How to Obtain Your Gold Card



Southern Miss’s “Gold Card” is issued once students have completed their basic coursework and passed preliminary tests, and serves as a ticket for students to enroll in upper level classes.  Before you apply for your Gold Card, you must:

1.  Complete the 44-hour General Education Core with a minimum 2.65 GPA.  You can find out what the GEC requirements are for your calendar year by looking in your Undergraduate Bulletin under “Arts and Letters Degree Plans.”  (If you are a transfer student, your advisor will help you decide which bulletin to use.)

2.  Earn at least a “C” in both ENG 101 and ENG 102.

3.  Pass the Praxis I PPST (Reading, Writing and Math) or have an ACT equivalent composite score of 21 or higher with no subscores below 18.  Click here to view the ETS’s Praxis I web page, where you can view “Tests at a Glance,” which identifies the knowledge and skills assessed in each area of the Praxis I (reading, writing and mathematics); to find testing centers and dates; and to register for the exam.  USM’s Testing Center, located in the Walker Science Building 217, offers online Praxis I testing.  Call 601-266-6123 for more information about online testing services. 

4.  Pass the Basic Technology Literacy Exam (BTLE).  The BTLE tests basic competency in five areas:  word processing, spreadsheet, telecommunications, presentation, and database.  Visit the BTLE web page to view practice tests, complete online tutorials, and register for the exam.  Students should register for this test as soon as they arrive at Southern Miss for coursework.  View testing dates for Spring 2012 by downloading the following PDF:  Spring 12 BTLE Testing Dates.

5.  Purchasing a subscription to TK20, valid for seven years (TK20 is an online software system that collects data for NCATE and a subscription can be purchased on the TK20 homepage,, or from the textbook center)

Once you have met these five requirements, you are ready to apply for your Gold Card.  Please contact at Dr. Elaine White, English licensure advisor for the Gulf Coast, for a Gold Card application.  If you have any questions, please contact Lori Brommer.



1.  After you have gotten your Gold Card, you should see your advisor to create a schedule that includes the upper-level English classes and restricted education courses you will need to graduate.  For a complete list of requirements, click here for the current requirements, or view the Undergraduate Bulletin for the year you entered Southern Miss.  You must earn at least a “C” in all English courses and restricted education courses.  

2.  You must take ENG 491 the semester before you begin your student teaching internship. During this semester you must also complete the following tasks:

  • Complete your Degree Application.  Visit the registrar’s Graduation and Commencement web page to download the degree application and to learn more about graduation.
  • Take the Praxis II:  English Language, Literature, and Composition Content Area (ELLC), and Principles of Learning and Teaching 7-12 (PLT).
  • Apply for a teacher internship through the Office of Educational Field Experiences.   Note:  You cannot apply for an internship unless you are currently enrolled in ENG 491; your instructor will guide you through the process.

3.  Once all of the above requirements have been met and you have finished your coursework, you will enroll in ENG 494 and ENG 495 for your final semester.  This is your student teaching internship.  You will be assigned two field placements, one in middle school and one in high school, and will work closely with a supervisor from the Department of English and with the staff of the Office of Educational Field Experiences.

4.  After the successful completion of your internship, click here for the Mississippi Department of Education’s licensure application checklist.