Dianne L. Hoff, Dean
College of Education Mission
Locally connected and globally relevant, the Mission of the College of Education is to prepare graduates for meaningful, professional careers in diverse settings within three dynamic areas of focus: Teacher Education, Leadership, and Wellness. With programs that range from undergraduate through doctoral study, the College of Education is committed to excellence in pedagogy, professional service, engaged partnerships, and applied research.
College of Education Vision
The College of Education at the University of West Georgia will be recognized for Innovation in Teaching, Leadership, and Wellness with relevant programs that change lives and contribute to the betterment of society.
Master of Arts in Teaching Degree
The Master of Arts in Teaching is available for those who would like to add a Georgia Educator Certificate to an existing undergraduate degree. The MAT in Secondary Education is delivered primarily online, with field experiences in public schools, and leads to a master’s degree with teaching certification in grades 6-12. The program is a good fit for those who are career changers, provisionally-certified teachers, or recent college graduates. Refer to the College of Education Department of Early Childhood through Secondary Education website for GaPSC-approved undergraduate degrees and their associated content fields in secondary education. The Special Education program accepts undergraduate degrees in any field. An additional 15-credit hour concentration area will be required for certification in special education.
Master of Education Degree
The Master of Education degree is designed for individuals seeking to expand and strengthen their professional preparation in knowledge and pedagogy. The College offers the Master of Education degree in early childhood education, professional counseling (college student affairs, clinical mental health counseling, school counseling), media (instructional technology and school library media), reading instruction, special education, and speech-language pathology.
Most majors consist of a minimum of 36 semester hours of course work. Students seeking the clinical mental health counseling option in Professional Counseling require 60 hours; students seeking the school counseling option in Professional Counseling require 48 hours; students seeking the college student affairs option in Professional Counseling are required to complete 42 hours. Both the clinical mental health counseling and school counseling programs in Professional Counseling are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and designed to meet academic requirements for licensing as a professional counselor (LPC) in Georgia.
The Master of Education in Speech-Language Pathology is accredited by the Council for Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
Minimum University System admission requirements for master’s degree studies are as follows, but each department offering the master’s degree may set additional admission requirements.
The student must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate major in, or prerequisites for, the planned field of study where applicable.
For most programs, applicants must have earned a minimum 2.7 undergraduate grade point average calculated on all work attempted in which letter grades were awarded. Contact the Graduate Studies Office for information concerning the graduate program to which you are applying. MAT scores are unacceptable for admission into the M.Ed. programs. Scores from the ETS PRAXIS or Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) tests are unacceptable for admission into M.Ed. degree programs.
These are minimum requirements. Applicants should see program sections for specific program admission and exit criteria.
Students must have the recommendation of the major department to be accepted for admission. Certain programs require the Level-4 teaching certificate or its equivalent.
Specialist in Education Degree
The programs leading to the Specialist in Education degree are designed to provide a further specialization for instructional service and leadership personnel in fields of professional education and professional counseling. The degree requires completion of 27 semester hours after completion of the Master’s degree. The programs of study are planned to achieve a distribution for the student’s entire graduate program among the teaching field or area of competence, educational foundations, behavioral sciences, and electives.
The Specialist in Education degree is offered with majors in educational leadership, early childhood education, media (instructional technology and school library media), professional counseling, secondary education (biology, broad field science, business, chemistry, economics, English, history, mathematics, physics, and political science), and special education.
Students seeking an Ed.S. degree in early childhood education, professional counseling, secondary education (biology, broad field science, business, chemistry, economics, English, history, mathematics, physics and political science), and special education should have previously completed requirements for a master’s degree in the same field. Typically, eligibility for the level-5 certificate, based on master’s-level work in the same field, must be established before admission to the Ed.S. program. Applicants must check with each program advisor to determine prerequisites needed for admission to the Ed.S. program. Courses taken prior to admission to an Ed.S. program will not count towards the hourly requirements of an Ed.S. degree program.
Only regular admission is used for the Education Specialist degree with the following minimum University System admission requirements being established: a master’s degree from an accredited graduate institution, a 3.0 grade point average on all graduate work attempted, and satisfactory test scores. Contact the Graduate Studies Office for information concerning the graduate program to which you are applying. MAT scores are not accepted for admission into the Ed.D. programs in School Improvement and Professional Counseling and Supervision. Scores from the ETS PRAXIS series or Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) tests are not accepted for admission into Ed.S. degree programs. However, they may be required for certification. Each department offering the Ed.S. degree may set higher standards.
Non-Degree Initial Teacher Preparation Programs Policies and Procedures
- Candidates must have a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university.
- Candidates must meet the following requirements for admission to teacher education:
- Overall minimum GPA.
- For elementary, art, and music, a grade point average of 2.7 overall from last conferred degree.
- Satisfactory completion of the program admission assessment (or exemption) required of all candidates admitted to teacher education-GACE Basic Skills/Program Admission Assessment or Praxis I. (Praxis I is appropriate only for candidates who achieved a passing composite score on this test on or before September 1, 2006). See academic advisors for specific details.
- Completion of the GACE Educator Ethics - Program Entry Assessment.
- The candidate must present to the program advisor a copy of all transcripts and other documentation required by the program.
- The program advisor will develop a program of study to be signed by the candidate and the department representative. This program of study will be valid for three years.
- Candidates must complete the majority of courses required in the program of study at University of West Georgia. Curriculum, methods, and internship/practica must be taken at University of West Georgia. All internships and practica sites will be located in the University of West Georgia area.
- Staff Development Unit (SDU)/Professional Learning Unit (PLU) credit may be accepted for meeting certain program requirements. The most commonly used are: Introduction to Special Education, and Teaching of Reading and Writing. SDU/PLU will not be accepted to meet teaching field (content) requirements.
- Candidates must earn a grade of C or higher in all courses and maintain a 2.7 term GPA.
- A limited number of graduate courses, not to exceed 3 (9 semester hours), used for initial certification may be counted toward a Master of Education. Check with individual departments for specific requirements.
- Graduate candidates who were previously enrolled, but have not been in attendance for three semesters must apply for readmission with the Graduate Studies Office and with the College of Education and meet Teacher Education requirements in place when readmitted.
In addition to the specific requirements for admission to teacher education, the candidate must meet the following requirements for retention in teacher education programs.
- Demonstrate knowledge, attitudes, and skills appropriate for the various stages of the preparation program.
- Maintain the minimum grade point average needed for admission to the program.
- Earn a grade of C or higher in each course and maintain a 2.7 term GPA.
- Successfully complete each field experience undertaken prior to the next step in the sequence, including exhibiting responsible professional behavior at the field placement sites and in interactions with peers, faculty, and students.
- Exhibit professional conduct as outlined in the Code of Ethics adopted by the Professional Standards Commission.
Program Completion Requirements
Candidates are eligible for the Georgia educator certificate only upon successful completion of the teacher education program and a passing score on the appropriate certification tests as required by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Candidates must meet the following requirements for successful completion of the teacher education program:
- Complete specific program requirements as outlined by the approved program of study.
- Complete with a grade of B or higher SPED 3715 or departmental approved alternative to meet the special education requirement of Georgia House Bill 671.
- Earn a grade of C or higher in each course and maintain a 2.7 term GPA.
- Complete successfully all field experiences, including exhibiting responsible professional behavior at the field placement sites and in interactions with peers, faculty, and students.
A course-related fee is associated with internships and practicums in educator preparation programs at the University of West Georgia. The fee, which was endorsed by the West Georgia Student Government Association, is applied to costs associated with field experiences (including supervision travel and mentor teacher development).
The College of Education utilizes Tk20 to collect, manage and report candidate performance data for program improvement and to monitor candidate progress. Graduate students are required to purchase this instructional resource when they are admitted to a program (degree and non-degree). The subscription is active for the duration of 10 years and serves as the basis for an assessment system that supports efforts to maintain accreditation such as GaPSC (state program approval), CACREP, and ASHA. Additional information can be found on course syllabi and on the COE Tk20 Information Page (www.westga.edu/academics/education/tk20-system.php)
West Georgia operates a pre-kindergarten in the Education Annex for children aged four to five years who meet eligibility requirements for Georgia Pre-K. The program is under the direction of the COE Dean’s Office. The pre-kindergarten program is open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays, August through May.
During the regular school year, the program employs three full-time general education teachers and three assistant teachers. Practicum experiences are provided for numerous graduate and undergraduate students in several fields of study.
The four-year-old pre-kindergarten program is funded through a state grant from Bright from the Start.
For further information, call 678-839-6563.
The Innovations Lab is designed to provide a space for university faculty, students, and local educators to learn, use, and innovate emerging technology for use in the classroom and the community. The lab also supports students and faculty in checking out various electronics that can be used for classes and field experience. For hours of operation and general information, visit: www.westga.edu/academics/education/innovations-lab.php