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College of Education and Human Sciences

USM COVID-19 TEACHER EDUCATION FAQs

Mississippi Traditional Education Preparation Program Entry 

Question: My ACT and/or PRAXIS test was cancelled because the testing center was closed. Will I be able to get into a teacher education program at the University of Southern Mississippi?  

Answer: ETS is providing free rescheduling for any previously scheduled exam because of all the closures. You may plan a reschedule date if you desire. However, the Mississippi Board of Education has suspended all entrance and licensure testing requirements including ACT, PRAXIS CORE, PRAXIS Content, PLT, and Foundations of Reading for all applications submitted on or before December 31, 2021. 

Question: I’ve taken the ACT and/or PRAXIS before and did not make a high enough score to get into a teacher education program at the University of Southern Mississippi? Can I be admitted now? 

Answer: The Mississippi Board of Education has suspended all entrance and licensure testing requirements including ACT, PRAXIS CORE, PRAXIS Content, PLT, and Foundations of Reading for all applications submitted on or before December 31, 2021. This ruling applies whether there are previous test scores which are too low on file or not. 

Question: Do I still have to have a 2.75 GPA on my pre-major coursework? 

Answer: Yes. The ruling by the Mississippi Board of Education suspended ONLY entrance and licensure testing requirements. All other requirements are still in place. 

 

Mississippi Nontraditional (Alternate Route) Educator Preparation Program Entry

Question: Has the Mississippi Department of Education addressed entry into alternate route licensure programs since all of the testing centers are closed? 

Answer: The Mississippi Board of Education has suspended all entrance testing requirements including ACT, PRAXIS CORE, and PRAXIS Subject Area Assessment (Praxis II) for alternate route licensure programs. You can be admitted into a nontraditional (alternate route) program and can earn licensure without the ACT, Praxis Core, and/or Praxis Subject Area Assessment (Praxis II) as long as the Mississippi Department of Education receives your licensure application before December 31, 2021. Applicants will have to choose one of the following three options for demonstrating content mastery: 

Option 1: Hold at least a bachelor’s degree in the endorsement area in which licensure is sought. 

Option 2: Hold at least a bachelor’s degree in any area and 18 hours of undergraduate and/or graduate level coursework with a grade of “C” or higher in the endorsement area sought. 

Option 3: Hold at least a bachelor’s degree in any area and have a passing score on the appropriate Praxis Subject Area Assessment (PRAXIS II). 

Question: Since the testing required for entry into a nontraditional (alternate route) licensure program has been suspended, what are the new admissions requirements?  

Answer: You will still need to complete an online application through USM’s Graduate School. Within that application, you will need to provide transcripts showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally/nationally accredited institution with a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours. You will also declare the subject area(s) you are eligible to teach: 18 hours of undergraduate or graduate coursework in the subject area with a grade of “C” or higher or a passing Praxis Subject Area Assessment (Praxis II) in the subject area will be required.  

 

Student Teaching 

Question: Am I still required to be in student teaching for 60 days to obtain my teaching license from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE)?  

Answer: The Mississippi Department of Education requires a minimum of 12 weeks of student teaching for fall 2020 student teachers. Face to face, virtual and hybrid experiences are all acceptable for fall 2020 placements.

Question: What does the change in testing requirements mean for student teachers? 

Answer: The requirement for student teachers to take the Praxis Content, PLT, and/or Foundations of Reading Test has been suspended through December 31, 2021. Student teachers will be eligible for the five-year teaching license without reporting any of these scores. Further, if you remain in the state of Mississippi, you will not be required to ever take these tests - even for your later license renewals.  Student teachers who have already taken any, or all, of the required tests but did not pass one, or all, of them do not have to reschedule those tests. Student teachers will be eligible for the five-year teaching license without reporting any additional scores. Student teachers who have already taken and passed all of the (formerly) required tests have met the state’s requirements and would be eligible for reciprocity in other states.  For those student teachers leaving the state of Mississippi, they will need to check with the state department of education in the new state to know what the testing requirements are there. 

 

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College of Education and Human Sciences

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118 College Dr. #5023
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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601.266.4568

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College of Education and Human Sciences

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Long Beach, MS 39560

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