Governor Names Mercer Administrator to Georgia Professional Standards Commission

November 19, 2009

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has named Dr. Penny L. Elkins, as a teacher education faculty representative on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the organization that oversees all teacher certification for the state, as well as the accreditation of all teacher education programs in the state. She will be one of only two such representatives on the board.

Dr. Elkins is senior associate vice president for Mercer’s Atlanta Campus and the Regional Academic Centers, where she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the campus and the centers. She also serves as associate dean and professor in the Tift College of Education and is the Fred L. Miles Chair of Educational Leadership. As associate dean, she is responsible for educational leadership programs, community partnership development and the grants administration for the college.

“Dr. Elkins’ appointment is a reflection of her contributions and commitment to the education profession in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Carl Martray, dean of the Tift College of Education. “She has long been a leader in the field of education at the university level and her commitment to schools, educators and children in public and private schools around this state is remarkable. This appointment is certainly reflective of Dr. Elkins’ efforts and impact on the professional education community and we in the Tift College of Education and Mercer University are proud Dr. Elkins has been named to such an important position on such a vital board.”

Dr. Elkins has 19 years of experience in leadership, curriculum design and development, educational leadership, program planning, teaching and program evaluation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Christianity and early childhood education and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Mercer, as well as an education specialist degree in education, administration and supervision from Georgia College and State University. Her Ph.D. is in educational leadership from Georgia State University. 
 
Dr. Elkins lives in Conyers with her husband, Jason Elkins.

About the Georgia Professional Standards Commission
In July of 1991, a legislative mandate was enacted which created the Professional Standards Commission as a separate government agency, removed from the Georgia Department of Education, with the central responsibility for establishing a certification/licensure process that is streamlined, understandable, and flexible in order to remove barriers and to attract qualified individuals to the education profession. The Commission’s major purposes are: to simplify and make more efficient the process of certifying educational personnel in Georgia; to attract the highest possible number of qualified personnel to become educators in Georgia; to promote the hiring of qualified educators from other states; and to improve the level of preparation of educators.

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 1,900 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 8,000 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 www.mercer.edu.
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