Mary Ariail, Chair
118 College Drive, Box 5057
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
M.E. Askew, J. Beedle, A. Classen, H. Filce, D. Fisher, T. Hartsell, J. Hines, T. Hodges, J. Howell, R. Jones, A. Lowrey, H. Morgan, J. Osborne, S. Reeves, S. Rouse, G. Smith, K. Stricklin, A. Sylvest, B. Tingle, K. Tonore, Kim Walker, Kevin Walker, S. Wang, M. Willis
Serving as the coordinating agency within the university for the preparation and development of elementary and special education teachers, the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education (CISE) provides undergraduate course work for preservice teachers. A description of the undergraduate programs in elementary education, special education and instructional technology follows. For secondary education, consult the college and department of the teaching major.
Students desiring entry into the teacher education program must successfully complete the admissions requirements according to guidelines established by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. See the Teacher Education Programs and Requirements section in this Bulletin for a complete description of the teacher education admissions requirements. Please consult the Graduate Bulletin for the description of programs leading to master's, specialist's and doctoral degrees.
Students wishing to major in teacher education should follow the program references below.
Admission to Elementary Education, Special Education or Dual-Licensure Teacher Education Programs
Students desiring to major in elementary education (K-6) or special education (K-12) must meet the following requirements before being admitted to the program.
- Completion of a core curriculum of pre-major coursework
- A minimum grade point average of 2.75 on the 44 semester-hour core curriculum of pre-major coursework
- A grade of "C" or better in freshman English Composition I and II and College Algebra
- Good academic standing at Southern Miss (a student on probation, probation continued, or suspension staus cannot be admitted to teacher education until the transcript reflects good academic standing)
- A clear background check via www.mycb.castlebranch.com
- Successful completion of a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment OR a teacher education normed entrance test:
1. Nationally Normed Ability/Achievement Assessment:
An ACT composite score of 21 or higher
2. Teacher Education Normed Test
Acceptable scores on the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (CORE): Reading Test Code
5712 with a score of at least 156, Writing Test Code 5722 with a score of at least 162,
and Mathematics Test Code 5732 with a score of at least 150.
* While a student must only have a 2.75 GPA for admissions, the cohort of students accepted at the time of a student's admission must have at least a 3.00 GPA average as a whole. Thus, an individual student could be denied admission should his/her individual GPA bring down his/her cohort of students' GPA average to less than a 3.00. Furthermore, the cohort's average performance on a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment such as the ACT must be in the top 50% from the 2016-2017 distribution; the top 40% from the 2018-2019 distribution; and the top 33% by the 2020 distribution. For the purpose of the policy, a cohort refers to all students accepted during a particular term of enrollment (i.e.: Fall, Spring, Summer).
Except for the background check that allows an extension into the first week of the second semester of Gold Card classes, all requirements must be met prior to enrollment in restricted teacher education courses.
Any student with a question about these requirements should be directed to the College of Education and Psychology Dean.
Students will not be admitted to the elementary or special education programs while on probation, probation continued or while suspended. For a more detailed explanation of the above requirements, see the Teacher Education Programs and Requirements section in this Bulletin. Students should see their assigned adviser or the undergraduate program assistants for the CISE department (Ms. Katherine Connell, Hattiesburg; Ms. Paige Cannon, Gulf Coast.)
Students pursuing an undergraduate degree with a major in elementary education will attain an elementary teacher's license (certification for grades kindergarten through six) and an endorsement in one content area and a supplemental reading endorsement. Areas of endorsement include 21 hours in one of the following areas:
For specifics concerning these endorsements, students should consult their individual adviser or the department's program assistants: Ms. Katherine Connell, Hattiesburg; Ms. Paige Cannon, Gulf Coast.
Elementary Education and Special Education Licensure (Dual-Licensure)
Students pursuing an undergraduate degree with a major in elementary education will attain an elementary teacher's license (kindergarten through grade six) and a special education teacher's license (mild-moderate disabilities K-12), as well as a remedial reading endorsement (K-12). This program focuses on preparing teachers for meeting the needs of exceptional students in the general education curriculum and classroom.
K-6 Endorsements for Elementary Majors
K-6 elementary education majors are required to complete a minimum of one highly qualified area beyond the required course work. These courses are called endorsement courses. K-6 elementary education majors requiring one highly qualified area beyond the required course work are encouraged to carefully consider options, discussing them with an adviser. A supplemental reading endorsement is built into the program.
Please note that the university awards your degree while the Mississippi Department of Education awards your licenses and endorsements. To be eligible for licenses and endorsements, you must complete the applicable course work and, often, be recommended by the university for the license or endorsement. Licenses are most often granted by completing an "approved program" such as elementary education, special education, etc. Supplemental endorsements may only be added to licenses; that is, you must have an original license and then add this onto it.
The University of Southern Mississippi prepares individuals to teach in several areas of exceptionality. At the undergraduate level, the degree program leads to licensure in mild/moderate disabilities (K-12) in the state of Mississippi. The special education undergraduate program requires preparation in mild/moderate disabilities. Special education majors are strongly encouraged to select electives that lead to supplemental endorsement in areas which will enable them to meet Mississippi's requirements for highly qualified teachers. All special education majors should seek advice from a special education adviser in order to select electives which will help them meet their teaching goals. Other programmatic information can be obtained from the undergraduate program assistants in the CISE Department: Ms. Katherine Connell, Hattiesburg; Ms. Paige Cannon, Gulf Coast.
Secondary Teacher Education Programs
(Grades 7-12 Traditional Licensure)
Students seeking an undergraduate degree with licensure to teach at the secondary school level (grades 7-12) must consult advisers in the college and department of the selected teaching field. Academic majors that provide for licensure in the various teaching fields, grades 7-12 are
||Instructional Technology (Business Technology Education)
(K-12 Traditional Licensure)
Students pursuing undergraduate degrees with special subject area teacher licensure (grades K-12) must complete the prescribed general education in requirements of the appropriate school or college and the education curriculum.
General Education Requirements
All students seeking undergraduate special area teacher licensure must complete the general education requirements of the College of Education and Psychology. A student receiving an undergraduate degree from a school or college other than the College of Education and Psychology must also satisfy the general education requirements of that school or college and the teacher education curriculum.
Students may not enroll for any of the professional teacher education curriculum courses until they have met all requirements and have been admitted to the teacher education program through the College of Education and Psychology dean's office.
Alternative Route Teacher Education Program
(Secondary Alternate Route Licensure)
JumpStart Pathway is an option for a current University of Southern Mississippi undergraduate student to begin an alternate route teaching certificate while completing an undergraduate degree. A junior or senior may apply to enter as a non-degree graduate student and take one teacher education course each semester while completing his/her bachelor's degree. For admission, students are expected to:
- Have a 2.75 GPA on all pre-major coursework based on 44-hour core
- Pass the Praxis CORE or ACT (at 21+ composite with no scale score below 18, all on the same test date)
- 1 Letter of Recommendation from faculty or administration mailed to Dr. Jay Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit to a background check
Schedule an in-person or video conference advisement appointment with Dr. Howell. During this meeting, you will discuss the following:
- Non-degree enrollment form requirements through the Graduate School
- Plans and timeline for taking and passing Praxis II in an approved subject area
- Plans and timeline for completing undergraduate degree
- TMI or MAT admission and application process following completion of the undergraduate degree
- TMI or MAT plan of study for completion after the undergraduate degree
The JumpStart program leads to Mississippi secondary licensure in the following areas:
- Business Education
- English Language and Literature
- Health Education
- Home Economics
- Library Media Specialist
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
ProgramsBachelor of Science