Mississippi Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Mississippi
To work as a teacher in Mississippi, you must understand Mississippi’s licensure procedure and requirements. Because there are multiple ways to become a certified teacher in Mississippi, getting comprehensive information about your options can be very helpful.
Requirements for certified teachers in Mississippi
According to the Mississippi Department of Education, you can qualify for your initial Class A licensure if you have at least a bachelor’s degree in teacher education from an accredited institution. Teachers must also pass the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills test, the Principles of Teaching test, and a PRAXIS II subject test in their area of expertise. The Class A license lasts for five years.
Teachers who hold an active Class A license can apply for a Class AA license if they earn a master’s degree in education or in their area of expertise. Teachers with a specialist degree in education or in their area of expertise can apply for a Class AAA license, and teachers with a doctoral degree in education or their area of expertise can apply for a Class AAAA license. All of these licenses are valid for five years. Renewing your license requires showing proof of meeting continuing education requirements.
Though alternate paths to licensure are available, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in teacher education is the most common choice among Mississippi teachers. If you choose this route to becoming a certified teacher in Mississippi, you will most likely choose a grade level and/or subject area of specialty early in your teacher education program. The specialty you choose will determine the tests you must take in order to earn your Class A licensure.
Mississippi jobs for licensed teachers
Mississippi offers several different types of licensure for teachers, and not every Mississippi teaching certification requires a bachelor’s degree in teacher education. Below are the various licenses available for teachers in the state of Mississippi, as well as a description of the teachers holding each license.
- Standard Educator License (Classes A through AAAA). You are a first-year or returning teacher who completed an undergraduate teacher education program and passed the required exams. You hold a bachelor’s, master’s, specialty or doctorate degree, and you have passed the PRAXIS II subject test in your area of expertise.
- One-Year Alternate Route Educator License. You hold a non-education bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and you have passed the PRAXIS II subject test in your area of expertise. You have also completed the Teach MS Institute Program, an eight-week teacher preparation course.
- Five-Year Alternate Route Educator License. You hold an active one-year alternate route educator license and you have completed a one-year internship program that includes mentorship from your school district. You have also secured a recommendation for continued licensure from your district.
- Three-Year Alternate Route Master of Arts in Teaching License. You hold a non-education bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and you have passed the PRAXIS II subject test in your area of expertise. You must also have completed six credit hours of pre-teaching courses from an approved master’s program.
- Five-Year Alternate Route Master of Arts in Teaching License. You hold an active three-year alternate route Master of Arts license, and you have completed an approved master’s program. You have also completed an internship and secured a job.
- One-Year Alternate Route American Board Certification License. You hold a non-education bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and are enrolled in an appropriate program. You have also passed the ABCTE Passport to Teaching exam.
- Five-Year Alternate Route American Board Certification License. You hold a one-year American Board Certification license and have completed a one-year internship with a mentor. You have completed six credit hours of master’s degree coursework or a three-week MAPQT program.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Mississippi for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Foreign Language
- Science/Science Education
- Special Education
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Teaching license reciprocity in Mississippi
Mississippi participates in a teaching license reciprocity agreement with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). When you apply for a teaching certificate in one state using an existing license from another, the “destination state” is actually recognizing your credentials as verification that you are qualified to teach. You must still meet all requirements before you can teach there.
Fortunately, the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement for Educator Licensure streamlines this application process and expedites the goal of teaching in your new state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.
Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.