The Professional Education Council (PEC) of The University of Southern Mississippi ensures that professional education programs comply with the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), other professional accrediting agencies, and the Mississippi Department of Education. The Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences is the designated university official charged with the responsibility for and authority to provide direction and leadership to the PEC.
The Mississippi Department of Education establishes and maintains state licensure requirements, policies, and procedures, which supersede program-specific requirements listed in the Bulletin. Mandated changes in licensure requirements are communicated through the school of the teaching major. For more information about licensure requirements, contact the Certification Officer at (601) 266-5522. Please note that, in addition to the requirements listed herein, some teacher education licensure programs have additional grade point average, letter grade, and/or degree progression requirements that must also be met; consult with a program advisor for details.
All undergraduate teacher education licensure programs adhere to the following requirements:
Upon completion of the following requirements, the student will be issued a pre-service license and will be granted admission to the teacher education licensure program:
- Successful completion of a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment or a teacher education normed entrance test:
1. A minimum ACT composite score of 21 or a minimum SAT composite score of 1060.
2. Passing scores on the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (CORE). Current test codes and
minimum score requirements can be found at the ETS website
- Have a minimum grade of C in English Composition I and II,
- Have a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.75 on the 44 semester-hour core curriculum of pre-major coursework,
- Subscribe to the Tk20 by Watermark Assessment System, an electronic portfolio and data storage system, and
- Pass a criminal background check via CastleBranch. For additional information and instructions for ordering a background check, visit Background Check Policy.
Once a student passes the criminal background check and/or is admitted to a teacher education licensure program, continuous enrollment is recommended. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment (fall and spring semesters) must seek readmission to the university and readmission to teacher education. Readmission to teacher education may require the student to meet additional academic requirements and/or to pass a subsequent criminal background check.
Students on academic probation, probation continued, or suspension are not eligible for admission to a teacher education licensure program.
Educational Field Experience Requirements
The Educational Field Experiences Office (EFE), within the School of Education, is charged by the Professional Education Council of The University of Southern Mississippi to manage field placements and teacher candidacy (i.e., clinical field placements and student teaching).
Teacher candidacy serves as the culminating experience of undergraduate teacher education licensure programs. It provides students with the opportunity to apply best professional practices in diverse kindergarten-12th grade environments. University faculty collaborate with school-based faculty to facilitate mentor-mentee relationships that positively influence pre-service teacher comprehension and professional development.
To be eligible for student teacher placement, the student must meet the following requirements:
- Must hold a pre-service license (see Admission Requirements above).
- Satisfactory completion of all required course work, except student teaching. During student teaching, students may not enroll in any additional course work. The office of the dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences must pre-approve any exceptions to this policy. Exceptions will not be granted for GPA or pre-service licensure requirements.
- Earn a minimum grade of C in each required course of the Program Curriculum (DEG 01. Major Area of Study Requirements; DEG 02. Additional Requirements; DEG 03. Teacher Licensure Requirements; etc.).
- Have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 on best attempts of total hours applied towards degree, which includes all General Education Curriculum and Program Curriculum courses as detailed on the student's Degree Progress Report. Remedial, repeated, and unused courses are not included in this calculation.
- Satisfy any additional program-specific requirements.
- Complete a minimum of 30 clock hours of clinical experience (15 hours of observation and 15 hours of practicum). Specific programs may require additional practicum hours.
- Register intent to complete student teaching via Tk20 by Watermark Assessment System by October 1 for spring term student teaching or by March 1 for fall term student teaching.
- Complete a graduation application prior to registering for student teaching courses.
- Agree to spend a full semester (minimum of 12 weeks/60 working days) in an accredited K-12 school arranged by the Educational Field Experiences Office.
- Attend Professional Development Seminars scheduled by the Educational Field Experiences Office prior to and during the semester of student teaching.
To graduate in an undergraduate teacher education licensure program, the student must meet the following requirements:
- Must successfully complete a minimum of 12 weeks (60 working days) full-day student teaching experience.
- Earn a minimum grade of C in each student teaching experience.
- Take the Praxis II Subject Assessment and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) tests. Students must report the scores to The University of Southern Mississippi (school code #1479) prior to awarding of degree.
Teacher education programs at The University of Southern Mississippi meet the professional competency standards for licensure in Mississippi. Students who intend to seek licensure in another state should verify that their program of study meets the desired state's licensure requirements. For assistance with out-of-state licensure questions, please refer to the Professional Licensure Disclosures webpage.