Posted October 22, 2012 Atlanta, GA
The state of Georgia is short on qualified teachers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and Tech students are uniquely positioned to help.
“Georgia Tech students and alumni are among the most highly qualified in the STEM fields and are able to help alleviate this problem,” said Georgia Tech Pre-Teaching Advisor Susan Belmonte. “They have the chance to have a positive influence on the lives of students.”
Tech students who are interested in teaching can look to the Teach for Georgia program to help them take up Belmonte’s challenge, and can learn more about both Teach for Georgia and Teach for America, the national program after which Teach for Georgia is modeled, at an information session on Thursday, Nov. 1.
Made possible through a grant that’s part of the Georgia Department of Education’s Georgia Race to the Top Fund, Teach for Georgia places students or recent graduates in teaching jobs in counties that need educators with STEM backgrounds and provides participants funding for the certification exams and education needed to become state-certified teachers. In addition to covering education costs, Teach for Georgia gives participants funds for materials, supplies and professional development, as well as tuition-free summer training and support via a mentor and coach, throughout the two-year commitment. In exchange, a recipient commits to remain teaching in the selected rural Georgia county for two years. While Teach for Georgia does not reserve positions for candidates, it works directly with those in individual counties who make hiring decisions.
Georgia teachers are required to pass the Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators (GACE) and complete a state-approved certification program; options include earning a Master of Arts in Teaching or completing a non-degree program such as the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP), both of which lead to full state certification. Prospective teachers can complete these requirements within a designated time frame after starting in the classroom.
Georgia Tech’s championing of Teach for Georgia aligns with its focus on establishing initiatives to serve the state and other partners, including those in K-12 STEM education, outlined in its strategic plan.
Basic eligibility requirements for Teach for Georgia include:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher in a STEM field.
- Successful performance or exemption on the GACE basic skills assessment.
- Successful performance on the GACE content assessment in the applicant’s field of training.
- Successful completion of a Georgia Tech summer teacher training program.
- Minimum GPA of 3.0.
The Nov. 1 information session will take place in Room 323 of the Clough Commons at 11 a.m.