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2021 COVID-related Licensure FAQ

1. Traditional Program Completers

How does the COVID-19 related admission and licensure test suspension affect traditional program completers that entered and/or completed a Mississippi State Board of Education approved traditional educator preparation pathway under these provisions?

  • Candidates unconditionally admitted to a Mississippi State Board of Education approved traditional educator preparation program under the COVID-19 test suspension on or before December 31, 2021 and have successfully completed the student teaching and all other educator program requirements on or before December 31, 2021 for the purpose of obtaining the five-year standard license, may be granted the license without being subject to meeting the admission test and licensure test requirements, if the complete application (all required documents) for the five-year standard license is received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before July 31, 2022.
  • Candidates unconditionally admitted to a Mississippi State Board of Education approved traditional educator preparation program under the COVID-19 test suspension on or before December 31, 2021 and have not successfully completed the student teaching and all other educator program requirements on or before December 31, 2021 for the purpose of obtaining the five-year standard license, may be granted the license without being subject to meeting the admission test and licensure test requirements, if the complete application (all required documents) for the five-year standard license is received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before December 31, 2023.

2. Nontraditional Program Completers

How does the COVID-19 related test suspensions affect nontraditional candidates seeking to obtain a three-year or five-year standard license if they entered and completed a MBE approved nontraditional educator preparation pathway under these provisions?

OBTAINING THREE-YEAR INTERNSHIP LICENSE

  • Candidates unconditionally admitted to a Mississippi State Board of Education approved nontraditional educator preparation program under the COVID-19 test suspension on or before December 31, 2021 and have or have not successfully completed the pre-teaching coursework/training requirement on or before December 31, 2021 for the purpose of obtaining the three-year internship license, may be granted the license without being subject to meeting the admission test and licensure test requirements, if the complete application (all required documents) for the three-year internship license is received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before July 31, 2022.

    (Note: Candidates must successfully complete the pre-teaching coursework/training and all other program requirements on or before May 31, 2022, to receive the three-year internship license without being subject to meeting the admission and licensure test requirements.)

CONVERTING THREE-YEAR INTERNSHIP LICENSE TO FIVE-YEAR STANDARD LICENSE

  • The three-year internship license holder shall meet all other requirements of the alternate route program during the validity of three-year internship license to convert that license to the five-year standard license without being subject to meeting the admission test and licensure test requirements. The complete application (all required documents) for converting the three-year internship license to the five-year standard license must be received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before the expiration date noted on the license. Should the three-year internship license expire, or the license holder withdraws or is dismissed from the program, the individual shall meet all requirements in effect on the date the complete application is received for consideration for re-admission to a Mississippi State Board of Education approved nontraditional educator preparation program.

3. Administrator/Instructional Support Personnel Completers

How does the COVID-19 related test suspension affect administrator/instructional support personnel program completers that entered and/or completed a MBE approved administrator/instructional support personnel preparation pathway under these provisions?

  • Candidates unconditionally admitted to a Mississippi State Board of Education approved administrator and instructional support personnel preparation program under the COVID-19 test suspension on or before December 31, 2021 and have successfully completed the internship and all other administrator and instructional support personnel program requirements on or before December 31, 2021 for the purpose of obtaining the five-year standard license, may be granted the license without being subject to meeting the licensure test requirements, if the complete application (all required documents) for the five-year standard license is received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before July 31, 2022.
  • Candidates unconditionally admitted to a Mississippi State Board of Education approved administrator and instructional support personnel preparation program under the COVID-19 test suspension on or before December 31, 2021 and have not successfully completed the internship and all other administrator and instructional support personnel program requirements on or before December 31, 2021 for the purpose of obtaining the five-year standard license, may be granted the license without being subject to meeting licensure test requirements, if the complete application (all required documents) for the five-year standard license is received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before December 31, 2023.

4. One-year Extension of Licenses

Is there consideration being given to suspending Educator and Administrator Licensure Renewal requirements for licenses scheduled to expire June 30, 2021?

The Mississippi State Board of Education granted approval on February 25, 2021 to suspend licensure renewal requirements for all licenses scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021 and granted a one-year extension for all licenses with a June 30, 2021 expiration date. 

All license types set to expire on June 30, 2021 have been automatically extended to June 30, 2022. This includes teacher, administrator, instructional support personnel, and local district requested licenses. Educators do not need to apply for the one-year extension. All licenses set to expire on June 30, 2021 have been automatically extended for one year in the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS).  License holders have the one-year extension to engage in professional learning opportunities to meet requirements for maintaining, converting, or obtaining the standard Mississippi license. 

How to Invalidate a Local District-Requested License

Local school districts are to follow the normal procedure of submitting a formal letter to the MDE Division of Educator Licensure to request the invalidation of a district-requested license if an individual holding a district-requested license voluntarily or involuntarily separates from the district for any reason, at any time. This means districts must submit letters for any individuals holding a district-requested license who will not be offered a new contract for the 2021-2022 school year. This includes district-requested license holders whose licenses have been extended to June 30, 2022.  Please email invalidation request letters to Dr. Cory Murphy at teachersupport@mdek12.org and include “Request to Invalidate Local District Requested License” in the subject line.  All licenses eligible for a one-year extension will be automatically extended within the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS).

With the closure of test centers due to COVID-19, is there consideration being given to suspending Educator Licensure Reciprocity testing requirements?

On March 26, 2020 during its Special-Called Meeting, the Mississippi State Board of Education granted approval to the MDE to suspend the licensure testing criterion only for all complete applications for Five-Year Standard Reciprocity received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure on or before December 31, 2021.  

Beginning January 1, 2022 and thereafter, applicants for reciprocity shall meet all requirements in effect on the date the complete application is received in the MDE Division of Educator Licensure.

What will happen if I am not able to attend classes to renewal my license due to expire in June? Will MDE extend these licenses for another year in order to complete the classes to renew my license.

Those educators and administrators who hold a Mississippi license of any type with a current valid expiration date of June 30, 2021 are eligible to receive a one-year extension. Qualifying licenses will be dated to expire June 30, 2022. All licenses eligible for a one-year extension will be automatically extended within the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS).

Will license extension apply to district requested 1-year emergency licenses and 3-year Career and Technical Education (CTE) licenses that are set to expire June 30, 2021?

Yes. One-year emergency licenses and Career and Technical Education (CTE) 3-year provisional licenses that are scheduled to expire June 30, 2021 are eligible for a one-year extension.