Mercer Expands Graduate Offerings in Forsyth County and Douglas County


LITHIA SPRINGS/CUMMING — Mercer University’s Tift College of Education will expand two graduate programs to new metro Atlanta locations in January. The College will offer its hybrid-format Master of Education in early childhood education in Forsyth County and the Education Specialist in teacher leadership at the University’s Douglas County Regional Academic Center.

“We are always looking for ways to help advance the education of teachers in our state and adding these degrees in Cumming and Lithia Springs will help to reach even more teachers looking for ways to help their students while advancing their careers,” said Dr. Catherine Gardner, professor of education and chair of the College’s teacher education programs in Henry, Douglas, Newnan and Forsyth. “Educators in this state are committed to their students, and we wanted to find ways that we could continue to be innovative and supportive of their needs. Offering these programs in new locations does just that.”

Students in the Master of Education program may chose to pursue either a reading endorsement or English as a second language endorsement as part of the program. The program is a 30-hour (10 courses) degree that provides certified teachers with the opportunity to upgrade their teaching certificate to a master’s, or T-5 level. The format is a hybrid online and classroom program, with two to three class meetings per term and may be completed in four semesters. The in-classroom sessions will be held at the Forsyth County Board of Education and Professional Development Center located at 1120 Dahlonega Highway in Cumming. Currently, the hybrid-format program is offered at Mercer’s Henry and Douglas County Regional Academic Centers.

The Specialist in Education offers teachers who are certified at the master’s level an opportunity to develop their skills as teacher-leaders within their grade levels and schools and also upgrades a renewable teaching certificate to a T-6 level. The program is open to certified teachers with at least three years of experience and a master’s degree. The program requires 30 hours (10 courses) and can be completed in four semesters. Embedded in the teacher leadership program is the opportunity to add endorsements in reading or English as a second language. The Douglas teacher-leader program will be offered in a hybrid format with content online or in class as needed. The hybrid program is currently offered at the Henry County Regional Academic Center.

For more information on the Master of Education in Forsyth, contact Tracey M. Wofford, associate director of admissions, at (678) 547-6422 or

For more information on the Specialist in Education, contact Sabrina (Breezy) Straton, admissions counselor, at (678) 547-6493 or

Tift College of Education
Mercer’s Tift College of Education is the largest private preparer of teachers in Georgia and offers a variety of professional education programs at its six sites. The College is also the University’s largest, with more than 1,800 students, and has earned the highest accreditation in the nation from The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The College offers diverse programs and degrees, ranging from initial certification programs to Ph.D. In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Education, which leads to initial certification, the school offers a Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Specialist of Education and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, as well as a joint Master of Science in School Counseling with the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. The College launched a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in the fall of 2009.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit

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