Secondary Education Certification Track (SECT)

Overview of the SECT Track

The Secondary Education Certification Track (SECT) program prepares candidates to teach either Math, History, Biology, or English in grades 6-12. Upon successful completion of the program, the candidate will possess a Bachelor’s degree in their selected content area and a certification to teach in middle schools and high schools across the state.

During the first two years of the SECT program, candidates are immersed in content area studies. Candidates apply to enter the SECT program in the spring of their sophomore year, and after admittance, begin their Education program experiences in fall of their junior year. Candidates complete a wide range of focused courses intended to provide deep understandings of the theory and practice of teaching modern secondary students.

The program culminates in the senior year with intensive, immersive field experiences in actual classrooms. These engaging and rigorous experiences provide candidates with the first-hand knowledge that only real-life teaching can provide. The final semester is composed of clinical practice, in which candidates work full-time in their partnering schools, with a highly-qualified cooperating teacher in supervision.

*If you are interested in becoming a secondary teacher, please contact the Secondary Education Certification Track coordinator, Dr. William Gary Cole:

Information on SECT Content Areas

Additional information on the different content areas may be accessed by clicking the links below and scrolling to the Secondary Education Track sections.

Biology (SECT)

English (SECT)

History (SECT)

Mathematics (SECT)

Applying to the SECT Program

Acceptance to Middle Georgia State University does not automatically enroll you in any of the Education programs. For the first two years at MGA, candidates are not technically in the Education program. During these early semesters, candidates complete core courses and a wide range of engaging courses in either English, mathematics, biology, or history. In the spring semester of the sophomore year, students apply to be admitted into the SECT program. Upon admittance, students are considered SECT candidates beginning in the fall of their junior year.

SECT Program Admission Requirements

Admission into the SECT Education Program is granted on a space available basis. To be considered for admission, students must:

  1. Be admitted to Middle Georgia State University in good academic standing. Disciplinary action at Middle Georgia State University and/or any other institution that the student has attended or while in the military may prevent admission.
  2. Complete all core requirements of the program of study (Areas A-F courses).
  3. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on all courses to include transfer, transient, or taken as a part of a prior degree.
  4. Be available during regular school day hours for internship, clinical experiences, and special program-based events.
  5. Submit a program admission packet online at .

Note: Students who are not core complete by the end of the sophomore year may still be considered for program admission . Consideration will be based on a number of factors, and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the SECT Program Coordinator, Dr. William Gary Cole at .

How to apply to the SECT program

Students should apply for admission to the SECT program by March 31 in spring semester of their sophomore year. Candidates may apply for priority admission by November 15 in the fall of their sophomore year to ensure their place in the program. Please note: candidates who receive priority admission will still begin their SECT program in fall semester of the junior year. 

To apply to the SECT program, students should select three references from their educational and/or professional experience, and provide these references with the link below. Candidates should then send an admission packet with all documents in one email to . All documents should be in pdf format. The subject line of the email should read:

First Name Last Name_Application Packet (ex: Jane Doe_Application Packet).

Incomplete application packets will not be processed.

How to solicit recommendation forms

  1. Select three potential references from your educational and/or professional experience. Current students must have at least two of the forms completed by professors from MGA or previous institutions. If you have not attended school in more than 2-years, these recommendations may come from professional references.
  2. Email the following form link to the persons providing your references Completed recommendation forms will be submitted by the references on the candidate’s behalf.

Please note: It is the applicant's responsibility to send the recommendation Google Form to the persons providing references on their behalf.

What to include in the admission packet email

Recommendation forms will be submitted on the candidate’s behalf by the references they choose. To complete the application process, candidates should email the following to :

  1. Copy of completed and signed Application Packet Checklist available here: Application Checklist (pdf)
  2. Completed Student Information Sheet
  3. Certificate of Completion for the Georgia Educator Ethics Test #360. Please note that this test requires payment of a $30 fee, you must complete eight modules, and you will have 2.5-3 hours to complete the test. 

How to register for the Educator Ethics 360 assessment: A four-step process

  1. Create or update your MyPSC account at using your legal name as shown on a driver's license or other ID document. Select testing reason #7, “I am taking the Georgia Educator Ethics assessment.” Select Middle Georgia State University on the Program tab, then select GACE 360 on the Assessment tab.
  2. GaPSC sends your profile and eligibility information to ETS.
  3. ETS sends you an email with a link to the Educator Ethics system.
  4. Access the Educator Ethics 360 assessment system, select Test Takers under Registration, create your account, register, and pay the $30 fee Be sure to indicate Middle Georgia State University as a score recipient.

After being accepted into SECT track

  1. Upon acceptance into the SECT program, students will receive an email from MGA’s Department of Teacher Education and Social Work. Students will be referred to as “teacher candidates” after program acceptance.
  1. After being notified of program acceptance, the applicant must complete a GaPSC Pre-Service Certification Application (pdf). Please note: if you complete the document by hand, you must use black ink. If you type into the document, use all caps to type your legal name. Submit the application to GaPSC through your GaPSC account.
  2. Teacher candidates must also present proof of having liability insurance. Instructions will be provided as to how to obtain this coverage will be provided in the acceptance email.
  3. Upon receipt of a copy of the Pre-Service Certificate by the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work the prospective candidate will be notified in writing by the department.
  4. Teacher candidates must sign their program of study. Teacher candidates are required to follow the program of study as prepared by the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work. Deviations from that program without prior consent from the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work will result in dismissal from the Teacher Education Program.
  5. Teacher candidates must also provide a clear criminal background check. Instructions and information will be provided in the program admission email.
  6. The Department of Teacher Education & Social Work will request a Pre-Service Certificate from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) for the prospective candidate. The decision to issue the Pre-Service Certificate resides solely with GaPSC. If a student cannot obtain a GaPSC certificate, acceptance into this program will be revoked.

SECT Academic Progression and Completion

After program admission, in order to remain in the SECT program, teacher candidates must:

  1. Maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75 or greater in all courses in the major by semester.
  2. Earn a grade of “B” or better in all upper division field/clinical courses. If the minimum grade is not earned the teacher candidate will not be allowed to continue in the program.
  3. Earn a grade no lower than a “B” in SPED 3110.
  4. Earn a grade no lower than a “C” in all upper division courses.
  5. Teacher candidate may retake only one upper level course. Teacher candidate swill be placed on probation (with an action plan) until a passing grade is earned. See numbers 2 and 3 above.
  6. Pass all key assessments in courses and the program with an 80% mastery.
  7. Provide evidence of attempting the GACE Content Assessment (resulting in an official score on all parts of the assessment) prior to the end of the semester while enrolled in Clinical Practice (spring of senior year).
  8. Maintain professional liability insurance.
  9. Must hold a valid Pre-Service Certificate for the duration of the program.
  10. Adhere to all policies and codes of personal, academic, and professional conduct which originate with the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work, School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, Middle Georgia State University, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and associated Boards of Education and other accrediting bodies.

NOTE: Should a teacher candidate complete all program requirements, but program faculty, supervisors, and/or administrators determine that the candidate needs to increase competency in any area (knowledge, pedagogy, or dispositions) program officials can request the completion of additional work before the teacher candidate will be declared a program completer.

The Teacher Education Program adheres to state and national accrediting board policies that govern Middle Georgia State University's Teacher Education Programs. All governing state and national policies will be applied in tandem with MGA policy therein.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please reach out to:

  • William Cole (), Program Coordinator
  • Ruth Compton (), Admissions and Certification Specialist.