ParaProfessional to Teacher Program
The Parapro-to-Teacher track leads to a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary and Special Education (ELE/SPED). With this degree, graduates are able to complete the GACE test in Elementary Education and Special Education (P-5) to gain initial certification from the Georgia Professional Standards Commissions.
This program is targeted towards paraprofessionals who would like to complete the requirements to become a certified teacher in the state of Georgia. Since the degree earned will be in Elementary and Special education, it is preferable that those applying be parapros in K-5 settings. It is not impossible, however, for those in a non-K-5 setting to complete the program. It is also preferable that students entering the program be employed in a public school system. If you are interested in the program and are a parapro in private school, however, please contact us to determine if it is a possibility for your school. In order to be accepted into the parapro-to-teacher track, however, you must be a current paraprofessional.
The course work for this program is based on the Hybrid and Online formats so paraprofessionals are able to retain employment during their time in the program.
All students will be required to complete certain pre-courses before being accepted and starting the ELE/SPED program. The courses might be transferred in from other institutions or may be completed at SGSC (Douglas or Waycross campus). Students must meet with one of the ELE/SPED faculty to determine if the required courses have been completed or can be completed before acceptance into the ELE/SPED Program.
Once accepted into the program, which starts in a fall semester (August), the students will complete two years of courses to complete the ELE/SPED Program. During this time, students will be full time students completing 4-5 classes a semester. These courses will be offered online and as a Hybrid during one evening and one Saturday. The evening and Saturday schedule is discussed during the first class meeting. While in the program, students are in a cohort format and must take the courses in the correct semester.
Students will also participate in field experiences during the semester. In the parapro-to-teacher track, students work with their principal to secure field placement in the correct grade bands. The student might complete the field work in the school in which they are employed or another school in the county. Once accepted into the program, Parapros and Principals will have to sign an agreement form that describes the field experience requirements.
What should I do to be accepted into the ELE/SPED Para-to-Teacher Education Program Cohort?
In order to be accepted into the education program, students will need to do the following:
Contact one of the ELE/SPED Program faculty members to schedule an interview. Email the ELE/SPED Program.
Complete all of the required pre-courses with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher
Note: Starting with Fall 2022 cohorts, students are no longer required to complete the GACE Program Admission exam (reading, writing, & math).