Teacher Assistant Program


You’re already a teacher’s assistant, which means you know what it takes to run a classroom. And, odds are you’ve probably thought about running your own classroom someday.

At The University of Southern Mississippi, we want you to teach to your full potential. That’s why we created the Elementary Education Program for Teacher Assistants – a perfect fit for current teacher’s assistants who want to take the next step toward becoming a certified teacher. 


1. Currently employed as a teacher’s assistant in a Mississippi public school.

2. Basic Technology Literacy Exam (BTLE)

All students applying for admission to Professional Education at The University of Southern Mississippi have been required to obtain a passing score on each of the five modules of the Basic Technology Literacy Exam. The five modules consist of word processing, spreadsheet, telecommunications, presentation, and database.

For full information on the BTLE, class schedules, FAQ’s and exam times, please visit BTLE test site.

3. GoldCard

To receive your GoldCard, you must meet the following criteria:

  • GPA of 2.75 or better on the 44 hour core coursework
  • Passing score on the Basic Technology Literacy Exam (BTLE)
  • ACT composite of 21 or higher with no scale score below 18
    • OR an SAT of 860 (verbal and quantitative) upon entrance into college
    • OR acceptable scores on the PRAXIS I
      • www.ets.org
      • Please keep a copy of your PRAXIS scores for your record

4. TK 20 Subscription

The Professional Education policy at Southern Miss requires all teacher education candidates to subscribe to the Tk20 Assessment System, an electronic portfolio and storage system for teacher candidates which tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes candidate data to maintain program excellence for accreditation. The subscription will be active for seven (7) years from the date of purchase. Two options for payment are:

  • A one-time subscription payable through the Tk20 Web site (https://usm.tk20.com) using a debit or credit card.
  • The purchase of an access kit from the University Bookstore at an increased price which may be charged to your student account. 
  • Any questions regarding to TK20 access or any technical problems, contact Dr. Debbie Stoulig, Coordinator of NCATE Assessment, at 601-266-4539 or email: Deborah.Stoulig@usm.edu.

Degree Requirements