DeKalb County School District

Professional Learning

Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification

Alternative Certification Questions

  • Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (TAPP) Program
  • Mathematics/Science Transition to Teaching Program (MSTT) Program



The TAPP Program is designed to provide a non-traditional preparation route to teacher certification. The required coursework will be completed through a blended model of online and face-to-face coursework. The program involves structured supervision and coaching by the Candidate Support Team that includes the TAPP coordinator, a department chair, mentor teacher, and a school administrator. The Itinerant Teacher Support Specialist (ITSS) makes school site visits to provide individual support. The teacher candidate has up to three years to complete the program.


The MSTT Program is a partnership between DeKalb County School District and Georgia State University (GSU) and is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement. Successful completion of this program and the appropriate Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Educators (GACE) content assessment tests leads to a recommendation for teacher certification for grades four through eight in math and science. This project will recruit interested paraprofessionals and employees with associate's and bachelor's degrees.

The MSTT Program will provide an opportunity to pursue teaching certification through an alternative route that will feature an affordable, convenient, and effective route to certification. Georgia State University will provide content courses in mathematics and science and courses that will result in a Bachelor of science in middle childhood education. While certified employees are working full time and taking classes through Georgia State University, DeKalb County Schools will provide mentoring, support, and a route to certification. All certified employees will complete Georgia State University coursework leading to certification in three years. MSTT participants will be required to request a professional leave of absence without pay for approximately fifteen weeks near the end of their program of study.

Program Requirements
Cost $2,624.00
$25 application fee
$99.00 technology fee
$625.00 due at the initial meeting ( Transition Point 1)
with the TAPP coordinator

Program payment fee schedule
Transition Point 2: $625.00
Transition Point 3: $625.00
Transition Point 4: $625.00
DeKalb County Schools will pay $5000
Initial Cost $500
due at the initial meeting with the TAPP coordinator
processing fee
Employment have an offer of employment as a full time teacher with DeKalb County Schools DeKalb County Schools paraprofessionals and classified employees with bachelor's degrees or associate degrees (sixty semester hours or ninety quarter hours)
Grade Point Average (GPA) minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA—no exceptions and no rounding up minimum 2.5 GPA
Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) passed GACE Basic Skills Test or qualifying paperwork passed GACE Basic Skills Test
Admission Requirements have an offer of employment as a full time teacher with DeKalb County School District (DSCD)
a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA –no exceptions/no rounding up
Pass GACE Basic Skills test or exempt with the following:
a. master's degree or higher
b. SAT score of 1000
c. ACT score of 43
d. GRE score of 1030
Commitment agree to teach in DeKalb County School District for three years after receiving a clear renewable certificate
Required Degree(s)

Potential candidate must have one of the following undergraduate degrees in the following content areas:

  • mathematics
  • biology, chemistry, physics
  • English
  • history
  • Spanish, French, German
  • marketing
  • business administration/business management
  • technology
  • related degrees

Twenty-one semester hours in the above content areas will also be accepted. Teaching assignments are aligned to undergraduate degrees

Paraprofessionals and classified employees with a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree or sixty semester hours or ninety quarter hours.
  • a supervisor or principal's recommendation
  • a letter of application with an explanation of why you think they would be a good mathematics or science teacher
  • a resumé of professional experiences
  • level of aptitude for teaching mathematics and/or science
Acceptance Potential candidates interested in teaching special education may have an undergraduate degree in any field and must pass GACE 81 & 82. Preferred fields are: Psychology, sociology, counseling, and social work Apply to Georgia State University's Department of Middle and Secondary Education and Instructional Technology College of Middle Childhood Education
Application complete TAPP application package complete MSTT application package

Admission Information


Admittance into the MSTT Program begins in the Department of Professional Learning from August through September for spring semester at GSU, and March through April for fall semester at GSU.

  1. Download and complete the .pdf link icon application form [ ].
  2. Download the .pdf link icon reference form [ ] and e-mail (receipt upon delivery) to email link icon Lakissa Jackson [ ].
  3. Write a letter of interest as to why you think you would be a good math or science teacher.
  4. Present a passing GACE Basic Skills Test score (all three parts).
  5. Present an associate degree or the equivalent of an associate's degree (sixty semester hours or ninety quarter hours) showing a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.

Interested candidates will have their packets checked for completion. Potential candidates will then be interviewed by program representatives. Upon completion of interviews, GSU will review transcripts for transferability. Candidates accepted into the program will be notified by the Department of Professional Learning and by Georgia State University before the beginning of spring and fall semesters.

  1. opens in new window icon Apply online [ ] to the DeKalb County School District, and send required paperwork to opens in same window icon Human Resources [ ]