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College of Education and Health Professions

College of Education and Health Professions

Quality Assurance System [Handbook]
Educator Preparation Programs

VII. Procedures for Monitoring Initial Candidates' Progress

The Quality Assurance Plan identifies four key transition points for candidates in initial programs:

  1. Admission to the Teacher Education Program
  2. Admission to Student Teaching or Internship
  3. Exit from the Program
  4. Induction

Admission to Teacher Education

For undergraduate education majors (i.e., baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate), admission to Teacher Education typically occurs in the second semester of the sophomore year or during the junior year, after the candidate has completed the core and successfully passed EDUC 2130 Exploring Teaching and Learning with a C or better. To qualify for admission, candidates must have an institutional and overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or better, pass or exempt the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment (i.e., reading, writing, and mathematics), and pass a criminal background check.

Candidates in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program are admitted to Teacher Education upon admission to the university and program of study. University/program admission requirements are as follows:

  1. Degree in related field or a minimum of 25 semester hours of approved coursework
  2. Transcript evaluation to determine content courses needed for certification
  3. 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 *See the following Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Guidelines for National Accreditation***

*The CAEP minimum criteria are a grade point average of 3.0 and a group average performance on nationally normed assessments or GACE Program Admissions Assessment (PAA), a state normed assessment of mathematical, reading, and writing achievement in the top 50 percent of those assessed. The 50th percentile standard for writing will be implemented in 2021.

GACE Program Admission Assessments: CAEP Required Minimum/Cut Scores
Reading, group average performance requirement of candidates = 263.70
Mathematics, group average performance requirement of candidates = 272.16
Writing, group average performance requirement of candidates = 262.01

In addition, Educational Testing Service (ETS) is working to develop a template that Educator Preparation Providers (EPP) can consider using to present data for all admission assessments. No EPP will be expected to use one measure as an admission assessment; rather, data from a variety of multiple assessments, such as ACT, GRE, SAT, and the PAA may be used.  The template that is under development will provide a way for EPPs to display all of those data.

Also note that for EPPs seeking GaPSC approval, GaPSC Component 3.2 has not changed: Candidates must pass the PAA for admission, unless they have exempted the PAA through a GaPSC-accepted nationally-normed assessment or have been granted a waiver through the PAA flexibility policy.

  • Satisfactory scores on the general portion (quantitative and verbal) of the Revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with "writing assessment" component; OR passing scores on the GACE content examinations required in the intended teacher certification field.
  • Passing score (see CAEP Required Minimum/Cut Scores above) on the GACE Program Admission Assessments [Reading, Mathematics, Writing] or exemption through satisfactory scores on the SAT, ACT, GRE, or having a masters degree or above from a PSC-accepted accredited institution

GACE Program Admission Assessment (PAA) Minimum Exemption Scores
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – 1000 (combination of Verbal and Math scores)
A required minimum exemption score of 1080 after 2019 

    • CAEP/SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing   543.33
    • CAEP/SAT Math   532.50
    • CAEP/SAT Esay -Writing dimension   5.3

American College Test (ACT) – 43 (combination of English and Math scores)

    • CAEP/ACT Reading   21.25
    • CAEP/ACT Mathematics   21.25
    • CAEP/ACT Writing   6.60

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) – 297 (combination of Verbal and Quantitative scores)

    • CAEP/GRE Verbal Reasoning   150.75
    • CAEP/GRE Quantitative Reasoning  152.75
    • CAEP/Analytical Writing   3.74

  • The successful applicant must not have a criminal record or discharge from the armed services that would prevent recommendation for related teacher certifications

  • Criminal background check

  • Prior to admission to Teacher Education candidates must purchase a Tk20 (Watermark) account. Tk20/Watermark is a repository for university data that are collected for various purposes; such as, demonstrating the quality of our academic programs, improving teaching and learning, and compiling data for national, state, and local reporting.  Tk20/Watermark facilitates the performance assessment and field placement processes and provides a tool for candidates to document their development, competencies, accomplishments, and progression through their preparation program. 

    Tk20 (Watermark) for students website:                 

    Use this link to purchase and activate a Tk20 (Watermark) account

Once admitted to Teacher Education, undergraduate candidates must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to stay in the program. MAT students must maintain a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate coursework required for certification. If the GPA drops below a 2.5, the candidate is removed from Teacher Education and must reapply for admission once the GPA is restored [back up] to a 2.5.

Admission to Student Teaching or Internship

To apply for admission to student teaching or internship, undergraduate candidates must have an institutional and overall GPA of 2.5 or better, as well as grades of C or better in all content and professional courses required in the major. MAT students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on undergraduate courses required for certification, and a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA. In graduate coursework, candidates can have no more than two grades of C or below. Candidates in all education programs are assessed by their instructors in content courses, general education courses, and methods 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. All certification coursework must be completed prior to admission to student teaching or internship. Occasionally, exceptions may be made to this policy when candidates have had difficulty enrolling in required courses.

The Model of Appropriate Practice for Teacher Candidates (MAP), an assessment instrument based on Charlotte Danielson's Framework and developed by the education faculty at Columbus State University, is used to instruct, mentor, and assess teacher candidates’ performance in P-12 classrooms. MAP consists of four major domains (Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities) and is aligned with Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards. In the educational foundation course, Exploring Teaching and Learning (EDUC 2130), which is required for admission to the Teacher Education Program, candidates learn about the behaviors and professional dispositions expected of them. During subsequent methods/practicum courses, instructors complete MAP and dispositions evaluations for each candidate based on his/her performance in a P-12 classroom. These evaluations are reviewed with candidates during individual conferences with instructors. The full rubrics used for evaluating candidates in each domain of the MAP and on each disposition are available online at A revised MAP was piloted (Spring 2018 and Fall 2018).

To be admitted to student teaching or internship, candidates must have overall ratings of 3 or better (i.e., satisfactory or accomplished novice) on their final MAP and Dispositions evaluations. If ratings are below this benchmark on one or more components of the evaluations, an individual contract is designed outlining the areas in which performance was below expectations and specifying requirements for successful completion of clinical practice. The contract must be signed by the teacher candidate and copies are provided to the university supervisor and cooperating teacher. Candidates are closely monitored during clinical practice to ensure that all necessary support is provided. In some situations, a candidate who does not meet the benchmark on all components of the MAP and Dispositions evaluations may complete a semester of remediation prior to entering clinical practice. A remediation plan is developed for these candidates, and they are monitored closely through another field experience. In both of these cases, the Student Teaching Coordinator and Associate Director of Center for Quality Teaching and Learning meet with the appropriate department chair and program coordinator to determine the best course of action for each individual candidate.

Exit from the Program

To exit from the program, undergraduate candidates must have a minimum institutional and overall GPA of 2.5 and grades of C or better in all required content and professional courses. MAT students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on undergraduate courses required for certification and a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA with no more than two grades of C in graduate coursework. Candidates must satisfactorily complete their student teaching or internship with ratings of 3 or better (i.e., meets or exceeds expectations) on all components of the final MAP and Dispositions evaluations. In addition, teacher candidates in all fields assess their students by collecting data for units they design and teach in the classroom.

The Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) is a national performance-based assessment process designed by educators to answer the essential question of whether new teachers are ready for the job. Teacher candidates that do not pass edTPA, as determined by the standard passing score set by Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission, will be counseled in determining next steps. Additionally, edTPA is an assignment and is required for program completion. Clinical faculty members will assess teacher candidates’ work in determining whether or not the teacher candidates have met the programs’ requirements. It should be noted that the internal grade given by the clinical faculty member indicates the teacher candidate satisfactorily completed the program requirements but may not meet licensure requirements.

GACE content test scores are used to provide an external assessment of candidates’ content knowledge. Though not a requirement for program completion, candidates must pass the GACE content tests in their intended field of certification in order to be recommended to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) for a clear renewable teaching 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.


Each year the inductee and employer surveys are administered by the 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.