Mississippi: Teacher Credentialing in Mississippi

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To become a teacher in Mississippi, individuals need to work through a set of requirements that will allow them to obtain the teacher's certification they need to legally provide teaching services in the state. If you are already licensed but are outside the state, you should contact the Mississippi Department of Education to determine your eligibility. The state recognizes most other state licensing and certification.

In order to provide teaching services in the state, you must qualify for a teacher's certification. To do this, you must first obtain the necessary education. There is also a requirement to obtain teacher preparation followed by the teacher skills testing. Although the state does not mandate that students specialize their degrees, it does encourage teachers to do so. With your teacher's certification, you can provide teaching services in public, private, and parochial schools in the state. Some schools may have additional requirements.

An alternative certification is available for those individuals who already have a bachelor's degree in a different department from an accredited school. However, determination if you qualify to use this education is done on a one on one basis and individuals will need to contact the Mississippi Department of Education to determine if this is possible.

Step One: Education

The first step in becoming a certified teacher in Mississippi is to obtain the appropriate education. The state requires that all teachers have at least a bachelor's level degree in any field of education. Most teachers will specialize this degree in science, art, elementary education, or even special education. The education you receive must come from an accredited college or university.

The state of Mississippi does not require individuals to obtain specific undergraduate credit hours in specific classes; however, they do mandate that you follow the educational program for the bachelor's degree that the school offers.

Step Two: Teacher Preparation

Once you have received the necessary degree in education, you will need to enroll in an accredited teacher education program. This program will require two steps. The first is an instructional based portion that teaches the student the foundational education and skills they need to perform within the classroom. Students learn to research and develop curriculum. In addition, the student will need to perform necessary fieldwork. This includes interning with a certified teacher. They will student teach, implement a lesson plan that follows the curriculum required, and they will work with students.

Step Three: Teacher Testing

In the state of Mississippi, the Department of Education requires that teachers sit for the basic skills test. This test is the Pre Professional Skills Test or PPST. In addition to this, most teachers will also need to sit for the Praxis II, which is a specialization-testing requirement for any teacher that will have a specialized area of teaching.

Once you have successfully passed all of these educational and testing requirements, the next step is to actually apply for your teacher certification. To do this, fill out the application with the Mississippi Department of Education and submit all necessary forms. You will receive your certification when all documentation is verified.

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