Elementary Education




Since 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi has served as the flagship for teacher education in our state. Our professors are highly respected as leaders in research and service as it relates to preparing future teachers, and our graduates hold teaching positions across the globe. We are proud and confident because of the foundation they received at Southern Miss.

Serving as the coordinating agency within the university for the preparation and development of elementary and special education teachers, the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education provides undergraduate course work for preservice teachers. A description of the undergraduate programs in elementary education and special education follows. For secondary education, consult the college and department of the teaching major. The university also prepares individuals to teach in several areas in special education. The bachelor’s degree will lead toward mild-moderate disability licensure in the state of Mississippi.

Education Code of Ethics and Standards for Professional Practice: Each student will be given a copy of the Code of Ethics and the Standards for Professional Practices. Students are expected to abide by these standards at all times. Breaches of this code and/or of the standards may result in disciplinary action through the department or the university.

Students pursuing an undergraduate degree with a major in elementary education will attain an elementary teacher’s license (certification for grades kindergarten through six) and an endorsement in one content area and a supplemental reading endorsement to teach in Mississippi. Areas of endorsement include 21 hours in one of the following areas:

  • English
  • Social Studies
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science

We do not guarantee to meet the licensure requirements of other states.  You will be responsible for verifying that your program of study meets your desired state’s licensure requirements.

The Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The elementary education initial licensure program is nationally recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

Learning Outcomes/Objectives

  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate an elementary education content knowledge.   
  • Teacher candidates will demonstrate pedagogical knowledge.
  • Teacher candidates will use knowledge, skills and dispositions to plan and manage assessment-driven instruction for a diverse student population.
  • Teacher candidates will apply their content and pedagogical knowledge, skills and dispositions in K-6 school settings.
  • Teacher candidates will impact student learning by integrating technology effectively in instruction.
  • Teacher candidates will value professional development as a career-long effort and responsibility.

For specifics concerning these endorsements, students should consult their individual adviser or the department’s academic adviser: Ms. Katherine Connell, Hattiesburg; Ms. Paige Cannon, Gulf Coast.

For more information, view: Elementary Education - B.S. (Licensure) and Undergraduate Advising