College of Education and Human Sciences
College of Education and Human Sciences
The Mississippi Board of Education met in Special-Called Teleconference to address many of the issues brought about by COVID-19 including student teaching, licensure exams, and becoming a licensed educator in the state of Mississippi.
Effective immediately, the requirement of a twenty-one (21) on the ACT or passing score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators is suspended for all candidates seeking admission to traditional or non-traditional (alternate route) educator preparation programs on or before December 31, 2021.
Further information in regards to these changes as well as information for changes to license renewal and reciprocity may be found on the Mississippi Department of Education website.
As you are all aware, Governor Reeves signed an executive order instructing the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to keep all public schools closed throughout the state through April 17, 2020. While Mississippi school buildings may be closed, we know that you, along with the governor and MDE, want instruction to continue to take place.
With that said, although no official policy has been released by the SBE at this time, The University of Southern Mississippi is staying in communication with our student teachers and advising them to stay in communication with their cooperating teacher and university supervisor. Student teachers should adhere to ALL policies and practices implemented at the district level. Again, although schools are closed, candidates are not to assume student teaching has ended. Candidates will be expected to engage virtually as required by the districts. We are asking our candidates to contact their host school and cooperating teacher to ascertain how they can remain involved. If you wish for our candidates to not participate, please let us know.
At Governor Reeves' 10:00 news conference this morning (3/19/20), he announced that all P-12 schools will be closed through Friday, April 17. At this time, no final decision has been made on the state level about the alteration of student teaching requirements. As soon as we have information about any changes to the minimum required days in student teaching, testing requirements (Praxis, PLT, Foundations of Reading), or any other issues that have a direct impact on you this semester, we will notify our students.
At this time the Mississippi State Department of Health is not recommending that schools close. As such, student teachers are expected to follow the district calendar of their K-12 placement. As always, student teaching placements are at the discretion of the host district. If a superintendent, principal, or cooperating teacher should have any questions, please contact Dr. Anne Sylvest in the Educational Field Experience office (email: Anne.Sylvest@usm.edu; office phone: 601-266-4571).
Spring Break for USM students has been extended by one week (March 16-27) to allow faculty time to transition all coursework to an online or alternate delivery method. During this extended Spring Break period, USM teacher education students will not be on your campuses for their observation or practicum field experiences. We will continue to monitor the situation during the two-week spring break period. If there are no changes in Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) or Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) recommendations, we will recommend students resume practicum and field experience activity beginning Monday, March 30, 2020. As always, practicum and field placements are at the discretion of the host district.
Greetings Superintendents, Principals, Cooperating Teachers, University Supervisors, Student Teachers, Teacher Candidates, USM Educator Preparation Faculty, and all other USM and K-12 partners:
The SOLE SOURCE of updates regarding the USM Educator Preparation Program (EPP) response to coronavirus (COVID-19) will be posted at usm.edu/education-human-sciences/covid19.php. Please visit this site daily for updates.
The University of Southern Mississippi continues to actively monitor the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The safety and well-being of the University community, our K-12 partners, and the communities they serve is always our highest priority.
We are aware that your learning community is concerned about the potential exposure to COVID-19 from visitors to your campus including USM students who are completing observations, practicum hours, and student teaching. With almost 300 undergraduate students enrolled in 14 licensure programs placed in 43 districts, we want to provide a consistent source of information related to our programming.
For all other University updates, please visit the University's official COVID-19 website, usm.edu/covid-19.