Certification





Certification

All Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers, school administrators, service personnel and paraprofessionals are required by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) to hold an appropriate certificate for the field, subject, grade level, or assignment. The GaPSC establishes regulations and procedures to evaluate the credentials of prospective teachers, as well as other professional employees in the schools, to ensure they meet specified preparation standards and requirements.

State certification provides a standardized base-level of professional knowledge and skills for the educators working in public schools. Like many other states, Georgia has adopted a combination of individualized requirements and some commonly used standards developed by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The GaPSC outlines the state certification system in rules and procedures for the Certification of Education Personnel. For information on eligibility, reciprocity, testing requirements, and applications, please visit the GaPSC website or contact the Commission directly at:

Georgia Professional Standards Commission
Certification Section
200 Piedmont Ave, Suite 1702
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9032

Telephone: 1-800-869-7775 Email: mail@gapsc.com


Or, review information on the GaPSC’s website:
www.gapsc.com

Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Certification Department provides customer support with processing certification documents for new and current employees. All certification renewals and conversions of certificates also are handled by the Certification Department.


Certification Information
Employees new to GCPS are required to file a certification application package within 30 days of employment. The following items are required:
  • PSC Application for Certification
  • Official Transcripts of all college/university coursework completed
  • GACE Assessment Scores or Praxis II Content Assessment scores prior to September 1, 2006
  • Out-of-State Professional Certificates and content assessment required for out-of-state professional certificate.

Procedure:
  • Complete the PSC application with specific attention given to the educational background.
  • The PSC will not process your application without official transcripts.
  • New employees of Gwinnett County Public Schools are exempt from the $20 fee on initial certification transactions. However, future conditional certificate fees are the responsibility of the employee and must be paid by money order or cashier’s check made payable to the State of Georgia. The $20 transaction fee can also be paid on-line at www.gapsc.com.
  • Page 3 of the PSC application is the Personal Affirmation section. Each of these questions must be answered in order to process your application.
  • Effective August 8, 2006, a passing score on the Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators (GACE) content subject matter assessment(s) applicable to the field of certification is required for Georgia certification. Educators with out-of-state professional certificates may be exempt from the GACE content assessment under the interstate reciprocity agreement. To be considered for this exemption, the educator must have passed the content assessment required for out-of-state professional certificate.
  • Your certificate or letter of requirement(s) will be sent to you by email through your My PSC account and an electronic copy sent to Gwinnett County Public Schools for your personnel file.
  • It is critical that you complete your certification requirements as soon as possible.


Certification Renewal for Current GCPS Employees
The state of Georgia mandates that professional teaching certificates be renewed every five years with either 10 Professional Learning Units (PLU’s) or ten-quarter (six semester) hours of college credit or a combination of the two. These credits must be accrued during the validity period of the certificate to be renewed. For example, if your certificate is valid July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2006, credits must have been earned between those dates to count toward certification renewal.

The GCPS Certification Department will notify each certified employee in November of the year of expiration.


Paraprofessional Certification Information
All Georgia paraprofessionals must hold a valid Paraprofessional Educator certificate issued by the GaPSC.

Applicants for paraprofessional positions must hold at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent and satisfy all other federal hiring requirements appropriate to designated positions prior to being considered for employment in Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Paraprofessionals hired after January 8, 2002, shall meet one of the following requirements:

Completion of at least two years (60 semester/90 quarter hours) of study at an institution of higher education (regionally-accredited);
-- or --
Obtained an associate’s or higher degree;
-- or --
Have passed the Georgia Paraprofessional Assessment (no longer available or the Praxis Paraprofessional Assessment (prior to 9/1/2006) or the GACE Paraprofessional Assessment.

If you have completed 60 semester/90 quarter hours of higher education, you must send a copy of your college transcript to document that you have met this requirement. If you do not have the requisite hours, you will need to provide documentation that you have passed the state assessment. Information on registration deadlines and locations can be obtained at the GACE website.


Teach Gwinnett Alternative Preparation Programs
The state of Georgia allows alternatives to the traditional undergraduate college route for training teachers. The GCPS Teach Gwinnett program is designed to develop quality teachers for Gwinnett County classrooms . The program offers college graduates who are not education majors the opportunity to be fully trained and certified while they begin their careers as full-time teachers. Full professional certification will be awarded by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission upon completion of the program. Please visit the Teach Gwinnett webpage for additional information.