Parapro-to-Teacher Students do not have to attend on-campus orientation. They will need to complete the information on this page instead.

Orientation Information for Parapro-to-Teacher Applicants

Paraprofessional to Certified Teacher Track: Elementary Education

What degree will I earn from this program/track?

The Parapro-to-Teacher track leads to a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education. With this degree, graduates are able to complete the GACE test in Elementary Education/Special Education General Curriculum to gain initial certification from the Georgia Professional Standards Commissions (teacher licensing body in Georgia). You may review our certification status on the PSC website here (search for Gordon State College) here.  


Who is this track designed for?

This program is targeted towards paraprofessionals who would like to complete the requirements to become a certified teacher in the state of Georgia. Since the degree earned will be in elementary education, it is preferable that those applying be parapros in K-5 settings. It is not impossible, however, for those in a non-K-5 setting to complete the program. It is also preferable that students entering the program be employed in a public school system. If you are interested in the program and are a parapro in private school, however, please contact us to determine if it is a possibility for your school. In order to be accepted into the parapro-to-teacher track, however, you should be a current paraprofessional.

The course work for this program is online so paraprofessionals are able to (and it will be necessary to) retain employment during their time in the program. If you are unsure if you prefer the parapro or traditional track in the elementary education program, please review this document to see the differences.


What courses will I need to complete before starting the track?

All students will be required to complete certain pre-courses before being accepted and starting the elementary education program. The courses might be transferred in from other institutions or may be completed at Gordon (via our campus in Barnesville, our site in McDonough, or online). Students can choose the number of classes they would like to take per semester. These courses are offered every fall semester (August-December), every spring semester (January-May) and usually in summer semesters (May-June, June-July). A list of the pre-courses required can be found in this document.

What is the elementary education program- parapro track like? 

Once accepted into the program, which starts in a fall semester (August), the students will complete two years of courses to complete the education program. This is usually noted as Fall 1, Spring 1, Summer, Fall 2, Spring 2. During this time students will be full time students completing 4-5 classes a semester. These courses will be offered online. While in the program, students are in a cohort format and must take the courses in the correct semester. The course rotation for the program can be viewed at this link. 

Students will also participate in field experiences during the semester. In the parapro-to-teacher track, students work with their principal to secure field placement in the correct grade bands (as listed below). The student might complete the field work in the school in which they are employed or another school in the county. Once accepted into the program, parapros and principals will have to sign the MOU (see it here) agreeing to the field experience requirements. 

Grade bands for field experiences in the elementary education program: 

  • 1st Fall Semester in the Program: Kindergarten or 1st grade, 100 hours
  • 1st Spring Semester in the Program: 2nd or 3rd grade, 100 hours
  • Summer Semester: No field experiences
  • 2nd Fall Semester in the Program: 4th or 5th grade, 100 hours
  • 2nd Spring Semester in the Program: Choice of K-5 grade, 600 hours (student teaching)

What should I do to be accepted into the education program? 

In order to be accepted into the education program, students will need to do the following:

-Apply to Gordon State College (here). Make sure to mark: Elementary Education/Special Ed General- Parapro-to-Teacher Track as the major 

-Application documentation (which should include: application, recommendations, dispositions, & proof of GACE Ethics completion/scores) should be submitted to:

  • Email: Dr. Jones, School of Education Dean,


Have questions? 

  • Watch the following video with an overview of the program
  • Email: Dr. Joseph Jones, Dean of the School of Education and Applied Mathematics with specific questions: