Alternate Route Programs to Teacher Licensure

What is an Alternate Route Teacher Licensure Program?

Alternate route licensure is a pathway to teacher licensure other than completing a traditional program of teacher education. Alterate route licensure is designed to capitalize on content expertise in an area of middle and/or high school preparation. 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.

The three alternate route pathways (JUMP, TMI, MAT) at Southern Miss are all detailed below. Choose a pathway depending on what type of program you would like (certificate or Master's) and what subject you'd like to teach. These are the subject areas you could teach by pathway. 

Licensure Content Area

TMI and JUMP

MAT

Art

 

X

Biology

X

X

Business

X

X

Chemistry

X

X

Chinese

X

X

Economics

X

X

Elementary Education (Grades 4-6)

 

X- USM not offering at this time

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

X

X

Special Education (Grades 7-12)

X

 

Speech Communications

X

X

Pathways:

JumpStart (JUMP)
JumpStart Pathway 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 two steps to admission. First, students must gain preliminary admittance. To do so:

  • Apply to the Department using the system Tk20 admissions tab
  • Have a 2.75 GPA on all pre-major coursework based on 44-hour core. Elizabeth Giddens can calculate this for you (see her contact information below).
  • 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
  • No GRE required

Second (and once all of the steps above have been completed):

Per the department, there is no admissions deadline.Once you have been accepted for admission (all steps above), purchase a subscription to Tk20 assessment software and pass the Praxis II prior to your semester of practicum; 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. Please contact Elizabeth Giddens when you completed Praxis II.

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 JUMP (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. Once the student applies to the TMI program, they will essentially be accepted and get a certificate of course completion from it right away because all coursework for the TMI would have already been completed through JUMP; the only reason the student has to wait to apply to TMI is because a Bachelors degree is required for admission to post-baccalaureate certificate programs. Thus, at the time of their Bachelor's degree graduation, they would earn a Bachelors, get a certificate of course completion for the TMI, and be able to apply for a 1-year initial license to teach. During the first year of teaching, the student will enroll in CIS 794: Supervised Internship (practicum). Southern Miss' TMI faculty/staff will make classroom visits as well as maintain e-mail and/or chatroom communications to address concerns experienced during instruction. Completion of the first year successfully, with mentoring, satisfies state requirements for a five-year alternate route teaching license in your area of competence. Should you start the TMI program and decide you want to move into the MAT program to earn a masters degree in addition to a certificate, you may do so. Pursuit of the MAT will require another admissions process however 12 of the 36 hours will have already been completed as part of your JUMP/TMI; thus, only an additional 24 hours would be needed for you to earn your Master's degree. An interface between the courses required for the TMI and the courses required for the MAT is purposeful and intended to draw you toward a professional degree in teaching. Candidates interested in the MAT degree and the flexibility for out-of-state employment are encouraged to apply. 
 

Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI)

TMI 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 certificate, not a degree. There are two steps to admission. 

First, students must gain preliminary admittance. To do so:

  • Apply to the Department using the system Tk20 admissions tab
  • Submit unofficial transcripts indicating a Bachelor's degree in an approved major outside of education on Tk20
  • Have a 2.75 GPA on last 62 credit hours of Bachelor's degree. Elizabeth Giddens can calculate this for you (see her contact information below).
  • Pass the CORE, or ACT at 21+ composite with no scale score below 18 (all on the 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. Please let Elizabeth Giddens know when you plan on taking Praxis II.
  • No GRE required

Second (and once all the steps above have been completed):

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

  • For Fall admissions, July 15 and the day before the term starts.
  • For Spring admissions, December 1 and the day before the term starts.
  • For Summer admissions, April 25 and the day before term starts.

The 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. The student holds onto the certificate, applies for their 1-year initial license to teach, and finds an internship (which is a full-time teaching position in a Mississippi public school). The Teacher Center at the Mississippi Department of Education may be of assistance in finding an internship. Upon securing an internship, the candidate will register for their last class: the supervised internship. Southern Miss' TMI staff/faculty will make classroom visits during the year as well as maintain e-mail and/or chatroom communications to address concerns experienced during instruction. Internships are designed for instructional support and assessment of teaching effectiveness. Once the internship is completed successfully, the student will be given another certificate of completion for the internship portion of the program. Completion of the internship satisfies state requirements for a five-year alternate route teaching license in your area of competence. 
Should you start the TMI program and decide you want to move into the MAT program to earn a masters degree instead of a certificate, you may do so. Pursuit of the MAT will require another admissions process however 12 of the 36 hours will have already been completed as part of your TMI; thus, only an additional 24 hours would be needed for you to earn your Master's degree. An interface between the courses required for the TMI and the courses required for the MAT is purposeful and intended to draw you toward a professional degree in teaching. Candidates interested in the MAT degree and the flexibility for out-of-state employment are encouraged to apply. 
 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 6 credit hours (in Test and Measurements and Classroom Management) to earn initial 3-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.

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.
  • 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:

Forms and Documents:

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

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