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GaTapp leaders at Wiregrass attend national conference

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GaTapp leaders at Wiregrass attend national conference

Have you heard friends say they wished they had chosen a different career field?  Many times people work years in a chosen career field only to feel they’ve missed their purpose or calling, wishing they could change careers.  Teaching is a career many people wish they had gone into for various reasons; and many have made that career change thanks to the Georgia Teacher Academy of Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP).  The GaTAPP program is an alternative certification program offered for those who wish to become educators and already have an existing Bachelor’s degree in a field other than education.

Wiregrass is the only technical college in the state that offers the GaTAPP program and has been successful over the years helping teachers in South Georgia become certified.  Recently Patty Hancock, GaTAPP Coordinator/ Supervisor, and Rene Mason, Early Childhood Care/Education Instructor/GaTAPP Instructor were invited to Stanford University to participate in am edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) CTAE (Career Technical and Agricultural Education) Design Team.  They were asked to serve on a panel of seven educators from across the nation and contribute thoughts and experiences from Wiregrass’ GaTAPP program, which has helped CTAE educators receive teaching certifications in our state. 

Representatives from Stanford University and the Pearson Company are working to create a national edTPA for CTAE educators. Others who served on this panel include: two Stanford University faculty members who designed the nationally used edTPA teaching assessments, two members of the Pearson team which endorse and produce the edTPA assessments, two CTAE educators/leaders from the state of California, a CTE leader from the Education Department in the state of Ohio, a CTAE program leader from Tennessee as well as another from Wisconsin, along with Wiregrass’ GaTAPP Director and Instructor.  “Patty and I were honored to be included in this endeavor,” shared Rene Mason, “We are in the process of reviewing a draft of the handbook and possibly having one of our teachers pilot the non-consequential version of the test in the fall. After working out any kinks during next spring semester, the new edTPA is due to be available nationwide in the fall of 2020.”

GaTAPP provides two program pathways: Clear Renewable Teaching Certificate and Technical Specialist Teaching Certificate.  To be recommended for a Georgia Professional Certification, candidates for GaTAPP complete a two-week summer course, attend seminars as required, meet all dispositions and required competencies of a highly-effective teacher, collect and produce evidence for an electronic achievement portfolio, complete all coursework required to meet Georgia Special Requirements, successfully teach as a lead instructor of a P-12 classroom during the program, and complete all additional certification requirements of GaPSC including edTPA.   Wiregrass is currently accepting new applications for the next cohort, which starts in July.  Applications must be complete by June 15.

More information can be found online at www.wiregrass.edu, or by calling 229-333-2100.

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