Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Teacher Education Program Requirements

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 teachereducation@usm.edu. 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:

Pre-service Teaching Licensure Requirements

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 3.000 on a 4.000 scale


Application for Pre-service Teaching License

  • Upon satisfying the requirements listed above, the student will receive instructions on how to complete the Application for the Pre-service Teacher License, which includes the student’s personal information, choice of licensure program, reference(s), and a review and acknowledgment of various licensure policies and guidelines.
  • Upon submission of the application, the Licensure Officer will verify that the student meets the requirements described above and, if so, the student will receive instructions for completing the reference request. 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 dispositions committee will review the reference response(s) and make a licensure recommendation. The program coordinator or committee chairperson will notify the Licensure Officer accordingly.
  • If the student is determined to be academically and dispositionally eligible, the Licensure Officer will notify the student and provide instructions for completing the Pre-service licensure process through the Mississippi Department of Education.
  • If, at any point during the process, the student is determined to be ineligible for the Pre-service Teacher License, the Licensure Officer will notify the student and provide instructions for resolving the matter, if applicable.


Educational Field Experience Requirements

The Office of Educational Field Experiences (EFE) is charged by the Professional Education Council of The University of Southern Mississippi with managing practica, residency and student teaching placements.

Student teaching or residency serves as the culminating experience of undergraduate teacher licensure programs providing students with opportunities to apply best 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 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.
  • 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 2.500 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 a request for Student Teaching placement by March 1 for fall term student teaching or by October 1 for spring term student teaching.
  • Submit a completed 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.


Graduation Requirements

To earn an undergraduate degree in a teacher 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.
  • Adhere to all testing criteria in effect on the date of licensure application


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.

**For additional procedural information, students are encouraged to review the student handbook for teacher licensure.