College of Education to Accept New GACE PAA Composite Scoring in July

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Tift Atlanta

ATLANTA/MACON – The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) recently announced new scoring protocols for the Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment (PAA), required by Mercer University’s College of Education for admission into the Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) and Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs.

GACE is Georgia’s state-approved educator certification assessment program designed to help GaPSC ensure that candidates have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job of an educator in Georgia’s public schools.

Currently, the minimum passing score is 250 on each of three GACE Program Admissions Assessment tests: reading, writing and mathematics.

Effective July 1, 2021, GaPSC will accept a composite score that allows test takers to score less than 250 on one or more of the PAA tests and still meet the requirements.

Under the new requirements, test takers must score a total of at least 750 on all three PAA tests. However, they may use scores from different administrations of the Assessment and may use a combination of any prior and future scores administered by current testing supplier ETS. There is no minimum score for each test, as long as the 750 composite score is met or exceeded.

“I am elated GaPSC has changed the rule to allow for composite scoring, which will open doors to enable more people to enter the education profession,” said Dr. Loleta D. Sartin, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Education. “As we face a teacher shortage nationwide, this rule change removes one barrier many have faced when pursuing an education degree. Through program coursework, students’ understandings are strengthened in the areas tested and they are taught research-based strategies for teaching reading, writing and mathematics.”

Mercer’s B.S.Ed. program is intended for applicants who are seeking initial certification at the bachelor’s level. Successful completion of the program of study and passing scores on the appropriate GaPSC-approved Content Pedagogy Assessment and GACE Content Assessments lead to eligibility for Level 4 certification. The B.S.Ed. program offers concentrations in early childhood/special education – The Holistic Child, early learning and development, elementary/special education, middle grades education, and secondary education.

Mercer’s M.A.T. program is intended for applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree and are seeking initial certification at the master’s level. Successful completion of the program of study and passing scores on the appropriate GaPSC-approved Content Pedagogy Assessment and GACE Content Assessments lead to eligibility for Level 5 certification. The M.A.T. program offers concentrations in elementary education, middle grades education and secondary education.

About the College of Education

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University’s two regional academic centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. Named for the former women’s college that merged with Mercer in 1986, the College of Education offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Educator,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. For more information, visit education.mercer.edu.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​