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Certification Process - Columbus State University

College of Education and Health Professions

Certification Process

First, we want to congratulate you for choosing a career in education; we believe that educators are members of one of the honorable professions today. We are glad you are considering pursuing (potential educator candidate), are pursuing (current educator candidate), or have pursued (graduate or program completer) this career path!

Browse through this website to answer questions about how you can pursue an approved program at CSU and, one you have completed the program, you can become certified in Georgia. We also verify completion of educator preparation programs for individuals applying for certification in states other than Georgia. If you have questions that are not addressed, please do not hesitate to contact the Certification Official. We look forward to assisting you in this important phase of your career.

Again, congratulations! We look forward to working with you and assisting you in obtaining your educator certificate. Our goal is to provide efficient and accurate services to ensure that you receive your certificate as quickly as possible after completing all certification requirements.

Requirements for Certification

GaPSC requirements for certification to teach in Georgia are in addition to the degree or program requirements that may be listed in the university's academic catalog. Successful completion of a teacher preparation program is a requirement for initial certification, but program completion itself does not guarantee an initial certification. In addition to the program or degree requirements, students must also meet the following:

  • All requirements needed to qualify for a pre-service certificate and for admission into Teacher Education.
  • All requirements needed for approval to begin student teaching.
  • Successful completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • A passing score on the GACE (Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators) Content Assessment if your certification area has a GACE content assessment.
  • A grade of "B" or better on your program's Special Education course (SPED 2256, COUN 6190, KINS 4245, SPED 4115, EDCI 6228, or PHED 6219).
  • Any other certification-area specific requirement.

These requirements are issued by the State of Georgia and are subject to change at any time without notice. Ensuring that you are aware of all additional state requirements and have fulfilled each requirement is the responsibility of the student.

Program Completion

To be considered a Columbus State University program completer and to be eligible for a Certificate of Eligibility in an initial educator preparation program, you must complete the following. If you are moving out of state, in order for CSU to mark that you have completed an approved program, you must meet the following requirements without exceptions:

  • Complete a GaPSC approved program.
  • Attempt the Georgia Educator Ethics – (360) Assessment ($30). You must pass this assessment to be eligible for certification (only for teacher education programs).
  • Attempt the GACE (Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators) Content Assessment ($193) if your certification area has a GACE content assessment. The eligibility to take this assessment will be granted in the semester prior to your student teaching/internship experience. You must attempt this assessment prior to program completion. You must pass this assessment to be eligible for certification.
  • Complete student teaching/internship.
  • Meet any additional program-specific requirements for completion.

Recommendation for Certification

Students who complete a Columbus State University educator preparation program, pass Educators Ethics Assessment, and who present a passing score or scores on the appropriate Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Content Assessments may be eligible for the Columbus State recommendation for certification. The Center for Quality Teaching and Learning can issue the recommendation to the GaPSC once grades are final and degrees have been posted, following the term of completion of requirements. At any point, students wishing to teach in other states can contact the office at any point in their verification for any other state's certification board that accepts Georgia standards.  Students seeking program verification to teach in another state can contact the Certification Official.

Instructions for Applying for Your Certificate

If you are seeking an initial certificate or adding a new field or endorsement to an existing certificate, follow these steps: 

  • Log in to your MyPSC account, click on the "Applications" tab and complete the online application. 
  • If applicable, upload required forms, such as the Verification of Lawful Presence and Affidavit, and submit photocopies of exemption scores if you are exempting the GACE Program Admission Assessment. More information about the GACE requirements can be found on the GaPSC website.
  • Request official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, including Columbus State, and have them sent directly to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) by email ( or by mail (Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 200 Piedmont Ave.,SW, Suite 1702, West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334-9032)

Instructions for requesting Columbus State Transcripts are located on the Office of the Registrar's website.

If you are upgrading an existing certificate and you are employed by a Georgia public or private school system, we recommend that you contact your employer to submit the Employer Assurance form so that any raise my immediately take effect. Some school systems pay the fee for a new certificate.

You must complete the following forms, obtain an official copy of your Columbus State transcript and submit all of this information to your school system office:

  • GaPSC Certification Update Application
  • Employer Assurance Form
  • Verification of Lawful Presence and Affidavit (if applicable)

If you are upgrading an existing certificate and you are not employed by a Georgia public or private school system, or you choose to submit your paperwork directly to the GaPSC, you must complete the following forms and obtain an official copy of your Columbus State transcript:

  • GaPSC Certification Update Application
  • Verification of Lawful Presence and Affidavit.

Need any help?

If you either have completed or are nearing completion of a program that leads to certification in the College of Education and Health Professions and you have a question about your recommendation for certification, you may contact LaJuene Black at

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