candidates must:

  1. Complete an application for admission to the Graduate School at Columbus State University.
  2. Be accepted into the Columbus State University Graduate School.
  3. Provide official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework from each school previously attended and have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on all graduate course work in fulfillment of the requirements for the latest graduate degree.
  4. Provide a statement of purpose.  This statement addresses the candidate’s reason for pursuing a career in educational leadership and why the Educational Leadership Educational Specialist degree is the right fit to help reach the candidate’s goals.
  5. Provide two letters of reference.  The letters specifically address the candidate’s ability to address the demands of high level graduate coursework and make a recommendation for admission to the program.
  6. Have acceptable Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores or proof of clear renewable teaching licensure
  7. A clear background check.  CSU recognizes a combination of a CURRENT copy of your current state teaching certification AND verification of current employment by employing superintendent or designee as adequate proof for a background check.  
  8. Have a Master’s degree and 3 years of teaching experience and be currently employed in a K-12 district in a leadership role.
  9. Hold Tier I entry level certification OR hold a valid, Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) issued Standard Professional L or PL certificate in Educational Leadership; OR for other states, a current valid state issued certificate in Educational Leadership.
  10. Serve in a leadership position at either the P-12 school or Local Unit of Administration (LUA) level (or agency or organization equivalent to LUA level) that will enable the candidate to fully meet the program’s residency requirements.
  11. Meet Tier II GaPSC guidelines:
    1. Candidates who do not serve in a leadership position as described above may be enrolled if the (Educator Preparation Provider) EPP and employer establish a formal, written agreement specifying the candidate will be released from other responsibilities for a portion of the school week sufficient in length to allow the candidate to participate in and successfully complete residency performances.
    2. Employees of state education or human service agencies, Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs), universities or technical colleges, and employees of education or human service non-profit organizations may also pursue Tier II leadership certification as long as the employer has established a partnership with a GaPSC-approved EPP and in the partnership agreement agrees to meet all requirements and guidelines accompanying this rule; and
    3. Candidate must hold the Tier I entry level certification.
    4. Candidate might also hold an SRL certification in Educational Leadership depending on if the candidate received a leadership certification prior to the change to the Tier I or Tier II certification process.

12. Meet program admission criteria and admission criteria specified in the partnership agreements with employers of enrolled candidates.

13.  Required Ethics Assessment:

    1. All candidates admitted to any GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership program (current program or the new tiered model) on or after July 1, 2016, must complete (do not have to pass) Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership –   Program Entry (370) prior to becoming enrolled. A candidate who completes this  program entry requirement for Tier I does not have to complete it again for Tier II.
    2. Candidates admitted after July 1, 2016, must submit a copy of a Completion Certificate of having taken the GA Ethics for Educational Leadership Assessment Program entry (370) pre- assessment as a condition of enrollment.  This pre-assessment is online. Candidates enroll in this assessment through their MYPSC account at

Educational Leadership and School Counseling programs include additional admission requirements outlined below.

Admission to Educational Leadership programs also requires:

  • Statement of educational philosophy with emphasis on leadership
  • Resume
  • Candidate information form
  • Written and oral interview
  • Proof of current school or system leadership position (Ed.S. program only)
  • Completion of a course on law and ethics with an emphasis on the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators, and a course in curriculum, instruction and assessment (Ed.S. program only).

Prospective candidates applying for admission to School Counseling must meet the following program requirements:

  • Professional statement of purpose
  • Resume or vita
  • Interview with departmental faculty (this process also includes a writing sample).

Candidates enrolled in a masters or specialist program must maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0. If the GPA drops below a 3.0 after the completion of at least nine hours of graduate work, the candidate is placed on Academic Probation. Academic Exclusion occurs after nine graduate semester hours have been attempted while on probation and without attaining a 3.0 GPA. The length of exclusion is a minimum of two terms, and candidates must apply to be reinstated by the college.

Candidates can have no more than two grades of “C” or below while enrolled in a master’s or specialist program. Academic probation occurs when a candidate earns a grade of “C” or below in two graduate courses. If the candidate earns a grade of “C” or below in more than two graduate courses, he/she is placed on Academic Exclusion for at least two terms and must reapply to be reinstated in the college.

Entry to Practicum or Internship (Educational Leadership and School Counseling)

Educational Leadership

For candidates in the Educational Leadership program, entry to the internship or residency occurs about halfway through the second semester of coursework. The residency requirement (300 hours for the Tier 1 M.Ed. and 750 hours for the Tier II Ed.S.) is comprised of two consecutive semesters. Prior to beginning the residency/internship, a Leader Induction Plan is completed as determined by the candidate, university mentor, site-based mentor, and leader coach. This plan serves as the basis for performance-based (real life in real time) activities during the internship/residency.

School Counseling

The M.Ed. School Counseling Program includes a 100-hour practicum (COUN 6415, Applied Practice in School Counseling) and 600 hours of internship (COUN 6697, Internship in School Counseling). Practicum is the first clinical experience in the sequence, and it must be completed satisfactorily prior to beginning the internship. Each field experience requires an application process prior to approval. To apply for practicum or internship, candidates must complete an orientation and application process, complete prerequisite coursework with satisfactory GPA (maintaining minimum 3.0 graduate GPA and no more than two grades of C or below). Candidates must also complete background checks and show proof of liability insurance prior to field experiences.

Final approval for enrollment in Internship comes upon receipt of a satisfactory final grade in the practicum. Each internship is a three-semester-hour experience requiring approximately twenty (20) hours on-site per week for 15 weeks. During each semester, the candidate must accumulate a minimum of 300 clock hours with 120 hours of direct service with clients.

Formal evaluations of each candidate's progress during the practicum or internship take place at mid-term and at the end of the semester. Evaluation forms are completed by both the site supervisors and the university supervisor, and discussed with the candidate. As a result of a positive mid-term evaluation, the candidate is allowed to continue with the remainder of the practicum or internship experience. Upon perusal of final evaluations and other required paperwork, the final grade is determined by the program faculty supervisor.

Detailed procedures for preparing for and enrolling in practicum and internship are found in the Practicum/Internship Student Handbook (see and click on “School Counseling” under “Handbooks for Practicum & Internship”).

Exit from the Program

Candidates for the Master of Education degree must satisfactorily complete a planned program of study and a minimum of 36 semester credit hours. For the Specialist in Education degree, candidates must satisfactorily complete a planned program of study and a minimum of 36 semester credit hours. Candidates are assessed by their instructors in content courses, general education courses, and content pedagogy courses. Evaluations are based on varied assessments including homework assignments, projects, in-class presentations, labs, tests, reflective logs, peer and self-assessments, instructional unit and lesson plans, and videos of their teaching. These evaluations are used to determine course grades. Candidates must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 on all graduate work attempted and can have no more than two grades of "C" or below (one for Ed.S. candidates) to exit from an advanced program.

The Graduate Model of Accomplished Practice (GMAP), an assessment instrument based on National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), is used to instruct, mentor, and assess candidates in advanced teacher preparation programs. GMAP consists of five domains modeled after the NBPTS core propositions (Commitment to Students and Their Learning, Knowledge of Subjects and How to Teach Them, Managing and Monitoring Student Learning, Thinking Systematically about Practice, and Membership in Learning Communities). In their education courses, candidates learn about the behaviors and professional dispositions expected of them as they move toward the level of "accomplished" teacher. During at least one content pedagogy course, instructors complete GMAP and Dispositions evaluations for each candidate. The full rubrics used for evaluating candidates in each domain of the GMAP and on each disposition are available online at Candidates must meet or exceed expectations on all components of the final GMAP and Dispositions evaluations in order to exit the program.

Candidates in advanced teacher preparation programs must also satisfactorily complete a culminating assessment (i.e., written comprehensive examination, research project, portfolio, thesis, or exhibition).

To exit the Educational Leadership programs, candidates must satisfactorily complete all coursework and a final portfolio. The portfolio is comprised of artifacts which show the candidate’s understanding of the six standards upon which the educational leadership program is built. Candidates must have a minimum of six artifacts (one for each standard) from coursework and six artifacts (one for each standard) from the residency. Ed.S. candidates can have no grade lower than a “C” and can have only one “C” within the program of study. M.Ed. candidates can have no grade lower than a “C” and can have only two “Cs” within the program of study. All candidates must also have satisfactory ratings on the final Dispositions assessment. Assessment of candidates in School Counseling programs continues until portfolio, exit examination, and coursework are completed and successfully passed during candidates’ graduating terms. The portfolio assessment process has been linked to the exit exam, COUN 6000. This allows faculty to review a developmental portfolio prior to the candidate’s being allowed to sit for the exit examination. The exit exam is a multiple choice test (approximately 200 items; 70% or higher is a passing grade) designed in sections that reflect Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) core areas and a section that addresses either school or community counseling. The rubric used in portfolio assessment can be accessed at To exit the School Library Media program, candidates must have a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA and no more than two grades of "C" or below in graduate coursework. They must satisfactorily complete the internship with acceptable or target ratings (3 or better on a scale of 1-5) on each component of the Field Experience Assessment and the dispositions evaluation. Candidates are also required to complete a culminating action research study. They must demonstrate their mastery of oral and written communication skills by successfully presenting their results at a symposium, to an audience of peers and faculty, and submitting a final written report. This assessment is associated with EDUT 6999-Capstone Research Project.

Tier I: Candidates must take the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Leadership Assessment (M.Ed.)
GACE content test scores are used in advanced programs for other school personnel to provide an external assessment of candidates’ content knowledge. Though not a requirement for program completion, candidates must pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) content tests in their intended field of certification in order to be recommended to the Professional Standards Commission for a clear renewable certificate. Test results are reviewed annually by program faculty and advisory committees and used to guide decisions and make program and unit improvements. The GACE ETS Portal allows access to summary report pass rates on each GACE content test and  detailed information on the number of questions answered correctly by candidates in each test subfield. This information is used to determine content areas in which instruction may need to be improved or enhanced.

Tier II: Candidates must take the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) before exiting the Tier II program (Ed.S.)
The PASL assessment allows you to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills identified as relevant and important for beginning school leaders.


Each year the inductee and employer surveys are administered by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). The GaPSC disseminates the aggregate results of the surveys to each institution in the University System of Georgia. Since the survey data are not disaggregated by program, it only provides an overall picture of graduates' and employers' perceptions of the preparation provided by educator preparation programs in the university.

  1. After completers are hired in a Georgia public or a Georgia public charter school, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission administers an inductee survey (formerly referred to as the completer survey) to those completers employed in a Georgia public or a charter school where the state-mandated evaluation system is used.

  2. In addition, after the first year, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission administers an employer survey to the principals (or others) of those completers who received the inductee survey mentioned in item 1.
In adherence to CACREP requirements, the School Counseling program surveys graduates of the program, site supervisors, and employers of graduates at least once every three years and makes program changes accordingly. The program also assesses graduate students’ perceptions of the program periodically through mailed surveys and an online survey that is readily available for graduates. These survey instruments are a part of an overall program to receive feedback from graduates in order to assess their experience and gain information to use in the process of program improvement. In addition, at the end of the program of study, prior to the exit exam, candidates complete a portfolio requirement which asks that they review and present materials directly related to their experience in classes, including professional and personal growth during the program and how the program has impacted them. This comprehensive requirement allows both the candidate and the program faculty who rate the portfolio to assess the direct impact the counseling program has on the individual candidate. Each portfolio contains self-reflections of the program experience and each individual course.