MaconCatalog : Tift College of Education : Teacher Education Field Experience
Teacher Education Field Experience
Field experience is an integral part of the Teacher Preparation Program. Each candidate is expected to complete field experiences in diverse settings and meet cluster requirements of their individual program plan. (See program plans for specific number of field experiences and cluster requirement information.) Field experiences are coordinated through the Office of Field Placement, and additional fees will be assessed for each field experience.
Candidates must do the following to be considered eligible for any field experience course:
Meet with Advisor prior to applying for field experience courses.
Obtain full admission to teacher education candidacy.
Apply for field experience during the application period. (The application system is open during specified dates in the fall (September 1-20th) and spring (February 1-20th) semesters. Candidates are responsible for being aware of the application period, and must apply PRIOR to the registration period. Check listserv messages and the Office of Field Placement section on the webpage often.)
Obtain Pre-Service Certification. Under Georgia’s Tiered Certification System, teacher candidates are required to have a Pre-Service certificate in order to be eligible for placement in any field experiences. Each semester, information will be provided through student listservs to all College of Education certification candidates with detailed instructions on applying for the Pre-Service certificate from the College of Education Office of Certification. The process will include submitting the Pre-Service Certification application form and the Verification of Lawful Presence document, which must be notarized. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) will conduct a criminal background check on each candidate. If cleared, candidates will be issued a Pre-Service Certification by GaPSC. No candidate may begin enroll in a field experience prior to obtaining this certificate. See the next section for more information. Additionally, see:
Complete the GACE Educator Ethics – Program Entry assessment (Test Code 350). See for more information.
Obtain Tort Liability Coverage through Professional Association of Georgia Educator (PAGE) or Georgia Association of Educators (GAE).
(All school systems with which Mercer University maintains a partnership for field experiences require a clear criminal history and liability insurance before the student may be placed in a school. Securing criminal history clearance and maintaining insurance coverage are the candidate’s responsibility.)
Pre-Service Certification and Background Check (additional information)
The Pre-Service certificate is valid for as many as 5 years and may be extended at the request of the educator preparation provider. It is invalidated upon program completion, or if the candidate withdraws, transfers, or is removed from the program. A former candidate who re-enrolls in an educator preparation program may be issued a new 5-year Pre-Service certificate at the request of the provider. A current background check is required in this case.
Additional Notes
The Pre-Service certificate is not a professional educator certificate. It allows the holder to participate in supervised field experience, clinical practice, student teaching, or residency work in Georgia schools;
Holding a Pre-Service certificate does not automatically lead to Induction educator certification.
Holding a Pre-Service certificate is not a pre-requisite to qualify for any other Georgia certificate. If you have already completed the student teaching portion of an educator preparation program, or if you will complete it outside of the state of Georgia, you need not apply for a Pre-Service certificate.