GA Background Clearance Information for Initial Programs
The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) requires all students in initial licensure programs in Georgia to obtain a Pre-Service Certificate, even if they already have an existing background clearance. The required background clearance for initial licensure candidates is built into the process of obtaining a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate. Hence, without this certificate, initial program students will not be allowed to participate in field experiences in Georgia. (In the rare circumstance that a WGU student has a current IN4T teaching certificate, they are exempt from obtaining a Pre-Service Certificate. However, if the IN4T certificate expires before field experiences, a Pre-Service Certificate will be required.)
If you are in an advanced program in Georgia (i.e. you already have a GA teaching license and are seeking a certificate upgrade by completing a program at WGU), you should complete the background check as outlined here.
BACKGROUND CHECK INSTRUCTIONS for INITIAL LICENSURE STUDENTS
All students enrolled in initial licensure programs in Georgia who do not have an IN4T teaching certificate must complete the following five steps in order to be cleared for preclinical experiences (PCE) and demonstration teaching (DT) in Georgia.
Step 1: Take the Georgia Educator Ethics assessment—Program Entry 350.
This assessment is computer delivered and can be taken anywhere you have access to a computer and the internet. To avoid delays, please be careful not to confuse the Program Entry 350 with the Program Exit 360 when registering. You will be required to take and pass the Ethics Exit (360) assessment as you near completion of your program, but you must take the Ethics Entry (350) to obtain your Pre-Service Certificate.
When registering for the Ethics assessment, you should select #4 ("I am enrolled, or plan to enroll, in an out-of-state [non-Georgia] certification program...") as the Reason for Testing. If you experience difficulties with registration, please contact ETS directly at 1-855-225-7178. After you complete the assessment, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. You do not need to submit this to WGU as we will be able to verify completion online.
Step 2: Claim enrollment with WGU.
To claim enrollment with WGU, simply log into your MyPSC account, go to the Program tab, verify your program data and follow the prompts. When you enter your student ID, omit the first three zeros (e.g. if your student ID is 000123456, enter is as 123456). If your ID is not recognized, please contact WGU Licensure at email@example.com for assistance.
Step 3: Complete the GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate Application.
A completed Pre-Service Certificate application is three pages in length (see Step 4 for details). Please follow the instructions carefully. Your VLP Affidavit must be notarized. Also, your completed application must be submitted to the GaPSC within 90 days of when it is signed. You will find a Pre-Service Certificate application attachment at the bottom of this page or here.
Step 4: Submit your Pre-Service Certificate application to WGU Licensure.
Pages 1 and 3 of the application must be completed in their entirety and submitted to WGU along with a copy of whichever ID you presented to the notary public. This means you will be sending 3 total pages to WGU. Failure to fully complete and sign your application, or to submit a copy of your ID, will delay processing.
Once you have the three pages of your application compiled, create a single PDF file and email it to Background Clearance Specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org. (While a PDF file is preferred, you may also fax your application to 801-401-7961.) When your application has been received and uploaded to the GaPSC, you will receive notification from the Background Clearance Specialists. If you attempt to upload the application yourself, it will be rejected. It must be uploaded to the GaPSC by WGU.
Step 5: Send an electronic copy of your Pre-Service Certificate to WGU Licensure
It takes approximately two weeks for the GaPSC to process your application. When your Pre-Service Certificate has been issued, you will receive an email from the GaPSC. Please forward an electronic copy of your Pre-Service Certificate to the Background Clearance Specialists at email@example.com so that we can update your records accordingly. If it's been more than two weeks, you may wish to check your junk/spam email folders. A Georgia Pre-Service Certificate is valid for five years from the issuance date.
Article Number: 19518, 1286