Aug 08, 2020  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Education and Psychology

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Ann P. Blackwell, Dean
Diane J. Fisher, Associate Dean

W. Jeff Hinton , Associate Dean
730 East Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, MS 39560

The University of Southern Mississippi, through its College of Education and Psychology, holds membership in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities and the Southern Regional Consortium of Colleges of Education. The Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educators (CAEP), 1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036; 202.223.0077. This accreditation covers all initial and advanced educator preparation programs at Southern Miss. To request a copy of this report, contact the dean's office, College of Education and Psychology, Box #5023, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001; 601.266.4568. For details of graduate teacher education programs, consult the Graduate Bulletin. To prepare for a career in secondary education (grades 7-12), a student must matriculate in the college and department of the teaching major and also successfully complete the education curriculum courses for secondary licensure.


The College of Education and Psychology prepares and develops educators, researchers, mental health professionals, and information specialists while generating and disseminating knowledge that connects and advances individuals, communities, and society.

Students develop knowledge and skills through exposure to exemplary teaching, research and professional service. The College contributes to the mission of the university through all aspects of scholarship that promote academic success; enhance the image of the College; foster community relationships and involvement; and create healthy minds, bodies and campuses.

College of Education and Psychology Gulf Coast Programs

Department of Child and Family Studies

Go to information for this department.


Bachelor of Science


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education

Go to information for this department.


Bachelor of Science

Department of Psychology

Go to information for this department.


Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science


CAEP Accreditation (formerly NCATE)

Professional education programs are nationally accredited through CAEP and their appropriate specialized professional association accreditation bodies. All professional education programs within the University undergo periodic review to ensure appropriate national and state standards are being met and student outcomes are appropriate. Each professional education program adheres to a conceptual framework developed to ensure all educational leaders graduating from Southern Miss possess the knowledge, skills, dispositions and diversity outcomes developed by the faculty and community. These shared values provide a vision from which all University education programs can impact collaborative efforts with local school partners and the community as a whole.

Conceptual Framework

The Professional Education Unit's Conceptual Framework is consistent with the University's historical roots as a normal college, its mission and its future. The University, since our founding in 1910, has been committed to the exemplary preparation of teachers, counselors, administrators and other school personnel. In accordance with this history and the present vision and mission of the University, the Unit is committed to improving the educational attainment of the citizens of Mississippi, and in turn, the economic development of our state. Therefore, the mission of the unit is five-fold: a) prepare high-quality teachers and leaders for our state; b) conduct innovative, relevant research that informs decision-making in education; c) establish strong relationships with local school districts and the Mississippi Department of Education to improve education in our state; d) promote a healthier populace and e) enhance cultural understanding among our citizens.

The Unit contributes to the mission of the University through all aspects of scholarship that promote a climate for academic success; that enhance the image of the University and its professional education programs; and that foster connections with P-12 partners and external agencies.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the College of Education and Psychology does not constitute admission to a teacher education program or to a non-teaching major program. Program planning and proper advisement must be completed to gain admission to both teacher education programs and non-teaching programs. Regular status in the College of Education and Psychology is maintained by meeting the quality point requirements for hours completed as designated by the general University requirement and evaluated by the Office of Admissions.

Teacher Education Programs and Requirements

The College of Education and Psychology offers programs leading to licensure at the K-6, K-12 or secondary level. Before applying for admission to a professional education program, the following requirements must be met:

  • 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
  • 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 Castle Branch at, the system currently selected by the Southern Miss Professional Education Council. Students who pass the background check process will be issued a background check badge.
  • All candidates must subscribe to the Tk20 assessment system. Tk20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes data for accreditation purposes.
    • Successful completion of a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment OR a teacher education normed entrance test:
    • Nationally Normed Ability/Achievement Assessment:
      An ACT composite score of 21 or higher. If the student did not take the ACT, an equivalent SAT score of 1060 or above satisfies requirements as well.
    • 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.

After admission to a professional education program, the following requirements must be met to continue in the program: (1) A grade of C or better in all content courses in the academic major as well as all professional education courses with an overall grade point average of 2.5; (2) fulfillment of major requirements in the subject area; (3) completion of professional education courses required by the major; (4) take Praxis II content and PLT tests and have scores reported to Southern Miss (code #1479) prior to graduation.

A minimum of 30 clock hours of clinical experience is required prior to teacher candidacy (15 hours of observation and 15 hours of practicum). Specific programs may require more practicum hours.

Requirements for professional education programs are subject to modification. For current program information, students should contact the University's Educator Licensure office, 121-A Owings-McQuagge Hall; 601.266.5522.

Mississippi Department of Education licensure requirements supersede the program requirements listed in the Bulletin. Mandated changes in program requirements will be communicated through the candidate's department.

College of Education and Psychology Overload Hour Policy

For an undergraduate student to request a course overload, he/she must adhere to the following:

  1. The student must have a 3.25 GPA on all hours at Southern Miss (minimum of 24 hours).
  2. The student must provide a compelling reason for the overload.
  3. The overload request must be approved by both the student's adviser and chair before it will be considered in the dean's office.

Services and Centers

Centers for Child Development (CCD)

Hattiesburg CCD
Stephanie Haney, Program Director
118 College Drive, Box 10012
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Gulf Park CCD
Melissa Weaver, Program Director
205 Levoy Avenue
Pass Christian, MS 39571

The Department of Child and Family Studies operates two full-day laboratory schools on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses. The Hattiesburg CCD is located at 3404 Morningside Drive (on the northeast edge of USM's Hattiesburg campus). The Gulf Park CCD is located at 205 Levoy Avenue in Pass Christian (on the campus of Pass Christian Elementary). The primary purpose of the University of Southern Mississippi Centers for Child Development is to provide high quality educational and care services to children 8 weeks to 5 years old and serve as an academic teaching and research facility for students and faculty across the university.

The Centers are dedicated to providing an environment that enhances the quality of life not only for the children enrolled, but for their families, the USM community participants, and other observers, as well. Enrollment of children regardless of race, ethnicity, or special needs addresses the practice of unconditional acceptance embraced by the Center as it provides loving care for the whole child. The CCDs operate on the university calendar, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Application can be made by contacting the CCD at 601.266.5294 (Hattiesburg) or 228.452.5210 (Gulf Coast).

Special Program Requirements

All students in Child and Family Studies must pass a Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) background check that includes a criminal history records check (fingerprint), child abuse registry check, and a sex offender registry check.

Educational Field Experiences (EFE)

Anne Sylvest, Director
118 College Drive, Box 5028
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
601.266.4571/ 601.266.4572


The Educational Field Experiences (EFE) office has been directed by the Professional Education Council of The University of Southern Mississippi to act as the central clearinghouse for the teacher candidacy and teacher internship (formerly known as student teaching) placements. Although specific requirements vary from department to department, education students are required to complete a minimum of 15 clock hours of observation and 15 clock hours of practicum prior to teacher internship.

Teacher internship serves as the capstone semester of the teacher education program. This semester provides all teacher education students the opportunity to apply best professional practices in two separate and diverse experiences in state-accredited P-12 schools or designated international and national sites of diverse placement.

All field experiences are completed in accredited, off-campus host schools designated by EFE directors. Guidance and evaluation are provided by cooperating host school mentors and supervisory faculty members from Southern Miss.

THE TEACHER INTERNSHIP SEMESTER: Registration for the final semester of field work is restricted to 12 semester hours of teacher internship. It is a Southern Miss policy that no other course work be taken during the teacher internship and that all course work be completed before the final semester of field work.

Requirements for Teacher Internship

All teacher interns:

  1. Must have been admitted to the teacher education program and completed the teacher education curriculum.
  2. Must have at least 2.5 degree program GPA at the time that the teacher internship semester begins.
  3. Must have completed all course work: the core subject, education courses, major and minor areas, concentrations of study, labs and field work.
  4. Must expect to spend a full semester in off-campus schools designated by the director of Educational Field Experiences. NOTE: Transportation and child care issues are the responsibility of the candidate and should be handled as if the individual has accepted a position with the schools.
  5. Must attend a preliminary instructional meeting provided by EFE prior to registering for internship on Tk20. All internship registration forms are submitted to Educational Field Experiences at the beginning of the semester prior to the teacher internship for timely placement in area schools. Registration deadlines on Tk20 are October 15, for spring internship and February 15, for the following fall semester, respectively.

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