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5 Georgia Schools for Elementary Education Students

It's no secret that elementary school teachers have a profound effect on the children they teach, as they instill lessons and memories that the children will carry into adulthood. Working with children at such a crucial point in their development allows elementary school teachers to foster a love of learning and a healthy curiosity in their students that will help them in many school years to come. If you're an aspiring elementary school teacher ready to make a difference in the lives of young learners, it's important to choose the school that will best prepare you for a career in elementary or early childhood education. If you've decided to focus your search on education programs in Georgia, the following five schools are worth your attention:

1. Kennesaw State University (Bagwell.Kennesaw.edu)

This school, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, offers a range of options and certifications for prospective students looking for education degrees in Georgia. The Bagwell College of Education at Kennesaw has both undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from and offers classes online and on campus. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredits the school's Early Childhood Education Baccalaureate program, and for students who have already earned a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in elementary education, Kennesaw offers an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree in elementary and early childhood education. The college of education has partnered with Atlanta Metropolitan State University to allows students who have completed the AMSC Associate of Science in its teacher education program and who meet KSU's requirements for admission to teacher education to complete a B.S. degree in early childhood education (P-5) from Kennesaw State University onsite at the Atlanta Metro Campus. The Bagwell College of Education has several award winning professors and places over 2500 student teachers every year.

2. Georgia Southern University (COE.GeorgiaSouthern.edu)

Located in Statesboro, Georgia, Georgia Southern University has B.S.Ed., M.Ed., and Ed.S. programs in early childhood education. The B.S.Ed. in early childhood education leads to initial pre-school through grade-five teacher certification. Once students complete the program and pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) content exam in early childhood education, they qualify for Georgia's special education teacher certification at the T-4 level. The program is an NCATE accredited, Georgia Professional Standard's Commission approved program. Georgia Southern University's B.S.Ed. program provides not only standard core coursework and student teaching, but also experiences in public school classrooms prior to the student teaching semester. For students with a current professional level four certificate, the school's M.Ed. program is fully online, can be completed in one year, and qualifies for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's (PSC) certificate upgrade requirements.

3. Georgia State University (Education.GSU.edu)

Georgia State University's College of Education ranks 1st in Georgia for doctoral and masters degrees in education conferred to African-American graduates, as well as for doctoral degrees in education conferred to minority students. In recognition of the college's ongoing support for the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS), the Association awarded GSU the Spirit of Partnership Award in 2012. GSU offers B.S.Ed., M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ph.D. programs in early childhood education and elementary education. The M.Ed. program is based on the belief that "the teacher functions as a collaborator with parents and children to focus on strategies for enhancing effective child learning," therefore the curriculum incorporates reflective practice, collaboration, theories of child development, strategies for managing classrooms and affirming diversity. Students must choose a content concentration in elementary literacy, elementary literacy in reading recovery, elementary mathematics, or elementary science, and will receive an endorsement in the chosen concentration along with a master's degree.

4. University of Georgia (COE.UGA.edu)

The University of Georgia's College of Education is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as being among the top of the nation's public universities. Their graduate programs rank individually among the nation's best in eight of 10 categories -- six programs are ranked in the Top 10 and two more are in the Top 15. The school boasts a rigorous, clinically based approach to initial certification in their B.S.Ed. and Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs. The Early Childhood Education program at the University of Georgia follows three important principles: intellectual work, collaborative inquiry, and active involvement and advocacy. The B.S.Ed. program in particular takes four semesters to complete and has students spend time in local elementary school classrooms every semester leading up to their final student teaching semester. The program is highly selective, and only admits 75 students that demonstrate dedication to the program's principles each semester.

5. Valdosta State University (Valdosta.edu)

If you're searching for a program that focuses on early childhood and special education, Valdosta State University is worth a look. early childhood and special education instruction is offered at Valdosta, and students can choose to get a B.S.Ed. and initial certification in early childhood education or early childhood and special education. The program offers three master's degree options: an M.Ed. with a major of early childhood education designed to build upon the knowledge gained in the B.S.Ed. curriculum, and M.A.T. degrees in special education with initial certification, either with the general or adapted curriculum. The M.A.T. degrees are offered through the GeorgiaOnMyLine programs and may be preferable to you if you're looking for education programs in Georgia that let you take courses online. The theme of the Valdosta College of Education is "Preparing Professionals for Service," and the school strives to impart a global perspective of teaching and learning to its students while still maintaining a sense of community need. Valdosta's early childhood and special education programs are NCATE accredited.

These colleges of education are founded on philosophies and principles that recognize the important impact that elementary teachers have on their students, and strive to produce passionate professionals. Any or all of these schools are worth a first or second look as you're looking for education degrees in Georgia.

Please note: This information is accurate as of August 2014. Please contact schools directly for the most up-to-date information.

Sources:

Academics, Georgia Southern University, 2014, http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/

Bagwell College of Education, Kennesaw State University, 2013, http://bagwell.kennesaw.edu/bcoe/offsite-programs

BSEd in Early Childhood Education, The University of Georgia College of Education, Department of Educational Theory and Practice, August 19, 2014, http://www.coe.uga.edu/academics/degrees/bsed/early-childhood-education

College of Education Highlights and Rankings, Georgia State University, 2014, http://education.gsu.edu/about/highlights-rankings/

Early Childhood and Special Education, Valdosta State University, College of Education, 2014, http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/education/early-childhood-and-special-education/programs.php

University of Georgia, US News & World Report, Grad School Rankings, Education, 2014, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/university-of-georgia-06052





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