GaPSC Program Approval staff serves a broad customer base of institutions, RESAs, local school districts, and other agency personnel who prepare educators for Georgia certification. In accordance with the GaPSC mission, Program Approval staff work to ensure that all Georgia educators demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of them.
Two major responsibilities of the division critically impact the quality and integrity of education in Georgia and the preparation of P-12 teachers, school and system leaders, and service personnel such as Media Specialists, School Counselors, and School Psychologists.
First, the department is charged with establishing the standards used to prepare teachers, school/system leaders, and service personnel. Program approval staff achieves this goal by organizing task forces comprised of practitioners to conduct research and develop standards and expectations for program providers and educator performance; and by recommending these standards and expectations to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for final approval. After commission approval, these standards and requirements are disseminated to all program providers and program approval staff work with those providers to ensure their understanding of the rules and GaPSC expectations for implementation. Second, the department is charged with enforcing state requirements and standards applied to those institutions and agencies preparing educators to work in the P-12 setting. Program approval staff works closely with institutions of higher education, RESAs, local school districts, and other agency personnel to facilitate approval reviews of new programs and continuing reviews of existing programs that prepare educators for certification. For this important work, program approval staff rely heavily upon the assistance of trained, volunteer, peers who conduct approval reviews of professional education units and educator preparation programs. These approval reviews, combined with the annual performance reports required of all program providers, ensure that all program providers comply with the standards and requirements mentioned above. Approval reviews are conducted on-site at the institution or agency, or they may be conducted electronically. All approval reviews result in a report to the Commission and ultimately, an approval decision.