Gordon’s School of Education Receives Continued Accreditation by GaPSC

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) announced that Gordon State College’s School of Education was reaffirmed this spring. Accreditation recognizes institutions demonstrating a focus on excellence in all areas.

The GaPSC sets and applies guidelines for the preparation, certification, and continued licensing of public educators.

Examiners from the GaPSC visited Gordon in early March to evaluate the school’s preparation programs for educators. Staff, students and stakeholders such as principals and superintendents spend a day and a half with the accreditation team visiting campus. The committee reviewed documents and interviewed students to ensure the program met the rigorous standards set by the profession. Accreditation is valid for seven years.

“This is exciting news that validates the great work of our faculty and staff,” said Joseph Jones, dean of the School of Education. “They’ve done a good job. The committee was impressed by our academic scholarship production and our community partnerships because they did not expect a department our size to be so productive and so connected to the community. The School of Education was able to brag about our accomplishments and the overall reputation of our programs.”

Gordon students received high praise on state and national assessments with a 100 percent pass-rate on the edTPA, which is a performance-based effectiveness assessment for pre-service teachers that demonstrate their ability to effectively teach their chosen subject. Highlanders also passed the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) state-approved educator certification assessment program at 100-percent as well. Ninety-five percent of students in the School of Education are hired before they graduate.

“School districts constantly tell me  how well prepared our students are,” Jones added. “They know their content extremely well. Many have told me that they prefer to hire Gordon graduates.”

The accreditation committee also met with GSC President Kirk A. Nooks along with Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton and Jones at the end of the visit to discuss their preliminary recommendations.  

“As part of our strategic plan, we have made efforts to strengthen our partnerships with school systems and be an institution that is focused on meeting the needs of its primary service region and the state,” Nooks said.With our partners in the K-12 system and the efforts of our faculty and staff, we are able to demonstrate this impact. I’m proud of the School of Education. This is an example of excellence. Together we will continue to improve these practices and look forward to the outcome, which provides a stronger workforce. That’s the Power of WE!”

Knighton added his praise to the process. “It is very gratifying to know that the elementary, middle and high schools in our 14-county service area are filled with graduates of Gordon State,” he said. “This is a testament to the high quality of our programs in the School of Education. I offer my congratulations to Dean Jones and all of the education faculty for their outstanding work.”