Alternate Route Programs to Teacher Licensure

Why Southern Miss!?

All educator preparation programs at The University of Southern Mississippi are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Programs are also accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education through the Mississippi Educator Preparation Program Accreditation Review. For more information, see here.

What is an Alternate Route Teacher Licensure Program?

Have you always wanted to teach but already graduated from college with a non-education/teaching degree? Do you want to be an integral part of our Nation’s progress by inspiring students toward academic growth?  If so, one of Southern Miss' three distinct alternate route pathways for teacher licensure may be appropriate for you.  Alternate route licensure is a choice for individuals who did complete a traditional program of teacher education.  Alternate route licensure is designed to capitalize on content expertise in an area of middle and/or high school preparation. 

If you are an undergraduate and would like to pursue a certificate for teaching in your field, the JumpStart pathway will give you a headstart to earn an alternate route teacher's license.  If you are a graduate and would like to pursue an alternate route teaching license, the two choices are Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) and Master's of Arts in Teaching (MAT).  Licensure content areas are listed below.     

Licensure Content Area (Grades 7-12)

TMI

MAT

Art

 

X

Biology

X

X

Business

X

X

Chemistry

X

X

Chinese

X

X

Economics

X

 

English

X

X

French

X

X

German

X

X

Health

X

X

Home Economics

X

X

Latin

X

X

Library Media

X

X

Marketing

X

X

Mathematics

X

X

Music

 

X

Physical Education

 

X

Physical Science

X

X

Physics

X

X

Social Studies

X

X

Spanish

JumpStart

JumpStart is an option for a current University of Southern Mississippi undergraduate student to pursue while completing an undergraduate degree. A junior or senior may apply to enter as a non-degree graduate student and take one teacher education course each semester while completing his/her bachelor’s degree. There are three steps to admission.

Step 1

      • Have a 2.75 GPA on all pre-major coursework based on 44-hour core
      • Pass the CORE, or ACT at 21+ composite with no scale score below 18 (all on the same test date)
      • 1 Letter of Recommendation from faculty or administration mailed to the Department (see Dr. Marsha Walters' contact information below)
      • Submit to a background check

Step 2

Step 3

      • Pass Praxis II. Official scores should be sent to the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure and a copy of the scores should be sent to Southern Miss.

During the program, students complete one course in the alternate route program each semester in addition to the courses required in their undergraduate degree program. Three courses, in any order, will be taken while enrolled in your Bachelors program: CIS 603: Management and Organization of Diverse Classrooms; CIS 700: Seminar in Secondary Education; and REF 632: Measuring Student Success. Upon undergraduate graduation and if the student has met all requirements of JumpStart (completed the required 9 hours of alternate route coursework, earned a "B" in alternate route coursework, and completed the appropriate Praxis II), the student can apply to the TMI program.

The TMI plan of study requires 12 credit hours (see plan of study here and course descriptions here). The student takes the first 9 hours making a "B" or better and gets a certificate of completion for the coursework portion of the program. Upon successful completion of the first 9 hours, participants apply to the Mississippi Department of Education for a non-renewable temporary license (good for 3 years) and seek employment in a Mississippi school district.   The Teacher Center at the Mississippi Department of Education may be of assistance in finding employment/internship. Once employment/internship has been secured, the candidate will register for his/her last class, CIS 794.  Southern Miss faculty will make classroom visits during the year as well as maintain e-mail and/or chatroom communications.  Internships are designed for instructional support and assessment of teaching effectiveness. Upon successful completion of the internship and the first year of employment, participants may apply to the Mississippi Department of Education for a five-year renewable alternate route Mississippi teacher's license. 

Should you start the TMI program and decide you want to pursue a master's degree, apply to the Graduate School for a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).  Completion of the TMI program satisfies 12 of the 36 hours required for the MAT.  

 

 
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

The MAT is an option for a student who has a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education, and who is seeking an initial license to teach in a secondary content area and earn a Master’s degree. For admission, students are expected to:

  • Apply through the Graduate School using Admissions Pro
  • Submit official transcripts indicating a Bachelor's degree in an approved major outside of education to the Graduate School
  • Have a 2.75 GPA on last 62 credit hours of Bachelor's degree
  • Pass the CORE, or ACT at 21+ composite with no scale score below 18 (all on same test date)
  • Pass Praxis II. Official scores should be sent to the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure and a copy of the scores should be sent to Southern Miss.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation to the Graduate School
  • Letter of Intent to the Graduate School
  • Submit to a background check
  • No GRE required

Once you have been accepted for admission (all steps above) purchase a subscription to Tk20, an assessment software. Once you are enrolled in courses, students should initiate the background check process no later than the first week of the semester because it takes approximately one week to receive background check results. No background check requests will be processed after the second week of the semester. Students that fail to meet the second week deadline will be forced to drop classes that require a background check.


The program is 36 semester credit hours (see plan of study here and course descriptions here). During the program, the student will take the first 9 credit hours (CIS 603, CIS 700, and REF 632) to earn initial 1-year licensure, seek full-time employment with a Mississippi School district, and be supervised by Southern Miss faculty. Once all other coursework is successfully completed, the student can apply for a five-year license and earn their degree. 

The program has two admissions cut off dates, per term. The deadline for applying to this degree is as follows:

  • For Fall admissions, May 15 and July 15.
  • For Spring admissions, October 1 and December 1.
  • For Summer admissions, February 25 and April 25.

Praxis II and CORE Information:

  • The test codes and minimum score requirements for CORE and Praxis II can be found at can be online. To register and find dates for tests, visit www.ets.org/praxis/ms/requirements. For additional questions, please contact the University Testing Center at 118 College Drive #5089, Hattiesburg, MS 39406; Walker Science Building, room 217; 601-266-6123.
      • Convenient schedule.
      • No GRE requirement.
      • Academic preparation in a research-extensive university.
      • Strong history of teacher preparation for more than 100 years.
      • Substantial scholarships and loans are available for teacher education programs, and students are encouraged to apply.

Helpful Links:

Contact for More Information:

Dr. Marsha Walters
 
118 College Drive, #5057
 
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
 
Office: J.B. George Building, Room 143
 
Phone: 601-266-4572
 
Email: marsha.walters@usm.edu or cisear@usm.edu