The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) passed a rule change for certification upgrades through advanced degree completion that went into effect December 15, 2010.
Specifically, the rule (505-2-.41 Educator Certification Upgrades) direct advanced degrees that result in salary upgrades toward specific certificate fields (in-field or new field) and granted from accredited institutions. GaPSC approved programs at Georgia State University (GSU) meet the criteria for eligibility. GSU is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Briefly, the rule states that educators holding a clear and renewable T4 certificate can receive a certificate upgrade in that certification field (in-field option); or may qualify for a certificate level upgrade by successfully completing the degree program, pass all appropriate Georgia content assessments, and meet all certification requirements, and add the new field to the existing certificate (new field option).
There is a grandfathering period built in that states that educators who begin specialist degree programs on or before July 15, 2011 and completed by December 14, 2014 will be eligible for an upgrade to the certificate under the previous upgrade requirements. All individuals not enrolled in an advanced program by July 15, 2011 must meet the requirements established in the new rule to upgrade a certificate level.
The Department of Early Childhood Education strongly encourages educators that are impacted by the new rule to read the complete rule (scroll down to Rule 505-2-.41 Educator Certification Upgrades, see pages 19-21) and/or contact the PSC for more information. Here is the link: