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Educator Licensure Information

Welcome to the Division of Educator Licensure! Our mission is to assist all Mississippi current and prospective educators to obtain and maintain standard certification and to implement licensure guidelines set by the Mississippi State Board of Education. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you as you serve the children of Mississippi.

Teacher Licensure Pathways

All prospective educators must meet minimum education requirements by completing a Mississippi State Board of Education approved educator preparation program that includes clinical experience (student teaching or internship) and achieve qualifying scores on the certification assessment(s). Future educators meet these requirements by completing a traditional pathway or non-traditional (alternate route) pathway to licensure. An educator license is also attainable for out-of-state educators and those completing career and technical education requirements.

Traditional Pathway – Earn a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in education

By completing the traditional pathway to licensure, one must earn at least a bachelor’s degree in teacher education from a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning. The educator preparation program will have the following characteristics:

·        Leads to certification: Please ensure the program is considered a licensure-track program as some advanced degree programs are designed for already certified educators and are considered to be a non-certified program.

·        Offered by a Mississippi college/university: You can find Mississippi State Board of Education educator preparation providers at: https://www.mdek12.org/OTL/educator-preparation-providers

·        Includes student teaching or field experience: Student teachers will be issued a pre-service teacher license requested by the certification officer of your college/university.

Certification assessments are required to obtain an educator license in Mississippi. Assessment and/or the equivalent requirement for traditional pathway completers are as follows:

·        Twenty-one (21) ACT (or SAT equivalent) or achieve a qualifying passing score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators examination or minimum GPA of 3.0 on a minimum of 60-hours of course credit as established by the State Board of Education

       Note: GPA calculations are performed by an education preparation provider.

·        Passing scores on the current grade-level specific Praxis: Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) assessment

·        Passing score on the current Praxis II content area assessment

·        Passing score on the Foundations of Reading assessment (required for Elementary Education only)

 

Non-Traditional (Alternate) Pathway – For transitioning professionals with a bachelor’s degree in a non-education area

By completing the non-traditional pathway to licensure, one must already possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a non-education field from a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning and achieve qualifying scores on the certification assessment(s). After successful completion of the required certification assessment(s), one must be unconditionally admitted in a Mississippi alternate route program to complete training or coursework followed by a one-year internship. The certification assessments required for non-traditional program completers are the following:

·       Twenty-one (21) ACT (or SAT equivalent) or achieve a qualifying passing score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators examination or minimum GPA of 3.0 on a minimum of 60-hours of course credit as established by the State Board of Education

Note: GPA calculations are performed by an education preparation provider.

·       Passing score on the current Praxis II content area assessment

·       Passing score on the Foundations of Reading assessment (required for Elementary Education only)

 

Here is what to consider before enrolling in an alternate route program:

Decide what subject and age level you want to teach. This decision will help you choose which alternate route program will work for you.

Choose an alternate route program. Many candidates choose a program based on these criteria:

·         geographical location of the program

·         subject areas offered

·         cost and time commitment

·         internship requirements

·         grade level

·         your personal academic skills and professional background

There are currently three Mississippi alternate route programs. The alternate route educator preparation providers and further details regarding subject areas offered, training, location, and contact information are listed below.

·         Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) 7-2017

·         Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) 9-11-17

·         American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) 3-2016

 

Reciprocity – Out-of-State Educators

The department shall grant a standard five-year license to any individual who possesses a valid standard license from another state. Reciprocity applicants must possess the following:

·         Valid, standard educator license issued by the certification governing agency from a state outside of Mississippi

·         Valid, standard out-of-state license must have Mississippi equivalent endorsements

·         Ability to submit official transcripts from all attended colleges/universities

Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education (CTE) licenses are issued to educators who possess a specific skillset, minimum education requirements and, if applicable, occupational experience to teach students the skills they need to achieve their occupational goals.

Most CTE endorsements may include, but are not limited to the following minimum requirements:

·       Education: For most CTE endorsements, applicant must have earned a two-year college degree (associate degree) or higher from an accredited institution of higher education.

·       Technology Literacy and Related Assessment of that Competency: All CTE applicants must validate technology competency by attaining the established minimum score or higher on an assessment approved by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). The assessment must be directly related to technology competency required by the grade level and subject matter being taught.

·       Occupational Experience and, if applicable, Related Assessments of That Experience

·       Education Preparation and Related Workshops or Courses

For information regarding requirements for a CTE endorsement, please review the Career and Technical Education Licensure Guidelines.

   CTE Guidelines

If an applicant meets all requirements listed, they will be issued a five-year license. If an applicant meets the educational and occupational experience requirements, but does not meet all other requirements, the applicant may be issued one (1) three-year license for a given license code; all requirements stated for the license must be satisfied prior to the ending date of that three – year license.

 

Administrator Licenses

There are several types of administrator licenses and pathways assigned to each administrator category. The administrator licensure types are traditional administrator, alternate route administrator, and athletic administrator.

Traditional Administrator Pathway – Tiered System

 The Non-Practicing Administrator license is a five-year renewable license issued to an educator NOT currently employed in an administrative position.

  •  A prospective administrator must meet minimum education requirements by completing a Mississippi State Board of Education approved master’s degree (or higher) administrator preparation program that includes clinical experience (internship).

  •  Qualifying scores on the certification assessment designated for the administrator license is required.

  •  Prospective administrator must hold a standard Mississippi educator license and verify three years of education experience. 

The Entry-Level Administrator license is a five-year non-renewable license issued upon request to an educator employed as a beginning administrator.

  •    Entry-Level Administrators have completed all requirements to obtain a non-practicing administrator license.

  •  A district-issued letter stating the administrative position and date of administrative employment is required. Administrative positions can be identified by searching the course titles associated with the 486-endorsement code found on the most up-to-date “Course Work Area Code” report located here: https://www.mdek12.org/otss/msis/msis-personnel .

 The Standard Career-Level Administrator license is issued to a practicing administrator who has completed all requirements for conversion to Career-Level.

Alternate Route Administrator

The Alternate Route Entry-Level Administrator license is a five-year non-renewable license issued to an applicant who has NOT completed an educational administration/leadership program and is limited to entry-level administrative positions, such as assistant principals or assistant coordinators. The requirements for the alternate route entry-level administrator are as follows:

  • Hold conferred degree in one of the following areas: Master of Business Administration (MBA) Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Planning and Policy (MPP), or Doctor of Jurisprudence

  • Five (5) years administrative/supervisory experience*

  • Successful completion of School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA)-Educational Testing Service

  • Successful completion of alternate route training (120 hours) as approved by the MDE

While the organizations listed are approved by the State Board of Education to provide administrator alternate route training, not all have obtained program approval: Mississippi School Board Association (MSBA), Mississippi Association of School Superintendents (MASS), Mississippi Association of School Administrators (MASA), Mississippi Association of School Business Officers (MASBO)

 

*NOTE: Administrative/supervisory experience is defined as direct supervision of individuals and/or programs within a business, industry, and/or organization.

Athletic Administrator

The Athletic Administrator license is only issued for athletic administration and cannot be used for any other administrative positions. The requirements for the Athletic Administrator are as follows:

  •  Holds five-year standard Mississippi educator license

  •  Completion of an approved master’s degree in Interscholastic Athletic Administration

Read about the various types of administrator licenses to renew and what is required for each level.

 

District-Requested Licenses

District-requested licenses are special licenses that can only be requested by an employing local school district or eligible nonpublic school. These provisional licenses provide local school district officials with the ability to employ candidates who are working toward full educator certification while temporarily addressing the ongoing teacher shortage. Employing local school districts and eligible nonpublic schools can now submit online requests for local district-requested licenses via the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS). 

Expert Citizen License

MS Code Ann. §37-3-2 (6)(c): The Mississippi Department of Education may grant an Expert Citizen License to local business or other professional personnel 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.

Expert Citizen Guidance

Veteran Teacher License

The veteran teacher license is for a teacher who has documented teaching experience. Evidence of progress in completing the necessary requirements for adding the designated endorsement to become Highly Qualified must be documented to renew this license.

Veteran teacher requests for educators that hold a five-year standard license must be submitted by an employing local school district via the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS). If an educator holds a three-year alternate route internship license and at least one year of documented education experience, the veteran request must be submitted by uploading the following documentation:

1.    Local District Request Packet One Year for Veteran Teachers

2.    Verification of Experience

Please note: If an educator holds a three-year Career and Technical Education (CTE) license and at least one year of documented education experience, a veteran teacher license can be issued in other CTE endorsement areas only.

JROTC License

The JROTC Instructor License must be approved by the appropriate branch of the military and may be used to teach JROTC/Military Science only. No other endorsements may be added to this license and districts may not use instructors with this license to teach other courses as “out of field” teachers.

Special Non- Renewable License

The special, non-renewable license 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 for 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 Division of Educator Licensure. All special non-renewable licenses are assigned specific year one, year two and year three requirements.

Special Non-Renewable License Categories:

Traditional Teacher Preparation Program Completers

The special, non-renewable license for traditional teacher preparation program completers provides local school district officials with the ability to employ a candidate who has completed all requirements of a state approved or NCATE/CAEP accredited traditional teacher education preparation program from a regionally/nationally accredited institution of higher education except achieving a passing score on all Mississippi required licensure tests.

Non-Traditional Teacher Preparation Program Completers

The special, non-renewable license for prospective non-traditional teacher preparation program completers provides local school officials with the ability to employ a candidate who has the potential to obtain a standard Mississippi teaching license by the completion of a Mississippi State Board of Education approved alternate route teacher education preparation program.

Year-One Licensure Requirements for Traditional and Non-traditional Teacher Preparation Program Completers

A.    Holds at least a bachelor’s degree in the endorsement area in which the license is requested

OR

B.    Holds at least a bachelor’s degree in any area and eighteen (18) hours of undergraduate and/or graduate level coursework with a grade of “C” or higher in the endorsement area in which the license is requested (Elementary Education is not included under option B)

OR

C.    Holds at least a bachelor’s degree in any area and a passing score on the appropriate Mississippi State Board of Education approved licensure Subject Area Assessment in the endorsement area in which the license is requested

All degree(s) and undergraduate and/or graduate level coursework must have been earned from an institution of higher education that was regionally/nationally accredited at the time the degree was conferred. Remedial courses (also referred to as compensatory, developmental, or basic skills) will not be recognized for option B certification purposes and are usually numbered below 100 on the transcript.

Adjunct Teachers

This 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.

The special, non-renewable license for Adjunct Teachers can be requested for an individual who meets the following pre-conditions in addition to criteria outlined in the subsequent sections:

A.    Specific knowledge, skills, and experience in an engineering, medical, dental, pharmaceutical, veterinarian, legal, accounting, or any other professional position approved by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE)

OR

B.    Instructional experience at a Mississippi Department of Education accepted accredited college or university

AND

C.    Who is eligible to provide instruction in one or more of the following certification fields: English, Reading, Mathematics, Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Space Science, History, Psychology, Geography, Social Studies, Economics, Art, Music, Behavioral Science, foreign language fields, and the fields of Dance and Drama.

 

Year-One Licensure Requirements for Adjunct Teacher

To be eligible for the Special, Non-renewable License for Adjunct Teachers, the applicant must be employed by a Mississippi local educational agency (LEA) and meet one of the following options:

1. Option 1 - Academic Content Areas. The individual must hold at least a master’s degree or higher in any area from an institution of higher education that was regionally/nationally accredited at the time the degree was conferred OR

Option 2 - Performing Arts fields: Dance, Drama, Music, and Art. The individual must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in the endorsement area in which the license is requested from an institution of higher education that was regionally/nationally accredited at the time the degree was conferred

AND MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

2. Verify a minimum of two (2) years of relevant occupational experience

AND

3. Hold the appropriate professional licensure for the profession or field of instructional experience OR

Have a passing score on the appropriate Mississippi State Board of Education Subject Assessment approved for licensure in the endorsement area in which the license is requested AND

 

Be assigned a mentor/coach from the same LEA who holds a standard renewable license in the same general subject area(s) in which the licensee is teaching.