Tamara BoatwrightGordon State College was authorized by the Board of Regents to establish a bachelor of science in education with a major in middle grades. The program will begin admitting students Spring semester 2016 after approval by the Professional Standards Commission of Georgia.The new major in middle grades education will include options in all five areas of middle grades certification ‘“ language arts, math, reading, science and social science.’There’s a shortage of teachers in the immediate region served by Gordon which includes Lamar, Spalding, Henry, Butts, Fayette, Pike, Upson, Newton and Monroe counties,’ said Mike Mahan, dean of the School of Education. ‘Many middle grades teachers were trained as elementary teachers and are serving their career as middle grades teachers. With retirement and replacement, the state now mandates that middle grades teachers hold a clear and renewable middle grades teaching certificate. This new degree will help Gordon address those needs in the immediate region as well as state-wide.’The degree program will require 124 total credit hours including the 120 minimum needed for a bachelor’s degree plus four additional physical education hours required by Gordon.This brings to 10 the number of degrees offered by Gordon State College. Gordon currently offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education, math, biology, history with secondary teaching certification, English with secondary teaching certification, nursing, health services and informatics administration, human services, management and administration and, in process, the bachelor’s in education with a major in middle grades education.