Find an Education Path For Teaching in Mississippi, MS
If you decide that you want to be a teacher, there are certain steps to follow. The first step depends on where you are now on the path toward reaching your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have achieved and we will guide you through the steps to take as you advance towards a teaching career in Mississippi.
Choose Your Highest Level of Education
- I have graduated from High School or Earned a GED…
- Have some college or an Associate’s Degree
- Earned a Bachelor’s Degree…
- Earned a Master’s Degree…
The information below will help you discover the steps you should take to become a teacher in Mississippi.
If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED
Students who want to be teachers have a number of options for continuing their education after leaving high school. Once you have your high school diploma or GED certificate, appropriate grade point average (GPA), ACT or SAT scores and any necessary prerequisites, you are eligible to apply for admission to a two-year or community college and to a four-year university. Institutes of higher learning offer courses, programs and degrees that will lead you toward becoming a teacher in Mississippi.
- Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
- Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
- Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.
If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree
Two-year or community colleges offer Associate degrees in the education field, and completing one of these degree programs is a major step on the road to a teaching career in Mississippi. Your Associate degree and the classes you take can provide prerequisites necessary for transferring into a Bachelor’s degree program in Education at a four-year university. Also available at community colleges, are professional programs that result in certificates instead of degrees. For example, fulfilling the requirements for an Early Childhood Education Certificate will prepare you to begin working with young children after you complete your two-year college.
- Earning an Associate degree from a community or two-year college may qualify you to transfer to a four-year college as a Junior. Some Mississippi-accredited college degrees, core classes and prerequisites completed during your time at a community college can be transferred to a university and will satisfy some of your Bachelor’s degree requirements. Completing general education coursework before you start working toward a Bachelor in Education degree, will allow you to focus on the teacher preparation component of your studies.
- Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
- Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. A certificate or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, may qualify you to begin working as a teaching assistant or child caretaker with infants, toddlers and pre-school children at Head Start, preschools, childcare organizations or before- and after-school programs.
If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree
Having a Bachelor’s degree as well as fulfilling experiential and assessment requirements will qualify prospective teachers to begin the application process that will lead to being issued a teaching license in Mississippi. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in education or in another discipline, consult with an advisor about your licensing options. Mississippi offers both traditional and alternative route licenses, and which license you are qualified to pursue will depend on your undergraduate major
- If your Bachelor’s Degree in Education was earned in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
- Mississippi’s mandatory assessment exams for educator licensure are the Praxis Tests, which must be taken and passed before teachers qualify to apply for their teaching license. All three parts of Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test in Reading, Writing and Mathematics are required for each teaching candidate. Graduates of Teacher Education programs, but not Alternate Route candidates, must pass the Principles of Learning and Teaching test that matches the grade level they hope to teach. All teaching candidates are required to take the Praxis II Subject Area tests for each content area of certification sought.
- Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
- If you received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a specific subject taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
- Some aspiring teachers have a Bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than Education, and some have not completed a Teacher Education program when they decide they want to teach in Mississippi. These teacher candidates must successfully fulfill all requirements of one of Mississippi’s approved Alternative Route programs. Each program has the same components: testing, a training program or coursework, and a year-long teaching internship. The teachers must also follow certain steps, including deciding what subject area and age level they want to teach and passing all required Praxis I and II tests. Completing a Master’s degree in Education combined with a Teacher Preparation program is another route toward certification.
- Once you have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, completed a Mississippi-accredited Teacher Education Program, fulfilled all experiential requirements, including classroom-based student teaching hours, and passed all Praxis tests, you will be qualified to apply for an initial Educator License to teach in Mississippi.
If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program
Teacher candidates can choose from a few different approved Master’s degree programs designed to prepare individuals who want to teach in Mississippi. Graduates who complete a Master of Education degree or a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, satisfied all requirements for an accredited Teacher Preparation program, and fulfilled all other academic coursework, teacher training and fieldwork, will be eligible to apply for and be issued a Traditional or Alternative Route Educator’s License from the state of Mississippi.
- Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with aTeacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach.
- When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Mississippi Department of Education to request an application.
- Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.