Program Approval

The GaPSC Educator Preparation Division is responsible for enforcing state policies and standards applicable to the institutions and agencies preparing educators to work in P-12 settings. Educator Preparation staff accomplish this important responsibility by planning, coordinating, and facilitating approval reviews of Georgia traditional and non-traditional educator preparation providers (EPPs) and programs.

Approval reviews are guided by the policies and procedures set forth in Educator Preparation Rules, and based upon the Georgia Standards for the Approval of Educator Preparation Providers and Educator Preparation Programs. Educator Preparation staff apply these rules and standards evenly across traditional and non-traditional EPPs and programs. Approval reviews are conducted before a new EPP and/or new programs begin and then in regular intervals after programs are approved. All approval reviews result in a formal report and Commissioners use these reports to make approval decisions. Although GaPSC staff facilitate approval reviews, they rely heavily upon the involvement of trained, volunteer, peer reviewers called Site Visitors, who apply the standards to review evidence provided by EPPs and recommend whether or not standards are met.

An important outcome of the GaPSC approval review process is continuous improvement and that outcome is supported by the Approval Standards. To meet the standards, EPPs must establish and maintain quality assurance systems that use candidate and program performance data to inform improvements to programs and operations. Site Visitor Reports often identify areas for improvement, which pinpoint components within standards where EPPs can focus their improvement efforts.

Traditional Preparation and Non-Traditional Preparation staff work closely with personnel at Georgia EPPs to ensure their understandings of GaPSC rules and standards. Educator Preparation Division staff provide multiple forms of outreach and technical assistance to help them understand and successfully implement standards, and prepare for approval reviews. Additional resources, such as guidance documents and approval review forms are available here.