Forsyth County



    Human Resources

    Certification Information

    Welcome to the Certification Page

    • The Human Resources Department processes all certification documents for new hires and current faculty as well as renewals and conversions of certifications.
    • Please remember! When communicating with the Human Resources Department always include your social security number as well as your name, telephone number, and school location.

    Educator Resources

    Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC)
    Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators (GACE)

    Georgia PSC Information
    Upgrade Memo (2-10-2011)
    PSC approved programs for certification upgrades

    Georgia PSC PULSE newsletter (Spring 2010)

    Leadership Certificate Processing (10-29-2009)

    Georgia On My Line (Information regarding advanced degrees)

    Certification Information
    For “New Employees” with Forsyth County in a teaching/administrative position, please submit the following with your employment application:

    • PSC Application
    • ALL Official Transcripts
    • NTE/GACE Test Scores
    • Out-of-State Professional Certificates
    1. Certified employees of the Forsyth County School District are required to hold a valid Georgia teaching certificate issued by the Professional Standards Commission (PSC). The Forsyth County School System does not employ teachers who are not fully certified and in-field prior to employment.
    2. Click here to obtain a PSC application
    3. Complete all 3 pages of the PSC application in black ink with specific attention given to educational background.
    4. The PSC will not process your application without an official transcript.
    5. Once you are an employee of the Forsyth County School District (including new hires), the $20 fee will be exempted for you on initial certification transactions. However, any future conditional certificate fees must be paid by the FCSS employee by money order or cashier’s check made payable to The State of Georgia or the fee may be submitted online at the website.
    6. Page 3 of the PSC application is the Personal Affirmation section. Failure to complete ALL of this block will result in your application being returned unprocessed.
    7. The GACE (Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators) replaced the Praxis II exams on September 1, 2006.  Information about the GACE tests can be found at
    8. Your certificate or letter of requirement(s) will be sent electronically from the PSC and a copy forwarded to the Forsyth County School District for your personnel file.
    9. It is critical that you complete your certification requirements at the earliest opportunity.

    Renewal for current Forsyth County School District Employees

    The State of Georgia mandates that professional teaching certificates be renewed every five years with either 10 professional development units (PLUs) or six-semester hours of college credit or a combination of the two. These credits must be accrued during the validity period of the certificate to be renewed. For example, if your certificate is valid July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2010, credits must have been earned between those dates to count toward certificate renewal.

    Applications for renewal of certifications will be accepted in January of the year of expiration.

    Paraprofessional Certification Information

    All Georgia Paraprofessionals must hold a valid state license issued by the Professional Standards Commission.

    Applicants for paraprofessional must:

    1. Hold an associate degree or higher; OR
    2. Have at least 54 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of acceptable college credit; OR
    3. Have passed either the Georgia Paraprofessional Assessment 

    Frequently Asked Certification Questions

    1. Is a PSC certificate required in Georgia?
      Yes. Any professional serving in the public schools must hold a current valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment. All certificate fields are classified as either Teacher, Service, or Leadership.
    2. How do I qualify for a professional certificate in Georgia?
      Professional certification is based upon completion of a college’s state-approved certification program in a field for which Georgia certifies or upon professional certification from another state, U. S. territory, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS) or the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). In Forsyth County, certain Special Georgia Requirements (Identification of Exceptional Children, Teaching of Reading & Writing, Recency of Study, appropriate assessment in the content area of certification) may be necessary within the first year of employment for individuals who completed out-of-state certification programs or out-of-state certification.
    3. What tests do I need to obtain a Georgia certificate?
      Applicants must take and pass GACE tests appropriate to the certification field(s). You may contact for information and registration procedures for GACE.
    4. Do I have to take Georgia’s required test or can I substitute a test taken for an out-of-state certificate? Does Georgia accept the NTE?
      If you are currently or have been certified in another state and passed a content-knowledge assessment(s) required for certification in the state of certification, this test may be accepted in lieu of the GACE. For consideration, you must submit a copy (front and back) of any certificates/licenses you hold or held, and a copy of score reports for any assessment(s) you have passed. If score reports are unavailable, attach documentation from the state’s certifying authority to verify that you have passed the required content assessment(s) for professional certification in that state.  The appropriate Specialty Test(s) of the NTE can be accepted only if it was taken to qualify for out-of-state certification. The NTE Core Battery is not acceptable toward the content knowledge assessment.
    5. After I satisfy all requirements for a professional Georgia certificate, for how long will it be valid, and how do I keep it current?
      A Professional Clear Renewable certificate is valid for five (5) years, during which time you must earn 6 semester hours of acceptable college credit or ten (10) professional learning units (PLUs) of professional learning credit. College coursework must be earned at regionally accredited colleges. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are not acceptable for certification purposes.
    6. How long will it take for my certificate application to be processed?
      Your completed application package will be processed within three-four (2-3) weeks from the time it is received by the PSC. You will receive an educator certificate, a letter of eligibility, or an evaluation for certification requirements to be met.
    7. I do not have a teaching certificate, but I do have a bachelor’s degree. What do I need to do in order to get certified to teach in Georgia?
      If you want to teach in the Forsyth County School System, you must affiliate with a local college or university and enroll in their Post Baccalaureate program. You can complete just the classes you need to obtain your certification, or you apply to the college’s graduate school and work toward a master’s degree along with the certification requirements. There are several schools in the area that offer the Post Baccalaureate program.
    8. What is the difference between professional and provisional certification?
      Professional certification is based upon the applicant having completed a state-approved certification program in the field of certification or holding or having held professional certification in another state, District of Columbia, U.S. Territory, DODDS, or NBPTS. If all Special Georgia Requirements have been satisfied, the certificate is issued as a Clear Renewable certificate, valid for five (5) years. Special Georgia Requirements have been included in approved programs from Georgia colleges since July 1, 1993. If the applicant qualified for the initial professional certificate based upon an out-of-state college certification program, out-of-state certification, or a Georgia college-approved certification program completed prior to July 1, 1993, that lacks one or more of the special requirements, the certificate can be issued as a Nonrenewable One-Year Professional certificate at the request of Forsyth County Schools pending completion of the special requirement(s).
      Georgia no longer issues the provisional certification. Nonrenewable certificates are now issued based upon having a Bachelor’s Degree or above in a content field that was not designed for classroom teaching in the elementary and secondary schools. The degree must have been earned at a regionally accredited college with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. The college major must be in the field of certification or the degree must include all coursework that meets minimum content requirements identified by the PSC for eligibility in the field. The applicant must also pass the GACE tests in the certificate field desired before the candidate is eligible for a nonrenewable certificate.
    9. How do I receive a non-renewable certificate?
      If an applicant qualified for a nonrenewable certificate based upon content, GPA, and GACE requirements, the certificate can be issued only at the request of a Georgia employer. The certificate is valid for a period of five (5) years and must be upgraded to a Clear Renewable certificate by completing a college’s approved teacher education program or by meeting other requirements set forth by the PSC. The Forsyth County School System will only hire people who are not fully certified and in-field upon employment if they can obtain their clear, renewable certification within their first year of employment with FCS.
    10. In completing requirements for Clear Renewable professional certification, can I use teaching experience in lieu of student teaching?
      Any determination of what can or cannot be accepted toward requirements of the initial professional certificate must be made by the college where the applicant is completing the college’s state-approved teacher education program. The PSC does not provide a course-by-course evaluation outlining these requirements.
    11. How can I add a field to my clear renewable certificate?
      Professionals who already possess a clear renewable teaching certificate in one field may add other fields by taking and passing the appropriate GACE tests. After the test results are received, the PSC will add the additional field automatically if they were the recipient of the passing test scores.  If they did not receive the test scores, then application as to be made to the PSC to get the fields added. 
    12. I have just finished a higher degree. What do I do now?
      You should have the college or university you attended send to you an official transcript that has the date that your degree was conferred on it. After your transcript is received, an Application for Certification should be completed and sent to the Human Resources Department for processing. This application can be downloaded at
    13. What is required to earn Master Teacher Certification?  The Master Teacher Certification recognizes teaching experience based on student achievement/progress and other related criteria.  The purpose of the 2005 Georgia legislation is to encourage excellent teaching and to honor teachers whose students consistently show achievement progress.  Teachers who can meet the specific criteria and wish to be recognized for their performance can apply.  For a complete explanation and application procedures, visit the website.
    Last Modified on March 16, 2011