Amy Bagby, Education Studies Program Coordinator
Elaine Tinholt, Department Chair and Elementary Education Program Coordinator
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.
1. Professional Knowledge. The teacher demonstrates an understanding of the curriculum, subject content, pedagogical knowledge, and the needs of students by providing relevant learning experiences.The teacher demonstrates an understanding of the curriculum, subject content, pedagogical knowledge, and the needs of students by providing relevant learning experiences.
2. Instructional Planning. The teacher plans using state and local school district curricula and standards, effective strategies, resources, and data to address the differentiated needs of all students.
3. Instructional Strategies. The teacher promotes student learning by using research-based instructional strategies relevant to the content to engage students in active learning and to facilitate the students’ acquisition of key knowledge and skills.
4. Differentiated Instruction. The teacher challenges and supports each student’s learning by providing appropriate content and developing skills which address individual learning differences.
5. Assessment Strategies. The teacher systematically chooses a variety of diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment strategies and instruments that are valid and appropriate for the content and student population.
6. Assessment Uses. The teacher systematically gathers, analyzes, and uses relevant data to measure student progress, to inform instructional content and delivery methods, and to provide timely and constructive feedback to both students and parents.
7. Positive Learning Environment. The teacher provides a well-managed, safe, and orderly environment that is conducive to learning and encourages respect for all.
8. Academically Challenging Environment. The teacher creates a student-centered, academic environment in which teaching and learning occur at high levels and students are self-directed learners.
Professionalism and Communication
Professionalism. The teacher exhibits a commitment to professional ethics and the school’s mission, participates in professional growth opportunities to support student learning, and contributes to the profession.
Communication. The teacher communicates effectively with students, parents or guardians, district and school personnel, and other stakeholders in ways that enhance student learning.
Watch as Dr. Jim Drexler, Dr. Bruce Young, and Dr. Amy Bagby describe various aspects of the Education program in the following video playlist:
Undergraduate Education Programs:
Elementary Education major, grades P-5
Education Studies major
Designed to prepare students to pursue the Master of Arts in Teaching degree for teaching in the middle grades (4-8). One content area is completed, selected from English language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies.
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, 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)
Computer Science (P-12)
Education Studies (Middle Grades, 4-8)
Political Science (6-12)
See catalog section for each major for further information related to the MAT. Additionally, students interested in other teaching fields not listed above (e.g. Physical Education, Science, Geography, etc.) can also pursue the MAT. Contact the MAT office at the email listed below for more details.
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 Elementary Education P-5 and MAT* programs are approved by the GaPSC (2019 last approval). Upon completion of either program and completion of GaPSC required assessments, graduates are eligible to receive a Georgia Induction Certificate. Effective July 1, 2019, a student must maintain a “B” or better on the Exceptional Education course (EDU 361) in order to obtain Georgia certification.
GaPSC required assessments include:
- GACE Content Assessment
- Georgia Educator Ethics 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.
Programing that Leads to State Licensure
Covenant College offers two academic programs that lead to State Licensure in Teacher Education: Elementary Education (P-5) and a Master of Arts in Teaching (pedagogy only) in various content areas that lead to K-12, 4-8, or 6-12 certification depending on the content. These programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) and lead to licensure in the State of Georgia only. Although students may take a portion of the courses for these programs via distance instruction while residing in other states, more than 50% of the instruction is offered in person and will not lead to licensure in any other state. Covenant College has not made a determination that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in any State but Georgia. Of course students may apply directly to any other state for licensure within that state and the education department of Covenant College will provide whatever assistance it can. However, the burden of obtaining licensure in any state other than Georgia rests with the graduates of the programs.
States in which Covenant College has not made a determination that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in education:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas
California, Colorado, Connecticut
Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota
Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon
South Carolina, South Dakota
Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Elementary Education Program
Students interested in pursuing teacher certification in Elementary 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 Elementary Education Program (ELED).
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 major.
- 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 Elementary Education Program must complete the TEP 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 15 in the spring of the sophomore year:
- Elementary 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.
- Passing scores on the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment.
In March of the sophomore year, students who successfully meet Program Application and Admission Requirements will receive notification of admission to the Elementary Education Program and will be considered Teacher Candidates.
All new Teacher Candidates will attend a meeting in early September where, among other things, they will begin the process of applying for a Georgia Professional Standards Commission Pre-Service Certificate.
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 Elementary 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.
- Teacher Candidates must take the following assessments to graduate and must pass them to be eligible for certification:
- GACE Content Assessments in Elementary Education
- Georgia Professional Standards Commission Certification Application completed under the direction of the Education Department’s Certification Official.
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 Elementary Education Program. Graduate employers are also surveyed at this time.
Junior Spring Block for Elementary Education
The Junior Spring Block offers preservice elementary teacher candidates opportunities to obtain valuable classroom experience parallel to three key courses in the Elementary Education Program: EDU 315 Teaching Reading in the Elementary Grades, EDU 326 Mathematics Content and Skills in the Elementary Grades, and EDU 342 Essentials of Instruction in the Elementary 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 9:00-9:50 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, and is 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.
Note: Students are allowed 2 emergency days for things such as illness. Athletes may use these days for games or elect to use them as 4 half-days. Any missed days over 2 will need to be made up.
A passing score on the Clinical Practice Final Evaluation is required to pass EDU 488. Students who do not meet this requirement may appeal to the department to retake in the following semester.
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.
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 (per request)
• distribution of a credentials file (per request)
• electronic directory of teacher candidates sent to schools