Teach Mississippi Institute - TMI

The Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) is a certificate program available to students who wish to teach in a secondary content area without earning an additional degree. Southern Miss offers convenient schedules and academic preparation at a research-extensive university with a strong history of teacher preparation for more than 100 years.

Applicants should understand that we do not guarantee to meet the licensure requirements of states other than Mississippi. Candidates will be responsible for verifying that your program of study meets your desired state’s licensure requirements.

For admission, students are expected to apply through the Graduate School by completing the following forms:

    1. Application for Graduate Certificate Program - check Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) on the application.

Admissions Information

State of Mississippi mandated admission requirements include:

  1. Official transcripts indicating a Bachelor's degree from a regionally/nationally accredited institution with a major other than education.
  2. Passing Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators test results, ACT scores with a 21+ composite score, or SAT equivalent to a 21+ ACT score.  
  3. Passing Praxis II (Specialty Area) Test, from the USM-approved subject area list. 
    • Candidates will be required to secure a teaching position in the subject area that matches their Praxis II Test. One cannot, for instance, pass the Praxis II in Chemistry and then take a position teaching English.
    • Along with the Praxis II requirement, the state requires a cohort GPA of 3.0. Our cohorts average above a 3.0.
  4. Submit to a background check.
University of Southern Mississippi mandated admission requirements include: 
  1. A 2.75+ GPA on the last 60 credit hours of the Bachelor's degree
  2. 3 Letters of Recommendation with the Graduate School application.
  3. Letter of Intent / Statement of Purpose written according to the guidelines provided within the Graduate School application.
  4. Upon admission, a subscription to the Tk20 Assessment System is required. Tk20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes data for accreditation purposes. Subscriptions can be purchased here.

The GRE is not required.  

The deadline for applying to 2019 summer enrollment for the TMI program has not been officially set but will be around May 18, 2019. 

Program Information

The TMI plan of study requires 12 credit hours (see plan of study here and course descriptions here). The first 9 hours (CIS 603, CIS 570, REF 632) are offered only in the summer. Upon successful completion ("B" or better in each class) of the first 9 hours, participants apply to the Mississippi Department of Education for a 3-year non-renewable temporary license and seek employment in a Mississippi school district. The Teacher Center at the Mississippi Department of Education may be of assistance in finding employment/internship. Once employment/internship has been secured, the candidate will register for his/her last licensure class, CIS 694/794. Southern Miss faculty will make classroom visits during the semester and support candidate growth. Students must submit the application for completion of the certificate the semester before they plan to complete requirements for the certificate. This includes a fee established by the graduate school. Upon successful completion of the internship and the first full year of employment, participants may apply to the Mississippi Department of Education for a five-year renewable alternate route Mississippi teacher's license. 

Additional Information

Should you start the TMI program and decide you want to pursue a master's degree, apply to the Graduate School for a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Completion of the TMI program satisfies 12 of the 36 hours required for the MAT.

USM approved licensure areas can be found here: About our Alternate Route Programs.

Financial Aid:

  • Financial aid is not available for Certificate Programs including the TMI.  Only students in degree-granting programs are eligible for financial aid.  However, the state of Mississippi currently offers a small scholarship to TMI completers at the conclusion of the program.

Praxis II and CORE Information:

  • The test codes and minimum score requirements for Praxis CORE and Praxis II can be found online. To register and find dates for tests, visit www.ets.org/praxis/ms/requirements. For additional questions, please contact the University Testing Center at 118 College Drive #5089, Hattiesburg, MS 39406; Walker Science Building, room 217; 601-266-6123. Applications with incorrect or outdated test codes will be denied.

Contact for More Information:

Dr. Jay Howell, Program Coordinator & Faculty Member - Hattiesburg Campus
Phone: 601-266-6570
Email:  james.b.howell@usm.edu
Dr. Bridgette L. Davis, Faculty Member - Gulf Coast Campus
Phone: 228-214-3372