NOTE: Georgia Tech (Tech) pre-Teaching is not a certification program nor a Georgia educator preparation program provider and instead connects students and alumni interested in teaching with opportunities to explore the profession as well as provides support for those seeking positions.
Information regarding certification on this page is specific to Georgia. Each state has its own set of certification requirements. Consult the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC) for full details related to your situation and certification in Georgia.
Traditional and non-traditional (alternate) routes
- Georgia has different routes for teacher certification. The route you take depends on various factors.
- Traditional and alternate (non-traditional) routes both lead to professional (full) certification.
- You must hold an induction certificate for three years before acquiring a professional certificate no matter the route you pick and even if you complete the certification requirements in fewer than three years.
- Educator preparation programs must be approved by the GPSC.
You must have certification to teach in a public school. Public charter schools and private/independent schools can determine their own rules and policies regarding certification.
What is an alternate route/Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP/TAPP)?
- a collection of alternate certification programs across Georgia, not one building/program
- certification programs for new teachers in public and private schools in Georgia who have a content degree but no teaching certificate
- also called Induction Pathway 4 by the GPSC
- Not all TAPP programs have the term TAPP in the title.
- Alternate routes are not shortcuts and have the same certification requirements as traditional routes.
- Alternate route programs do not include a degree, only certification.
An alternate route is typically your best option if you:
- want to switch careers
- graduated with a degree in or closely related to a field of teaching but do not have certification
- do not want to or are unable to go back to school
To be eligible for an alternate (non-traditional) certification route, you have to:
- meet basic certification requirements before starting to teach
- complete the additional requirements while teaching (“earn and learn”).
- be accepted into an alternate certification program
- have a signed contract to be a full-time (typically) teacher of record at the level and in the subject you want to earn certification in before you can start the program (you can aply to a program before having a contract)
- take a pre-requisite summer course before starting the school year
- maintain employment as a teacher of record while completing certification requirements
- take classes that occur after school hours
Different programs have different rules and timelines for applications.
Who offers alternate route certification programs?
- Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) provide the majority of TAPP programs in Georgia. RESAs serve multiple counties within a geographic region.
- TAPP programs vary in cost from $3,000 - $6,000 for a two-year program depending on teh RESA
- Some counties have internal subsidized TAPP programs for their specific employees that cost less.
- Specific requirements may vary by RESA.
Click here for a directory of Georgia RESAs and their member counties.
What qualifications do I need for an alternate certification program?
Initial, general qualifications to apply for a TAPP program:
- minimum of a bachelor's degree in the chosen teaching field (or degree closely related to the field)
- minimum undergraduate cumulutive GPA of 2.5-2.75 (depends on program) from an accredited, GPSC-accepted degree granting institution (no combination of GPAs) if your degree is less than 10 years old.
- If you do not have at least a 2.5, and you receive acceptance into a state-approved certification program, you meet the GPA requirement.
- Passed the content-area Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE)
- Passed or exempted the GACE Program Admission
- Complete the GACE Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Entry
- have not completed student teaching
- have not held a professional teaching certificate in any state
Basic requirements to begin a TAPP program (not a complete list)
- have a contract to be teacher of record (usually full-time), not an assistant or paraprofessional
- begin teaching in content area and at the level in which seek certification
- complete a pre-requisite course during the summer
Basic requirements to complete a TAPP program (not a complete list)
- maintain full-time (usually) teaching job as teacher of record in the field and at the level in which seek certification
- complete all certification coursework
- pass the GACE Educator Ethics - Program Exit
- have Teacher Keys Effectiveness System evaluations that meet certification requirements
- complete additional requirements of the GPSC and of the particular TAPP program as deemed necessary
TAPP programs take about two years to complete. You must remain in the induction certificate phase for three years even if you complete the program prior to that time.
What is the general progression of steps for alternate certification?