Frequently Asked Questions
About Macon State's Bachelor of Science in Early
Q. What specific education degree is Macon State offering?
A. The bachelor of science in education degree, with a major in
early childhood education, which will prepare teachers for grades
pre-kindergarten through five.
Q. When will the degree program be available?
A. Macon State expects to launch the degree in Fall 2005, with
classes available on both the Macon and Warner Robins campuses.
Q. Will this program be similar to early childhood degrees at
other colleges or universities?
A. This program will be innovative because it will enable
students to earn dual certification in early childhood education and
special education. The program will emphasize methods of diagnosing
the learning needs of individual students and tailoring instruction
toward those needs. Macon State's program will position new teachers
to reach the diverse learners in Georgia's elementary schools.
Graduates may apply for both early childhood certification and
special education certification, but they do not have to apply for
Q. What is the job market like for teachers?
A. With projected public-school enrollment increases and no
change in the teacher attrition rate, the University System of
Georgia estimates that the state will need approximately 14,500 new
teachers by 2010. Job opportunities in Georgia should remain strong
for some years to come. Macon State College is playing a key role in
the University System's commitment to significantly increase the
number and diversity of teachers for Georgia's classrooms over the
next five years. (Continued on next page)
Q. How much do public school teachers in Georgia make?
A. Statewide, average pay for teachers is $45,050 a year,
according to the Georgia Career Information Center. As of 2004, the
base pay for starting teachers with bachelor's degrees in Georgia
was $29,650. Many individual school systems add local supplements to
the base pay funded by the state. In Bibb County, as of 2004,
starting pay for teachers with bachelor's degrees was $31,359 with
the local supplement added. In Houston County, starting pay for
teachers with bachelor's degrees was $32,708 with the local
Q. What general qualifications are required of applicants to
Macon State's program?
A. Admission to this program is expected to be competitive.
Students will be admitted to the program at the beginning of their
junior year. To be considered for admission, an applicant must at
minimum: 1. Have completed all freshman and sophomore coursework
required of education majors. 2. Have a 2.5 or higher cumulative
grade point average. 3. Earn a passing score on PRAXIS I, the test
of basic skills that all aspiring teachers in Georgia must take. (A
score of 1000 on the SAT, 43 on the ACT or 1030 on the GRE may be
accepted in lieu of taking Praxis I. Official scores must be mailed
to the Macon State Office of Academic Affairs prior to admission.)
4. Undergo a criminal background check, which is required of anyone
who wants to teach in a Georgia public school.
Q. Is there a minimum grade point average I must maintain to
stay in the program and graduate?
A. Graduates must have at least a 2.5 GPA.
Q. Do I have to pass a state or national exam to be certified
A. Yes, students in the degree program must pass the PRAXIS II,
the state of Georgia's teacher certification test.
Q. At what point do I take the exam? Do I complete the degree
and then take the certification exam? What if I don't pass?
A. Students take the PRAXIS II after completing all coursework
and usually while fulfilling the student teaching requirement, which
generally takes place during the last semester of the degree
program. The PRAXIS II may be re-taken, if necessary. (Learn more
about the teacher certification process at the website of the
Georgia Professional Standards Commission: .)
Q. How many credit hours does Macon State's early childhood
program consist of?
A. The program is in the developmental stages but, like other
degree programs, will require between 120 and 129 semester hours of
Q. What is the program's curriculum?
A. Macon State is in the process of developing the curriculum.
More information will be available soon.
Q. Can students pursue the degree part-time?
A.Students who are beginning or continuing work on the core curriculum may attend part-time. Students who are admitted into the education program for upper-division work must attend full-time due to the field experiences (pre-kindergarten through fifth grade actual classroom experiences) that are a critical component of the program. Field experiences are required throughout the coursework of the program and must be done during the regular public school day. Also, student teaching requires the student to be full-time during that term, which is usually the last semester before graduation. It is the goal of the Division of Education to eventually make part-time study available when possible to students taking upper-division coursework.
Q. What if I want to teach middle grades or high school?
A. Macon State intends to develop middle grades and secondary
teaching degree programs in the future; for now, the College is
focused on developing a high-quality early childhood teaching
Q. What if I already have a bachelor's degree in another
major? Can I just take enough courses in the education program to
become eligible for certification or do I have to complete all the
education degree requirements?
A. Macon State College would be happy to have qualified students
enroll in our program and work toward the completion of a second
Q. I have an associate's degree from Macon State, but it's not
in education. How long would it take me to complete the education
degree if I go full-time?
A. We will be able to answer that question after evaluation of
the transcript. At that time we can advise students how long it will
take to complete the degree in education.
Q. I am currently majoring in early childhood education at
another college or university and would like to transfer to Macon
State. Will all of my credits transfer?
A. Transfer students can submit their transcripts to Macon State
for evaluation along with their application to the College and to
the early childhood program. After the transcript is reviewed, a
determination can be made about which credits will transfer.
Q. I currently work in a public school as a paraprofessional.
Can I “test out” some of these courses?
A. Upon admission to the College and to the program it's possible
that students will be able to “test out” of some of the required
Q. While I'm waiting for Macon State to also develop degrees
in middle grades and secondary education, can I get started by
taking some courses in the early childhood program? Won't some of
those courses also apply to middle grades or secondary education?
A. Possibly. However, it's recommended that students first
complete any remaining courses needed in the secondary education
track or in the middle grades track of the associate's degree
program at Macon State College. As Macon State continues to develop
the early childhood major and builds a Division of Education,
faculty advisors will be available to talk to students in more
Q. How much does it cost to attend Macon State College?
A. For students living in Central Georgia and aspiring to teach,
Macon State is by far the most convenient and affordable option to
get an early childhood education degree. As of the 2004-2005
academic year, tuition and mandatory fees for a full-time student
taking junior- and senior-level classes total $1,240 per semester.
(The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents may adjust
tuition and fee rates for the 2005-2006 academic year.)
Q. Is financial aid available for this degree program?
A. Macon State's financial aid office can explain possible
financial aid options. Call (478) 471-2717 or (800) 272-7619 or
email Students admitted into the education degree program may also
wish to explore the , a component of Georgia's HOPE Scholarship
Program, which provides forgivable loans to students who aspire to
be teachers in Georgia public schools. (Learn more at .) Macon State
College is seeking approval to be a part of this program.
Q. I'm sold. How do I get started?
A. Fill out the postage paid information card in this issue of
MSC Today and send it to us. Or join our mailing list online at
www.maconstate.edu/education. If you have other questions, here
are some additional ways of contacting Macon State College:
Call: (478) 471-2800 or (800) 272-7619
Visit: Macon State College Office of Admissions 100 College Station
Drive Macon, Ga., 31206-5145
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