Mississippi Alternative Teacher Certification

Prospective educators in Mississippi who do not satisfy the requirements for a traditional teaching license can still earn a license through one of the alternative routes offered by the Mississippi Department of Education. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Alternative Teacher Licensing Requirements in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Education grants four classes of teaching licenses to persons who are pursuing an alternative license route as well as a three-year alternative quality teacher license and a one-year alternative license through American Board Certification. The general requirements for licensure are summarized in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements ACT OR
Praxis
Certification Renewal Period Five years
Requirements for Renewal Completed CEUs OR
Completed Semester hours OR
Completion of NBPTS
Mean Salary (2018)$27,940 (preschool teachers in MS)
$43,110 (kindergarten teachers in MS)
$43,860 (elementary teachers in MS)
$46,370 (middle school teachers in MS)
$47,190 (high school teachers in MS)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 10% (preschool teachers nationally)
7% (kindergarten and elementary school teachers nationally)
8% (middle and high school teachers nationally)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

General Academic Requirements

There are four classes of alternative licensure available. For a Class A license, the candidate would need a bachelor's degree while a class AA, AAA, and AAAA licenses require a master's degree, specialist degree, and doctorate degree respectively. The candidate would need to either enroll in an approved alternative educator program or complete a student teaching course at an accredited college or university.

The three-year alternative license is limited to certain subject areas, requires a non-education bachelor's degree with at least a GPA of 2.75 in the area the candidate would like to teach and enrolment in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program or Teach MS Institute Program. The one-year alternative license is limited to five subject areas, requires a bachelor's degree in a non-education area with at least a GPA of 2.75 in the area of interest and enrolment in an American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) program.

Assessment Requirements

In Mississippi, prospective educators must pass either the ACT assessment which has multiple choice questions in the areas of English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science or the Praxis Core tests which cover the areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Prospective educators on an alternative route to licensure must also pass Praxis subject assessments as well as the tests relevant to the program in which they are enrolled.

Application Process

Prospective educators may complete their application for licensure through the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) online portal that is available on the Mississippi Department of Education website. If the application is done online, the candidate must still submit their official transcripts and test scores by mail to the Mississippi Department of Education. Alternatively, the candidate's educational institutions can submit the official transcripts using eScripSafe. If the candidate took the Praxis exams in Mississippi, the results will be automatically sent to the Mississippi Department of Education.

Certificate Information

The one-year alternative license can be converted to a five-year alternative license, the educator must secure employment and complete six hours of MAT coursework, a 3-week MAPQT summer program or MDE online professional development. The three-year alternative license can be converted a five-year alternative license through a combination of work experience, teacher evaluation, mentorship programs, and coursework. The five-year alternative license can be renewed through the completion of semester hours, continuing education units (CEUs) or completion of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) process. The CEUs or semester hours must be earned in areas relevant to the educator's teaching area.

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