The Professional Education Council (PEC) of The University of Southern Mississippi ensures that professional education programs comply with the standards of the Council for the 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 university official responsible for the leadership and direction of 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. The school of the teaching major will communicate to its students any mandated changes in licensure requirements. For additional information about licensure requirements, contact the USM Licensure 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 and procedures:
All USM students who are in good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to teacher education if the following requirements are satisfied.
General Education Curriculum:
- Completion of the USM GEC 01-06 or its transfer equivalent,
- Earn a minimum grade of C in English Composition I and English Composition II, and
Satisfaction of one of the Mississippi Department of Education Candidate Admittance Requirements:
- A minimum ACT composite score of 21 (single test date) or equivalent SAT composite score (single test date)
- Qualifying scores on the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (CORE). Current CORE test codes and score requirements can be found at the ETS website (https://www.ets.org/),
- Completion of a minimum of 60 hours of college credit with a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
Application for Admission to Teacher Education
- Upon satisfying the academic requirements listed above, the student will receive instructions on how to complete the Application for Admission to Teacher Education, which includes the student's personal information, choice of licensure program, a list of references, and a review and acknowledgment of various policies and guidelines.
- Upon submission of the application, the USM Licensure Officer will verify that the student meets the academic requirements described above and, if so, the Licensure Officer will contact the applicant's references. References will be asked to rate applicants on their personal and professional attributes (aka dispositions).
- Based upon the organizational structure of each licensure program, the program coordinator and/or admission committee will review the reference response(s). Upon making an admission decision, the program coordinator or committee chairperson will notify the Licensure Officer accordingly.
- If the student is determined to be both academically and dispositionally eligible, the Licensure Officer will notify the student and will provide instructions for completing the admission process, which will include completing a background check, subscribing to Tk20, and applying for a Mississippi Department of Education Pre-Service License for Student Teachers.
- Once the student completes these steps, the Licensure Officer will complete the final steps of the admission process and will send the new admit advisement and registration instructions.
- If, at any point in the application process, the student is determined to be ineligible for admission, the Licensure Officer will notify the student and will provide instructions for resolving the matter, if applicable.
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 with managing practicum, internship, and teacher candidacy (aka student teaching) placements.
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:
- Satisfactory completion of all required course work, except for student teaching courses. During student teaching, students may not enroll in any additional course work. However, if, through no fault of the student, an exception is warranted, the student must submit a petition along with their Application for Student Teaching. The Director of Educational Field Experiences will review the request and make a final decision prior to the student enrolling in student teaching. Exceptions will not be granted for GPA or for most programmatic coursework. All requests must have the support of the program coordinator and/or advisor. Consult with your program coordinator/advisor before requesting an exception.
- 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.).
- Satisfy additional program-specific requirements, if any.
- Complete a minimum of 30 clock hours of clinical experience (15 hours of observation and 15 hours of practicum). Specific programs may require additional observation and/or practicum hours.
- 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 courses, courses marked as repeated, and unused courses are not included in this calculation.
- Submit an Application for Student Teaching by March 1 for fall term student teaching or by October 1 for spring term student teaching.
- Submit 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 earn an undergraduate degree in a teacher education licensure program, the student must meet the following requirements:
- 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 (PII) and Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) tests and report the scores to The University of Southern Mississippi (school code #1479). Official scores must be reported to Southern Miss prior to awarding of degree.
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.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
Teacher education programs at The University of Southern Mississippi are designed to meet the professional competency standards for licensure in Mississippi. The University of Southern Mississippi cannot determine whether any program leads to licensure in any state other than Mississippi. It is recommended that students who intend to seek licensure in another state 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 web page.
Students who intend to apply for licensure in Mississippi should refer to the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure (http://mdek12.org/OEL) for the most current licensure requirements, application procedures, and deadlines.