Southern Miss offers initial teacher licensure programs at the traditional undergraduate level, alternate-route certificate level, or alternate-route graduate level.
Mission and Vision
Faculty, staff, and candidates within the Professional Education Unit at Southern Miss collaborate to generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Unit faculty members prepare candidates to become creative, bold, and determined educational leaders who possess the characteristics embodied within the following four core themes:
The Professional Education Unit's conceptual framework is consistent with the University's historical roots as a normal college, its mission, and its future. The University, since its founding in 1910, has been committed to the exemplary preparation of teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school personnel. in accordance with this history and the present vision and mission of the University, the Unit is committed to improving the educational attainment of the citizens of Mississippi, and in turn, the economic development of our state. Therefore, the mission of the Unit is fivefold:
Professional Education Faculty
Our professional education faculty have extensive expertise in the classroom and are actively engaged in research that informs professional practice. Nothing is more important to our professional education faculty than investing in our teacher education students. They are committed to providing students with an exciting and engaging professional experience that prepares candidates for a successful and rewarding career as a teacher, teacher leader, or school administrator.
The Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers initial licensure educator preparation programs, advanced licensure educator preparation programs, and the preparation of other school professional programs on both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses. The programs are also accredited through the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) following the Mississippi Educator Preparation Program Accreditation (MEPPA) Review.
On July 1, 2013, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) became the new, sole accreditor for educator preparation providers as a result of the de factor consolidation of NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Southern Miss' last accreditation visit by NCATE was in March 2012. The next Southern Miss site visit will be completed by CAEP in Spring 2019. Until Spring 2019, Southern Miss holds NCATE accreditation. After successful completion of a standards compliance report (self-study) and a site visit, Southern Miss will become CAEP accredited.
The mission of both NCATE and CAEP is accountability and improvement of educator preparation. The accreditation process establishes rigorous standards for educator preparation programs and holds accredited institutions accountable for providing continuous evidence of meeting these standards.
Many educator preparation programs are also nationally recognized by their applicable Specialized Professional Association (SPA).
The programs are also accredited through the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) following the Mississippi Educator Preparation Program Accreditation (MEPPA) Review.