Requirements

Before applying for admission to a professional education program at The University of Southern Mississippi, the following requirements must be met:

  1. an ACT composite score 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:
    • 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.
  2. a minimum grade point average on the 44 semester-hour general education core curriculum of 2.75;
  3. a C average in freshman English composition;
  4. successful completion of the Basic Technology Literacy Exam (BTLE) or IC3 certification;
  5. good academic standing at Southern Miss. A student on probation, probation continued, or suspension status will not be admitted to teacher education until such a time when the transcript reflects good academic standing;
  6. clear background check via the system selected by the Southern Miss Professional Education Council.

**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.

Each Southern Miss student who applies for admission to a teacher education program must undergo a background check when applying for the Gold Card. Students who pass the background checking process will be issued a background check badge and considered eligible for admission to teacher education pending satisfaction of other admission requirements. Teacher candidates issued Gold Cards prior to fall 2009 and currently enrolled in Southern Miss teacher education programs, as well as Southern Miss students enrolled in teacher education field or clinical experiences that do not require a Gold Card, must also undergo a background check as part of the University policy.

After admission to a professional education program, the following requirements must be met to continue in the program:

  1. all candidates must subscribe to the Tk20 Assessment System. Tk20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes data for accreditation purposes;
  2. a grade of "C" or better in all content courses in the academic major as well as all professional education courses with an overall grade point average of 2.50;
  3. fulfillment of major requirements in subject area;
  4. completion of professional education courses required by the major;
  5. take Praxis II content and PLT tests and have scores reported to Southern Miss (code #1479) prior to graduation.

A minimum of 30 clock hours of clinical experience is required prior to teacher candidacy (15 hours of observation and 15 hours of practicum). Specific programs may require more practicum hours.

Requirements for professional education programs are subject to modification. For current program information, students should contact the University’s Educator Licensure Office, 121-B Owings-McQuagge Hall; 601.266.5522.

Mississippi Department of Education licensure requirements supersede the program requirements listed in the Bulletin. Mandated changes in program requirements will be communicated through the candidate’s department.