Teacher Education Program
The Teacher Education Program (TEP) is governed by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Students participating in the program must apply for, and be approved for, admission and continuance throughout enrollment at Covenant College.
The purpose of the Teacher Education Program at Covenant College is to prepare competent and compassionate teachers who practice their profession according to biblical guidelines in diverse educational settings. Candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to become teachers who model life-long learning and faithful service to God as change-agents in society.
Standards for Teacher Candidates:
- The teacher applies a biblical worldview to the nature and needs of learners, content and professional knowledge, and instruction.
TF1. Christ is preeminent in all things. His life, death and resurrection have inaugurated the new age where Christ is king.
TF2. The Bible is God’s Word. It provides the grand narrative (creation, fall, redemption, consummation) that defines this life and the life to come. Additionally the Bible provides light to our personal daily path and themes (e. g., justice, stewardship) that guide institutional and societal life.
TF3. Humans are multi-dimensional beings made in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully and differently made.
TF4. Creation is inherently meaningful and teachers are called and providentially guided to unfold its potentialities to the glory of God and the good of humankind.
TF5. All creation is adversely affected by the fall into sin. The battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness affects all people, institutions, and cultures.
TF6. God in his grace provides to both believers and unbelievers alike legitimate insights into the created order, including ways to overcome the effects of the fall across all the domains of life (political, medical, technological, educational, social, recreational, the arts, etc.).
TF7. Teachers are to be faithful stewards of the gifts, abilities, and interests that God gives us.
TF8. Teachers look hopefully to the future return of Christ. Living, loving, learning, celebrating, working, worshipping and serving are shaped today by God’s call to give witness to the second coming of Christ.
Learner and Learning
Learner Development. The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
Learning Environments. The teacher works with others to create environments that support individuals and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- Content Knowledge. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to ensure mastery of the content.
Application of Content Knowledge. The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
Assessment. The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
Leadership and Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth and to advance the profession.
Elementary Education Early Childhood, grades P-5
Education Studies major
Designed to prepare students to pursue the Master of Arts in Teaching degree for teaching in the middles grades (4-8). Two content areas are completed, selected from language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies.
Education Minor. Open to all students, but specifically recommended for students intending to enroll in the MAT program.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
Students interested in teaching in the following fields should complete a BA degree with a major in that field at the undergraduate level, followed by completion of the one year Master of Arts in Teaching. Grade levels of certification are noted in parenthesis for each field.
Biblical Studies (6-12; ACSI certification only)
Education Studies (Middle Grades, 4-8)
Political Science (6-12)
See catalog section for each major for further information related to the MAT.
For additional information contact:
Master of Education (MEd)
The Master of Education degree is offered for school teachers, curriculum directors, and administrators in a K-12 setting with a minimum of one year of K-12 school experience, and who have ongoing teaching or administrative responsibilities. It is a 30 credit hour degree completed over three years.
Two specializations are offered: Educational Leadership and Integrated Curriculum and Instruction. Certification by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is available upon completion of the degree.
Courses are spread over most of the calendar year and include pre-campus, on-campus, and post-campus course work. The on-campus phase is held at Covenant for three weeks each summer, late June through mid-July.
For additional information contact:
Teacher certification within the state of Georgia is governed by, and a function of, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). On July 1, 2014, a tiered system of certification was instituted.
The Early Childhood P-5 and MAT* programs are approved by the GaPSC (2011 last approval). Upon completion of either program and completion of GaPSC required assessments, graduates are eligible to receive a Georgia Certificate of Eligibility.
GaPSC required assessments include:
- GACE Program Admission Assessment and GACE Content Assessment
- Educator Ethics Program Entrance Assessment and Educator Ethics Program Exit Assessment
- edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment)
Graduates must be recommended for certification within five years of completing the BA or MAT per GaPSC Rule 505-3-.01.
In addition, these programs were approved by the Association of Christian Schools International in May 2017. Upon completion of any of these programs, graduates are eligible to receive a renewable ACSI certificate at either the elementary (K-8) or secondary (7-12) level, valid for five years. (See www.acsi.org)
*The MAT for Biblical Studies majors does not lead to Georgia certification.
Early Childhood Education Program
Students interested in pursuing teacher certification in Early Childhood Education (P-5) will enroll in EDU 121 Introduction to Teaching in the freshman year, if possible. This course provides an introduction to and exploration of teaching as a profession and includes 30 hours of field experience. Completion of this course is prerequisite for enrolling in additional education courses and pursuing admission to the Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP).
While enrolled in EDU 121 , students will complete the following:
- Background check.
- 30 hours of field work.
- Application for membership in the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) for liability insurance.
- Declaration of Intent form near the conclusion of the course, confirming their intent to pursue the Elementary Education Early Childhood major. Students who confirm having declared this major will receive an ECE Program Application Packet.
- Advising session with their academic advisor to map out a tentative course plan for the semesters ahead.
- Personal interview with a faculty member of the Education Department near the conclusion of the course.
Program Application and Admission Requirements
Students wishing to pursue the Early Childhood Education Program must complete the ECE Program Application and be admitted to the program. The program officially begins the with fall semester of the junior year and lasts four semesters.
The following Program Application and Admission Requirements must be completed by February 1 in the spring of the sophomore year:
- Early Childhood Education Program Application.
- Score of at least 70% on the EDU 121 Introduction to Teaching Faculty Recommendation Form, completed at the conclusion of the EDU 121 Introduction to Teaching Interview.
- Minimum overall GPA of 2.75. No grade below C- is acceptable for any course in the major, including MAT 111 , MAT 112 , HIS 111 and HIS 112 .
- Creation of MyPSC Account at this website: www.gapsc.com. (See information in Application Packet.)
- GACE Program Admissions Assessments or evidence of exemption. (See information in Application Packet.)
- Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Entrance. (See information in Application Packet.)
In February of the sophomore year, students who successfully meet Program Application and Admission Requirements will receive notification of admission to the Early Childhood Education Program and will be considered Teacher Candidates.
All new Teacher Candidates will attend a reception in early September where, among other things, they will complete a Georgia Professional Standards Commission Pre-Service Certificate Application. (See information in Application Packet.)
Program Retention Requirements
- A minimum overall 2.75 GPA throughout the program. If a Teacher Candidate’s overall GPA falls below 2.75 but above 2.65, the candidate will receive notice that he/she is on probation and will have one semester in which to raise the GPA to 2.75. If a Teacher Candidate’s GPA falls below 2.65, that candidate will be on probation and subject to a remediation plan, created by the Early Childhood Education professors. No grade below C- is acceptable for any course in the major. This includes MAT 111 , MAT 112 , HIS 111 and HIS 112 .
- Successful completion of all field experience requirements.
- Appropriate scores on course and fieldwork Disposition Evaluations.
Approval for Clinical Practice
On December 1, at the conclusion of EDU 405 Senior Field Experience and on successful completion of coursework and fieldwork, Teacher Candidates will be granted Approval for Clinical Practice. In cases where needed, remediation plans will be implemented.
Program Completion Requirements
- Successful completion of Clinical Practice.
- Three assessments. Teacher Candidates must take the following assessments to graduate and must pass them to be eligible for certification:
- GACE Content Assessments in Early Childhood Education
- Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment - Program Exit
- edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment)
- Georgia Professional Standards Commission Certification Application completed under the direction of the Education Department’s Certification Official.
Post Program Assessment
The Education Department and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission are interested in the success of our Early Childhood Education graduates in the classroom. Upon completion of the first year of teaching, graduates will be asked to complete a survey which provides data for continued evaluation and improvement of the Early Childhood Education Program. Graduate employers are also surveyed at this time.
Junior Spring Block for Elementary Education
The Junior Spring Block offers preservice elementary teachers opportunities to obtain valuable classroom experience parallel to three key courses in the Early Childhood Education Program: EDU 315 Teaching Reading in the Early Grades , EDU 326 Mathematics Content and Skills in the Early Grades , and EDU 342 Essentials of Instruction in the Early Grades . The design of the practicum has students working in schools during morning hours and then actively learning within their coursework in the afternoons. Learning activities for EDU 315, EDU 326, and EDU 342 provide direction and focus for classroom experiences. Thus the theory of reading and instructional best practices will translate into student classroom activity that is both meaningful and practical. Some of the kinds of classroom activities students may perform include observation, planning for and teaching lessons in content areas, collecting student learning data, and reflecting on aspects of teaching and learning. More specific learning activities are described in course syllabi.
The Junior Spring Block is scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00-8:50 AM for EDU 326. On Tuesdays and Thursdays during the term, students work in elementary classrooms from 7:30-11:30 AM, and then will convene for EDU 342 and EDU 315 in the afternoon beginning at 1:00 PM.
In the semester before enrolling in Junior Spring Block, students must obtain a clear background check using the instructions provided by the Education Department.
Senior Fall Block for Elementary Education
The Senior Fall Block is designed to integrate the theories and practices of essential content and pedagogy into a carefully planned and implemented series of courses and practicums for students in their senior year. The fall semester is divided into three sections (called Blocks) in which students are both exposed to key elements of instruction and provided with experiences which root those elements in classroom practice. Throughout the Senior Fall Block, students are given two placements in local schools whereby the content of course work is operationalized from various assignments within the syllabi of the courses taught. With this in mind, the student experiences both the theory and practice of certain instructional areas. Courses are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for both morning and afternoon sessions. Students spend 1 ½ days per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) engaged in fieldwork in real classrooms where planned activity applies course content in formal and informal ways. These activities are assessed according to criteria explained in each of the course syllabi.
A Senior Fall Block Orientation Meeting is held for students at the beginning of the semester for the purpose of providing an overview.
The professional semester consists of one student teaching practicum typically the last semester of the degree.
Clinical Practice should be considered equivalent to full-time employment. Students should be largely free from other demands on their time. Other responsibilities such as work study, varsity athletics, or incomplete academic work should be discussed with the Chair of the Education Department prior to the beginning of the practicum. If the faculty of the Education Department deems that such responsibilities are incompatible with student teaching, those students may be asked to lessen those responsibilities.
Due to the perspectival nature of these courses:
- The following education course may be transferred into Covenant, if a comparable course has been taken elsewhere:
- The following courses may not be transferred in, even if comparable courses have been taken elsewhere:
- No more than six hours of the professional education courses may be transferred from another institution.
ESOL Endorsement Program
The English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement Program at Covenant College is an optional endorsement for candidates in the Teacher Education Program completing a degree in Elementary Education Early Childhood. The endorsement requires a sequence of three courses as well as embedded field experiences. Courses may be taken over two or three semesters. In addition, endorsement candidates must complete specified portions of classroom teaching during EDU 405 Senior Field Experience and EDU 488 Clinical Practice in approved ESOL classrooms.
Program of study
Students may choose to explore teaching in an intercultural context (both domestic and international) in EDU 296 /EDU 396 Practicum in Education.
In addition COR 337 Intercultural Experience may be taken concurrently with an education course with the permission of the chairperson of the Intercultural Competencies Committee.
Teacher Placement Service
This service assists students in obtaining a teaching position after graduation. Services offered include:
• creation of a credentials file
• distribution of a credentials file per request
• annual teacher recruitment event
• electronic database of teacher vacancies
• electronic directory of teacher candidates sent to schools