Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI)

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 head start 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. 

The Teach Mississippi Institute (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. TMI is a certificate, not a degree.  For admission, students are expected to :

  • Apply through the Graduate School by completing the following forms:
  • Submit official transcripts 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 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.
  • No GRE required

Once you have been accepted for admission, submit to a background check

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.  Students must submit the application for completion of the certificate the semester before they plan to complete requirements for the certificate.  This includes a $50 fee.  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.