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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 completed and uploaded in your ELMS account. If completing a paper application, complete and upload the Licensure Application (pp. 2-3) with all other required documents as a complete packet to the correspondence page of your ELMS account. A complete packet includes an Application, plus all documents listed under your licensure category from the Licensure checklist. Applications that are uploaded without supporting documents will be considered incomplete, and the educator will be sent a “requirements” letter via email, stating which documents are needed to further 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 Format (PDF) file, captured using the camera on your cellular device, or by utilizing free software applications available for download that are compatible with most smartphone models.  When capturing a photograph of the document to be submitted, please be sure to remove any content and/or extra spacing that is not part of the document. This should be done prior to document upload to not obstruct access to information pertinent to reviewing and processing your licensure request.

 

Official Transcripts

All transcripts from all institutions must be submitted directly by the university or college electronically in a secure electronic format via National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, or any other transcript exchange service provider. Electronic transcripts may be transmitted by the university or college to transcript@mdek12.org. This email address is used for the purpose of submitting official transcripts only. Transcripts sent to this email address or uploaded to the ELMS correspondence queue by the applicant are not considered official for licensure purposes.

The Division of Educator Licensure continues to accept electronic transcripts through official transcript services from those institutions that 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. Electronic transcripts can be submitted from the college/university or official transcript service using the following email address: transcript@mdek12.org

Please note: Transcripts uploaded in your ELMS account will not be accepted for licensure review.  Transcripts sent to the email address above from anyone other than an official transcript service or the college/university registrar's office are not official. 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.

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 Application Checklist (https://www.mdek12.org/OEL/Forms) to identify a list of the required document(s) for the licensure category 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).

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. To help us in our efforts to process your application more efficiently, we ask that you please allow at least three to five weeks of processing time before contacting the Division of Educator Licensure to inquire about the status. You may also continue to visit your ELMS account to review the status. Please be mindful that reciprocity and supplemental endorsements by coursework requests, 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, Closed, or Re-Opened. Each category is defined as follows:

Open: Application received, but not yet reviewed by a licensure specialist. 

Pending: Application received and reviewed by a licensure specialist. It was determined that additional documentation is required for further review. Please refer to the requirements letters submitted to you by email or view the letter on the “Correspondence” page of your ELMS account. See the comment section of the pending application(s) on the “Credentials” page of your ELMS account for updates. 

Closed: Application received and reviewed by a licensure specialist. Closed requests should result in an issuance of license. If your licensure application is more than 180 days old, your application will be closed with no further action taken by the MDE. Should you desire, you may submit a new licensure application for review. 

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. Your application is open for further review.

3. Routes to Certification

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?

The department shall grant a standard five-year license to any individual who possesses a valid standard license from another state within a period of twenty-one (21) days from the date of a completed application. The issuance of a license by reciprocity to a military trained applicant, military spouse or person who establishes residence in this state shall be subject to the provisions of Section 73-50-1 394 or 73-50-2, as applicable.

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.).

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 three pathways for obtaining licensure through a nontraditional educator preparation program. Current programs are as follows:

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.

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.

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.

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/overview. Test preparation materials, test registration and additional information regarding the Mississippi Foundations of Reading assessment is available at: https://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.

6. Renewal/Reinstatement

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

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

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. The Division of Educator Licensure continues to accept electronic transcripts through official transcript services from those institutions that 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. Electronic transcripts can be submitted from the college/university or official transcript service using the following email address: transcript@mdek12.org

Please note: Transcripts uploaded in your ELMS account will not be accepted for licensure review.  Transcripts sent to the email address above from anyone other than an official transcript service or the college/university registrar's office are not official. 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?

  • Go to the Division of Educator Licensure's homepage
  • Scroll down to the Go to my ELMS account icon
  • Click Go to my ELMS account
  • 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