Admission Requirements - Gold Card

The Gold Card serves as documentation that a student has met all admission requirements and has been official admitted into an undergraduate, initial licenusre teacher preparation program within the Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi.

In compliance with Mississippi Senate Bill 2188, the following requirements must be met for the Gold Card:

  • Completion of a core curriculum of pre-major coursework
  • *A minimum grade point average of 2.75 on teh 44 semester-hour core curriculum of pre-major coursework
  • A grade of "C" or better in freshman English Composition I and II
  • Successful completion of the Basic Technology Literacy Exam (BTLE) or the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³®)
    • Teacher Education Normed Test:
      • Acceptable scores on the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST): Reading Test Code 0710/5710 with a score of at least 170, Writing Test Code 0720/5720 with a score of at least 172, and Mathematics Test Code 0730/5730 with a score of at least 169. MDE will accept these scores if the educator took and passed the test before 9/1/2012.
      • **Acceptable scores on the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST): Reading Test Code 0710/5710 with a score of at least 172, Writing Test Code 0720/5720 with a score of at least 173, and Mathematics Test Code 0730/5730 with a score of at least 172. MDE will accept these scores if the educator took and passed the test before 12/31/2013.
      • **Acceptable scores on the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (CORE): Reading Test Code 5712 with a score of at least 156, Writing Test Code 5722 with a score of at least 162, and Mathematics Test Code 5732 with a score of at least 150. This is the most recent teacher-normed test approved by the State of Mississippi. MDE will begin accepting this test 9/1/2013 with it becoming mandatory as the new test starting 1/1/2014.
* While a student must only have a 2.75 GPA for admission, the cohort of students accepted at the time of a student’s admission must have at least a 3.00 GPA average as a whole. Thus, an individual student could be denied admission should their individual GPA bring down their cohort of students’ GPA average to less than a 3.00. Furthermore, the cohort’s average performance on a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment such as the ACT must be in the top 50% from the 2016-2017 distribution; the top 40% from the 2018-2019 distribution; and the top 33% by the 2020 distribution. For the purpose of this policy, a cohort refers to all students accepted during a particular term of enrollment (i.e.: Fall, Spring, Summer).

**Even though there are several months of overlap with these tests, the educator cannot combine parts of the PPST and parts of the CORE test in order to meet certification requirements.

Except for the BTLE that allows an extension into the first week of the second semester of Gold Card classes (see BTLE Policy) and the Background Check that allows for a two week extension into the first semester (see Background Check Policy), all requirements must be met prior to enrollment in restricted teacher education courses.

Any student with a question about these requirements should be directed to the College of Education and Psychology Dean.