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Teaching and Leading FAQ

1. Document Submission

What are my options for submitting a licensure application and supporting documents?

Licensure Applications

Most licensure applications can be submitted online through your user account in the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) . After logging into your account, you will find an “Applications” tile/tab located on your homepage. Please follow all prompts for submitting your licensure request. Paper Licensure Application can be submitted to the address below via postal mail. If you are submitting a paper application, please collect all documents required in your license category to submit in one, single and complete packet for a timely review process. Submitting documents separately may delay the licensure review time. Applications received without supporting documents will be considered incomplete. The applicant will be sent a “requirements” letter identifying what documents are required, but not received in order to process the licensure request.

Supporting Documents

Electronic submission of certain supporting documents is available through your user account in the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS). Electronic submission of supporting documents excludes official transcripts and licensure test score reports. Transcripts must be submitted electronically directly from the institution and licensure test score reports directly from the appropriate testing company. All original documents to be used as part of the licensure application review process must be scanned, and then uploaded to your ELMS account as a Portable Document File (PDF). Uploaded images, screenshots, and photographs of documents will not be accepted.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts submitted via postal mail to the Division of Educator Licensure from all institutions must be submitted in a sealed envelope(s) bearing the seal or signature of the Registrar.  The official sealed transcript can be mailed to you and may be stamped “student issued.” However, do not open the sealed envelope. The official sealed transcript can also be mailed directly from the institution to the Division of Educator Licensure using the address provided below. The Division of Educator Licensure continues to accept electronic transcripts through Credentials eScripSafe and National Student Clearinghouse from those institutions that are members of either of the two companies and have the capability to submit electronic transcripts. Electronic submission is the fastest, most secure way to deliver your transcript to the Division of Educator Licensure.  For efficient document-to-applicant verification, please request that the institution include the following information as part of the official transcript, 1) your date of birth, 2) the last four digits of your social security number and 3) your first and last name as it appears in your ELMS account.

Please note: Transcripts uploaded in your ELMS account will not be accepted for licensure review.  Official sealed transcripts are required for licensure application processing.

Assessment Reports

Official test score results for all Praxis and Foundations of Reading test takers who test in the state of Mississippi are automatically reported to the MDE. To ensure successful retrieval of scores automatically reported to the MDE, please be sure to include your full and correct social security number. Should you choose to test out of state and plan to apply for a Mississippi educator license, please designate the MDE as a score recipient during the test registration process by using State Code 7599. If you do not request your scores be sent electronically to MDE, you can submit all pages of the original official score report via postal mail to the address provided below.

Please note: Test reports uploaded in your ELMS account will not be accepted.

Reminder:  Effective Monday, August 13, 2018, the Division of Educator Licensure no longer offers licensure application drop-off/walk-in service. Also, all documents submitted to the Division of Educator Licensure become the property of the Mississippi Department of Education and will not be returned to the applicant, unless otherwise stated, nor will the Department provide copies of the documents to the applicant or third parties. Only the following documents will be duplicated and returned to the applicant if submission is required: Original – Out-of-state license, Professional Association Card, Marriage License, Birth Certificate, and Licensure Test Score Report. It is the responsibility of the educator to obtain copies of documents prior to submission to the Office of Educator Licensure.

 

How will I know when the Division of Educator Licensure has received my document(s)?

The most up-to-date information related to receipt of your application and/or supporting documents may be obtained through the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) via your user account. Please refer to your “Credentials” page to verify if your online and/or paper application has been received by the Division of Educator Licensure. Receipt of supporting documents can be verified on your “Correspondence” page and/or “Click Here to Upload Documents to MDE” tile.

Is there an application fee?

Currently, there is no fee for educator licensure application review.

What documents must be submitted for my licensure request?

Documents required for Mississippi educator certification include but is not limited to the following: 

  • Licensure Application

Mississippi Licensure Guidelines require that all educators submit a completed licensure application (paper or online) for all licensure request.

  • Supporting documentation

Please review the Licensure Instructions and Checklist provided as part of the licensure application packet to identify a list of the required document(s) for the licensure request for which you are applying.

How do I retrieve a copy of my Mississippi educator license?

An official copy of your educator license can be viewed and printed in the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS). An individual may request a duplicate printed copy of the license by applying online and paying the required $5 fee using a debit or credit card or by submitting a completed paper licensure application and a $5 money order (Personal checks are not accepted) to the address provided below.

 

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING

DIVISION OF EDUCATOR LICENSURE, SUITE 101

359 NORTH WEST STREET

POST OFFICE BOX 771

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 39205-0771

 

2. Status Updates

How long does the licensure review process take?

Most licensure application requests are reviewed within ten (10) business days. Applications submitted during peak (graduation) season(s) may be subject to a longer review time. If you have recently submitted a complete licensure application packet, please allow approximately 10 business days from the date that the application packet and all supporting documents have been received for review and processing. If it has been less than 10 business days, please contact us with any inquiries after that time has expired. Please note that the review and research of some requests including, but not limited to reciprocity and supplemental endorsements by coursework, require longer than normal turnaround time.

After the licensure application review process is complete, you will receive an email notification of successful licensure issuance or a request for additional required information/documentation. You can also obtain real-time updates via your ELMS user account. If you have received a requirements letter, it indicates the need to submit additional document(s) required for certification, according to the current Guidelines for obtaining a Mississippi Educator Licensure. Please review and adhere to all requirements provided in the requirements letter and submit the supporting documentation to the Division for further review.

What is the status of my licensure application review?

All application statuses are placed in one of four categories: Open, Pending (further) Review, Closed, or Re-Opened. Each category is defined as follows:

Open: Application received, but not yet reviewed by a Licensure Specialist.

Pending (further) Review: Application received and reviewed by a Licensure Specialist. Further research is required.

Closed: Application received and reviewed by a Licensure Specialist. All closed requests result in an issuance of license or requirements letter requesting additional documentation.

Reopened: Application previously received and reviewed by Licensure Specialist. Additional documentation was received from you by request of your Licensure Specialist via a requirements letter, which was sent to you by email, postal mail and/or accessed via your ELMS account.

3. Routes to Certification

What is a nontraditional (alternate route) educator preparation program?

A nontraditional (alternate route) program is designated for prospective educators who holds a non-education bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university. Currently there are four pathways for obtaining licensure through a nontraditional educator preparation program. Current programs are as follows:

Are nontraditional programs completed through an out-of-state institution accepted for certification in Mississippi?

Only nontraditional programs located in the state of Mississippi are approved and accepted for educator licensure. If you have completed a nontraditional program in another state, you must obtain an educator license/certificate in the state which governs the institution administering the selected nontraditional program. If you obtain a standard license/certificate in a state outside of Mississippi, you may apply for consideration for licensure in accordance with Mississippi’s reciprocity requirements in effect at the time your complete application is received.

Which alternate route program is the best option for me?

The nontraditional pathway selected is at the discretion of the prospective candidate. Many candidates choose a program based on the following criteria:

  • geographical location of the program
  • subject areas offered
  • cost and time commitment
  • internship requirements
  • grade level
  • your personal academic skills and professional background

What is required for enrollment in a nontraditional program?

Nontraditional program entrance requirements include all of the following:

  • Bachelor's degree (non-education) from a regionally/nationally accredited institution
  • Twenty-one (21) ACT equivalent or achieve the nationally recommended passing score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators examination;

    and No less than 2.75 GPA on content coursework in the requested area of certification or passing Praxis Subject Assessment at or above the national recommended score provided that the accepted cohort of candidates of the institution’s teacher education program meets or exceeds a 3.0 GPA on pre-major coursework.
  • Praxis II (Specialty Area Test)
  • *Foundations of Reading Assessment (applicable to Elementary Education (4-6) only)
  • * ABCTE Passport to Teaching exam and Assessments in subject area and pedagogy (applicable to ABCTE program completers only)
     

I hold a valid educator license/certificate from another state. Will my educator license/certificate reciprocal in the state of Mississippi?

A Mississippi license/certificate is granted via Reciprocity to applicants who possess a valid standard license from another state in an area in which Mississippi issues an endorsement and meets Mississippi’s minimum licensure requirements or equivalent.

Any applicant who possesses a valid license, which is less than standard from another state or does not meet Mississippi minimum requirements, may apply for a two-year educator license through reciprocity. The two-year educator license granted through reciprocity is non-renewable and only issued at the Class A level.  To convert this provisional license to a five-year standard renewable license, the applicant shall meet all current requirements of a Mississippi State Board of Education approved pathway to educator licensure. Please refer to the Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12.

I was not required to take a licensure assessment to obtain initial certification in the state from which I hold a valid license/certificate. What are my options for reciprocity in the state of Mississippi?

Any applicant who possesses a valid license from another state, which is less than standard or does not meet Mississippi’s minimum requirements, may apply for a two-year educator license through reciprocity. The two-year educator license granted through reciprocity is non-renewable and only issued at the Class A level.  To convert this provisional license to a five-year standard renewable license, the applicant shall meet all current Mississippi Praxis Subject assessment requirement(s). Please refer to the Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12.

What is a traditional educator preparation program?

A traditional educator preparation program is a licensure-track degree granting program at a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning which prepares candidates to enter a specific area of education and includes student teaching (e.g., mathematics education, special education, science education, etc.).

4. Local District Requests

Am I eligible for a Special Non-Renewable educator license in the state of Mississippi?

The Mississippi Department of Education may grant a Special, Non-renewable License to a candidate who has not met all certification requirements under the Miss. Code Ann. § 37-3-2(6)(a), (b), and (c), at the time the application is submitted to the Office of Educator Licensure. This is a one-year license that can only be requested by an employing local school district or an eligible nonpublic school in the state of Mississippi for up to three (3) years. This license is issued at the Class A level. This provisional licensure option provides local school district officials with the ability to employ candidates who possess the potential to earn full educator certification while temporarily addressing the ongoing teacher shortage. Eligibility is based on certain criteria outlined in the Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12 based on application year. Please visit the “Local District Request” section of the Mississippi Department of Education’s website at https://www.mdek12.org/OTL/OEL/licensureapplication to obtain access to specific requirements for each Special Non-Renewable license type.

What is an Expert Citizen License? Am I eligible?

The Mississippi Department of Education may grant an Expert Citizen License to local business or other professional personnel in order to allow a school district to offer specialized or technical courses. This is a one-year license that can only be requested by an employing local school district or an eligible nonpublic school in the state of Mississippi. This license is issued at the Class A level. Please contact your local school district for consideration of the Expert Citizen license.

Can I request a class upgrade and/or additional endorsements to my Special Non-Renewable license?

All Special Non-Renewable licenses are issued at the Class A (Bachelor’s Degree) level for only one (1) area of endorsement per school year.

5. Certification Assessments

How do I register for a Mississippi required Praxis assessment? How do I register for the Foundations of Reading assessment?

Test preparation materials, test registration and additional information regarding current Mississippi State Board of Education approved Praxis assessments are available at: https://www.ets.org/praxis/ms/requirements . Test preparation materials, test registration and additional information regarding the Mississippi Foundations of Reading assessment is available at: http://www.ms.nesinc.com/ .

Also, the most up-to-date information regarding discontinued tests and/or adjusted score policy is provided in the Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12. If the discontinued assessment in question is not listed in that section or the acceptance date has expired, you must meet requirements in effect on the day that your complete application is received in the Division of Educator Licensure.  Current requirements may be access via the following web link: https://www.ets.org/praxis/ms/requirements .

How do I request a copy of my Praxis or National Teacher’s Exam (NTE) scores?

To request documentation of test scores that are no longer available for request through the testing company, you may complete a Test Score Report form and upload it to your ELMS portal, or submit  via postal mail to:

Mississippi Department of Education

Division of Educator Licensure

P. O. Box 771

Jackson, MS 39205

 

If your Praxis scores are less than 10 years old, please contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at 1-800-772-9476.

6. Renewal/Reinstatement

How do I renew my license?

A Mississippi Educator license can be renewed with coursework, CEU’s, SEMI’s, or Completion of the National Board process achieved within the renewal cycle of the educator’s license.

• Class A: 10 CEU’s, 6 hours of coursework, 5 CEU’s and 3 hours of coursework, or Completion of the National Board process

• Class AA - AAAA: 5 CEU’s, 3 hours of coursework, or Completion of the National Board process

• Career Level Administrator:  70 SEMI’s, 6 hours of coursework, 35 SEMI’s and 3 hours of coursework, Completion of a specialist or doctoral degree in educational administration/leadership, or Completion of the National Board process

How do I reinstate my license?

A Mississippi Educator license can be reinstated with the following:

•Coursework (6 hours for Class A - Class AAAA) within the last five years from the time the application is submitted for reinstatement

•A valid, out-of-state license

•Submission of retirement verification letter from PERS (for retired educators)

If an educator wants to use CEU’s to reinstate a license, he or she will first need to apply for a one-year reinstatement.  When applying to reinstate the license back to a standard with CEU’s, the educator will need to apply for a four-year reinstatement.

I am a retired educator. What is the process for keeping my license current?

Retired educators receiving benefits through the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) do not have to complete CEU credits or college credits. This benefit is only applicable with an expired license. All licenses expire June 30th. On July 1st of the expiration year of your license, contact Mississippi Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) http://www.pers.ms.gov/Pages/Home.aspx  and request a confirmation of retirement letter. The confirmation letter can be uploaded in the Educator Licensure Management 2.0 account on your “Correspondence” page.  You will also need to submit an online application requesting the reinstatement of your expired licensure.

Who do I contact for questions regarding Orientation to School Leaders (OSL) or School Executive Management Institute (SEMI) credits?

Please contact a member of our team at 601-359-3631 for questions related to OSLs and SEMIs.

List of Approved SEMI and OSL Agencies

7. Other

How do I upgrade my license to a different class?

You can apply to upgrade a standard five-year license by submitting an online application through your Mississippi Educator Licensure Management System 2.0 (ELMS 2.0) account and an official transcript verifying the awarded degree. Official transcripts submitted via postal mail to the Division of Educator Licensure from all institutions must be submitted in a sealed envelope(s) bearing the seal or signature of the Registrar.  The official sealed transcript can be mailed to you and may be stamped “student issued.” However, do not open the sealed envelope. The official sealed transcript can also be mailed directly from the institution to the Division of Educator Licensure using the address provided below. The Division of Educator Licensure continues to accept electronic transcripts through Credentials eScripSafe and National Student Clearinghouse from those institutions that are members of either of the two companies and have the capability to submit electronic transcripts. Electronic submission is the fastest, most secure way to deliver your transcript to the Division of Educator Licensure. 

For efficient document-to-applicant verification, please request that the institution include the following information as part of the official transcript, 1) your date of birth, 2) the last four digits of your social security number or educator ID number and 3) your first and last name as it appears in your ELMS account.

Please note: Transcripts uploaded in your ELMS account will not be accepted for licensure review.  Official sealed transcripts are required for licensure application processing.

What are the options for adding additional subject areas (supplemental endorsements) to my Mississippi educator license?

Supplemental endorsement areas of certification may be added to a three-year nontraditional or five-year standard teaching license. Information regarding supplemental endorsements is located in the Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12.  Supplement endorsement may be added by successful completion of one of the following methods:

  • by approved course, module or workshop for the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessment in specific areas
  • by completion of an approved program in specific areas
    (Institutional Program Verification required)
  • by obtaining the Mississippi's current qualifying score
  • by 18 hours of coursework in specific areas*

*Review college transcripts to determine if it shows the required number of hours (undergraduate or graduate) of pure content subject courses with a grade of “C” or higher.  

I received an email stating that my license has been issued, but I have not received it in the mail yet. When should I expect the license in the mail?

The Division of Educator Licensure no longer sends licenses to educators via postal mail. You may now access the original license online using the following steps:

  • Go to the Division of Educator Licensure's homepage
  • Scroll down to Educator Licensure Resources
  • Click Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS)
  • Go to the Click Here to Access the License Look-up box and Click License Look-up
  • Type in your Social Security Number (SSN) only with no spaces or dashes
  • Click Search Educators
  • Click View Virtual License beside your name