Dr. David A. Slykhuis, Dean
Room 2046, Education Center

Dr. Kate Warner, Associate Dean
Room 2047, Education Center


The James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services prepares professionals for a variety of roles in educational settings and community agencies; fosters a culture of reflective practice and inquiry within a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff; provides leadership in the improvement of the education, health, and well-being of citizens in this region, the nation, and the world; and develops effective, responsive scholars and practitioners who use theory and research to enhance their work in a global, diverse, and technological society. Course descriptions and programs of study leading to these degrees are listed by department. For detailed information about program majors and concentrations, visit the COEHS website


The Dewar College of Education and Human Services and all of its individual educator preparation programs maintain continuing approval through the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. In addition, at the undergraduate level, the Deaf Education  (Council for Exceptional Children) and Middle Grades Education (Association on Middle Level Education) programs are nationally recognized, and the Art Education program within the College of the Arts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


Diversity is a foundational element in the mission and vision of the Dewar College of Education and Human Services. As defined, diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more. The Dewar College of Education and Human Services recognizes and embraces the critical role of diversity and concurs with the Valdosta State University Diversity Council that “effective management of Valdosta State University’s unique cultural characteristics will provide benefits to students, faculty, and staff in the form of enhanced educational opportunities, respectful workplaces and classrooms, reduced workforce turnover, reduced rates of poverty and low socioeconomic status and stronger strategic approaches to long term planning.”

Undergraduate Teaching Degree Programs in the College of Education and Human Services

Art Education P-12
Elementary Education P-5
Special Education (Deaf Education)1 P-12
Health and Physical Education P-12
Middle Grades Education 4-8
Secondary Education 6-12

Certification-only programs are available in the fields of Art Education, Career and Technical specializations, Elementary Education, Health and Physical Education, Healthcare Science, and Middle Grades Education.

Other Degree Programs in the College of Education and Human Services

B.S.Ed. American Sign Language/English Interpreting

B.S.Ed. Communication Disorders

B.S. Office Administration and Technology

B.S.Ed. Workforce Education and Development

Progression/Retention in Professional P-12 Education Programs

Students must meet the following requirements to be admitted to Teacher Education:

  1. declared a major leading to teacher certification.
  2. earned at least 36 semester hours.
  3. maintained at least an overall 2.75 GPA.
  4. passed or exempted the GACE Program Admission Assessment.
  5. successfully completed the Georgia Professional Standards Commission Educator Ethics Assessment.

EDUC 2999 “Teacher Education Requirements” is required of all teacher education majors, and the course is a prerequisite to progressing in a teacher education program. 

Admission to Teacher Education and satisfactory completion of EDUC 2999 are required to enroll in professional education courses. Transfer students who have been admitted to Teacher Education and hold a valid Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) Pre-service Certificate will be granted a one-semester waiver to take EDUC 2999 concurrently with professional education courses during their first semester at VSU. A satisfactory grade in EDUC 2999, or Pre-service Certificate for transfer students, must be earned by the first day of classes in the semester that the student plans to enroll in professional education courses.

The GaPSC requires that all teacher candidates hold a valid Pre-service Certificate in the field in which the candidate is being prepared in order to complete field experiences and clinical practice in P-12 schools. This requirement is completed in EDUC 2999.

Education majors are required to earn minimum grades of “C” in all professional education courses, in all courses in Area F of the Core Curriculum, and in those courses required in the major. Students must also maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA, update criminal background checks as requested, and assure professional liability insurance is current in order to continue to progress through the professional program. Student progress will be monitored through (a) GPA, (b) observations, (c) faculty’s and public school teachers’ documented feedback, and (d) demonstration of appropriate dispositions. The status of students enrolled in these courses is monitored by the COEHS Advising Center and the Office of Professional Education Services to ensure that all requirements for program retention and progression have been maintained. Students who do not maintain these requirements will be prevented from continuing in professional education course work, may be placed on a Professional Improvement Plan, and may be dismissed from the program.

The educational progress of all students is a major concern for the COEHS. Students who achieve at high levels are awarded commendations by the department of their major and the COEHS Scholarship and Honors Committee. Students who experience difficulty may be placed on a Professional Improvement Plan. The college and university provide many opportunities for students to ensure a successful academic career.

Advising Center

The Advising Center in the Dewar College of Education and Human Services was created specifically to be an advocate for students who are majoring in COEHS degree programs. The Center assists students in planning their program of study and provides a strong support system for addressing individual concerns.

Professional P-12 Education Field Experiences

Valdosta State University’s teacher preparation program places a strong emphasis upon professional field experiences in public school settings. Many of the major courses require that students be involved in field-based activities; these activities will be coordinated by the instructors responsible for the courses and the Office of Professional Education Services. With each of the field-based courses, students will be evaluated on their performances in the public school environment. Faculty members responsible for the courses will discuss any concerns with the student and may report these concerns to the student’s department head. Repeated concerns or serious singular offenses in any field experiences will jeopardize the students’ continuation in professional education course work. The Dewar College of Education and Human Services reserves the right to refuse to place a student at any particular school or within any particular school system. The COEHS reserves the right to make all final decisions about field placements. For additional information, consult with the Office of Professional Education Services

Student Teaching/Clinical Practice

Student teaching is the culminating professional experience and involves full-time teaching experience in an assigned P-12 school. Student teachers are required to take the appropriate GACE Content Assessment for their major by the completion of all student teaching. Students do not have to pass the GACE Content Assessment in order to complete student teaching successfully, but they do have to provide evidence that they have taken both GACE Content Assessment tests for their major. Students who do not meet this requirement will receive an Incomplete (“I”) in student teaching for the semester and will not graduate.

A student who receives a grade of Unsatisfactory (“U”) for student teaching or who has been withdrawn from the student location at the request of the school may apply for student teaching only one additional time. At any time a student is removed at the request of a school, a COEHS Professional Improvement Plan must be completed. The Professional Improvement Plan will describe criteria for successful completion of the remediation. The student will be required to complete a prescribed plan before being permitted to attempt student teaching a second time. During this second semester of enrollment in student teaching, a student who receives a grade of Unsatisfactory (“U”) or who is requested to be removed from the student teaching location by the school will be permanently dismissed from all COEHS teacher education programs and will not be recommended for teacher certification by Valdosta State University. The student may appeal this action through the COEHS appeals procedure. The COEHS reserves the right to make all final decisions about student teacher placements. For additional information, consult with the Office of Professional Education Services

Appeals Procedure

The COEHS has an appeals process in place to help students and faculty resolve academic issues. The process endeavors to protect both faculty and students by assuring a process that allows dialogue at each step. In general, students who wish to appeal must first discuss the problem with their instructor/staff member or advisor. While the initial appeal may be informal, such as a conversation between the faculty/staff member and the student, if the situation is not resolved, the formal appeals process is initiated. The appeals process is student driven, so students may decide at each stage if they wish to go to the next stage. The student must initiate this process within 10 instructional days after notification of the decision. The following links For an outline of the appeals process for all academic matters and other concerns, click here

Teacher Certification

Georgia Teacher Certification Testing Program

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission requires applicants seeking initial certification to demonstrate proficiency in their certification area by passing the tests appropriate to their program of study. These certification tests are the GACE Content Assessments, and registration applications are available online. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission also requires applicants seeking initial certification to complete the Georgia Educator Ethics--Exit assessment and pass the state-approved performance-based effectiveness assessment (edTPA). A passing score must be obtained on both the GACE Content Assessment and the edTPA before a candidate may be recommended to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for a certificate of eligibility. The GACE Program Admission Assessment (or exemption) and Georgia Educator Ethics--Entry assessment are also required for certification, but they are met through the admission requirements for Teacher Education.

Certification Programs for Students with Degrees

Students who already have a degree and are coming to Valdosta State University to obtain a teaching certificate must meet admission to teacher education requirements and be accepted into a certification-only program. The student’s prior academic course work will be used to design a plan of study to satisfy the standards for certification through the approved GaPSC program. A part of the certification requirements, as determined by each department for individual students, must be completed at VSU.

The College of Education and Human Services reserves the right to refuse to recommend an individual for professional certification to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission who has not completed part of his or her coursework at VSU.

Specific questions regarding certification should be directed to the department.