College of Education Policy Change to Benefit Teachers

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Licensed or certified teachers will no longer need to take a standard admissions exam to enter Columbus State Universitys graduate-level education programs.

CSUs College of Education has waived the Revised Graduate Record Exam, or GRE, requirement for entry into its masters degree programs.

Dr.David RockThe change is good news for licensed teachers from throughout the area who comprise the majority of colleges graduate degree candidates, said David Rock, left, dean of CSUs College of Education. Weve essentially eliminated an extra hoop to jump through by placing a high value on state teaching credentials.

Instead of passing the GRE, applicants now can be accepted by submitting a copy of a clear and renewable teaching license, which requires passing either the national or state certification exam. Those are the tests we, in education, value for licensure the most, Rock said.

While the GRE serves as a general aptitude measurement for graduate programs, the nationally required Praxis series include content-specific tests, pedagogical tests and basic skills tests.

Meanwhile, the state revised its certification requirements this fall, emphasizing content knowledge for teachers in the Georgia Assessment for Certification of Educators examinations program,Georgias standards are high compared to other states in the region, said Rock. This also applies to the Praxis examination series for teacher licensure, as each state has its own set passing score for each exam.

The admission change also will provide some relief to teachers pocket books as the GRE fee ($130 at CSU) has compounded the state and national testing fees that can total more than $200 collectively.

Rock said the benefit will be mutual and far-reaching. We stand to increase our enrollment from a greater pool of candidates, which will further our ability to meet the regional demand for teachers, both in quality and quantity.

Rock, who has initiated the change at CSU, said the same admissions policy has been enacted effectively for graduate teaching programs in other parts of the country, including the University of Mississippi, where he previously coordinated the secondary education degree programs.

For those nor not licensed or certified, the GRE will remain as an alternative means for entry. Other, required criteria will remain in place for CSU College of Education graduate admission, including a minimum 2.75 GPA in undergraduate coursework (3.0 in previous graduate studies), and successful applicant reviews based on interviews, letters of recommendation and related factors.