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Prospective teachers get insight into Georgia's TAP program

McDuffie County is looking for a few good professionals willing to go to school. The Board of Education hosted a TeachGeorgia information session Tuesday evening, Sept. 26, at Thomson High School.

Approximately 20 people attended the session. The attendees came from various areas of the state, including Douglas, Augusta and Greensboro.

"They were interested," said Margie Waters, the assistant superintendent in personnel and policy management for McDuffie County BOE. "So we had some with various backgrounds, some from industry and some had come from working in other state organizations. They were interested in alternative methods to becoming teachers."

Presentations were made by Dr. Waters, Robert Maxson - the TeachGeorgia program manager with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission - and Karen Collins, the Teacher Alternative Preparation Program coordinator for the Regional Educational Service Agency.

Topics discussed included prospective employment opportunities, teacher supply and demand, critical shortage fields, alternative preparation routes to teacher certification for career changers and job search resources for persons considering a job in education.

Last year, Dr. Waters said only about 20 percent of the teachers hired in McDuffie County came from state schools.

"So most of the time, we have to go out of the state, or we have to grow our own from others who are coming from other traditional occupations," she said.

The TeachGeorgia program is for people who already have a four year degree in any field, and are interested in changing their career to education. Through the program, Dr. Waters said McDuffie County can assist in getting a teaching certificate through TAPP, RESA, or through Paine College, Augusta State University, Georgia Southern University or Armstrong Atlantic State University in one or two years while working as an intern in the system.

TeachGeorgia also has a Troops to Teachers program, in which individuals who have served in the Armed Forces can receive financial assistance to obtain their teaching certificate.

For more information, call the Board of Education at 706-986-4000 or visit

Web posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006

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