Home Teaching Programs in Mississippi

Teaching Programs in Mississippi

Mississippi has struggled with low education rankings, but the state is working towards improvement. In 2017, the department of education rolled out the plan. It has lofty goals for overall growth, and at the time of the plan’s publication, some strides had already been made: the state administered the ACT exam to all students cost-free, resulting in an increase of over 6,000 test-takers; Advanced Placement (AP) course access was expanded, with a 23.1% increase in participation; and career and technical education (CTE) programs were expanded, with an astounding 91% graduation rate for CTE students.
In addition, in 2019, Mississippi led the nation in improvement in scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).


Despite some forward progress, teaching in the state can still require resourcefulness in the face of lack of funding, poor infrastructure, and variable legislative support. To catch up in educational standards, Mississippi needs good, motivated teachers. If you want to help make a difference, read on to learn how to become a teacher in Mississippi.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Mississippi?

There are multiple ways to get a teaching license in Mississippi. At all levels, the state has an unusual classification system, with specific requirements for initial licensure and renewal:

  • Class A – Requires a bachelor’s degree
  • Class AA – Teachers who hold a master’s degree
  • Class AAA – Those with a specialist degree, including a Juris Doctorate and Master of Fine Arts
  • Class AAAA – Teachers with a doctorate

When choosing your pathway, be sure to decide which classification level is right for you.

Traditional Pathway to Becoming a Teacher in Mississippi

Most people who know they want to teach take a conventional route to becoming a teacher:

  1. Decide what grade or subject they wish to teach.
  2. Choose a bachelor’s degree program that includes student teaching.
  3. Request a recommendation for the license from the college/university certification officer.
  4. Pass the required exams.
  5. Apply for a license.

Becoming a Teacher through Alternative Certification or as a Career Switcher

If you don’t have a teaching degree in Mississippi but have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, you can teach by following one of the alternate route programs.

Each Alternate Route requires a candidate to complete required testing, a training program, and a one-year paid teaching internship working with an approved, experienced educator mentor. Upon successful completion of all requirements, you may apply for a five-year standard teaching license.

At this time, there isn’t an alternate route for Elementary Education K–3. If you want to teach these grades, you’ll have to complete an approved K–3 elementary education program.

Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification in Mississippi

Career and Technical Education can give students the technical skills they need for a successful, sustainable career. CTE programs encompass a variety of skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation.

To earn this certification, you need to be aware of the individual fields’ requirements. While some require an associate degree, others require a bachelor’s. Regardless of the degree requirements, you must have substantial work experience in the field you want to teach. In addition, the hiring district must request the license.

Teachers Moving to Mississippi from a Different State

Teachers who hold a valid teaching license from another state may be able to attain a reciprocity license.  This five-year renewable license is issued if the current license meets Mississippi’s minimum licensure requirements (or equivalent) and if the license is in an area in which Mississippi issues an endorsement.

If your out-of-state license does not cover Mississippi’s standard requirements, you can apply for a two-year, non-renewable license. Once you’ve met all of Mississippi’s requirements, it can be converted to a five-year renewable license.

Average Salaries and Projected Job Growth for Mississippi Teachers

Mississippi teacher salaries are lower than the national average; however, the state enjoys the lowest cost of living in the USA, according to a report by World Population Review. CareerOneStop also reports a high rate of growth for teacher job openings in the state, especially when compared to the national averages of 3%-4%.

CareerMedian Salaries in Mississippi (May 2018)Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education$43,8608%
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$46,3708%
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$47,1908%
Postsecondary Teaching*$71,486Growth projections vary depending on the field.

*Averaged from all postsecondary salaries

Job growth data from CareerOneStop (2020).

Teacher Training Programs in Mississippi

There are 18 approved teaching programs in Mississippi, spread throughout the state. Below is a brief overview of several of the best options.

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi (OleMiss) is probably most famous for football, but the school is also recognized for being among the best in the nation for online graduate education.

The School of Education offers teaching degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. They also have certificate and online programs. Tuition is $4,359 per semester for a full-time undergraduate student who is a Mississippi resident, and $12,495 for out-of-state undergrads. Graduate students pay $5,811 and $13,947, respectively.

Jackson State University

Jackson State University (JSU) is a public, historically black university (HBCU) and is the fourth largest university in Mississippi.  The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) offers bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degrees in education, as well as four doctoral and online degree programs.  Tuition for 19 credit hours in 2020 is $4,135.00 per semester for residents and $4,722.50 for non-residents.

Delta State University

Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, is a public school with approximately 3,500 students that began as a teacher’s college.  Today the Division of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Research offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including specialist and doctoral degrees, as well as online classes and degree programs. Tuition for a full-time undergraduate or graduate program is $3,750 per semester.

Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi University for Women (the W) in Columbus, Mississippi, became a coeducational school in 1982. With affordable tuition and small class sizes, the W offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, as well as professional development Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that can be earned online through its Professional Learning Academy.  The Division of Education and Outreach provides resources for students from the preschool to post-graduate level.

Tuition is $3,712 per semester for full-time undergraduate or graduate students. Part-time undergrads and graduate students pay $309 and $412.50 per credit hour, respectively.

Mississippi Teacher Resources

Mississippi teachers looking for ideas and materials have places they can turn to for help. Here are just a few.

  • The Mississippi Department of Education: The Mississippi Department of Education provides links to resources for educators, including lesson plans for K–12 teachers, opportunities for professional development, and Family Guides for Student Success.
  • Project Learning Tree: Project Learning Tree is an environmental education program. Their slogan is “Make Learning Fun. Use the environment to engage children in learning – both outside and indoors.” They believe that being and playing outdoors is good for kids’ brains and bodies. The website provides resources for science teachers and others who think that it’s vital for kids to learn to connect with nature. They offer training for educators, learning activities for various grade levels, and events for families.
  • Mississippi Council on Economic Education: The Mississippi Council on Economic Education provides tools to assist Mississippi teachers in teaching financial literacy, economics, entrepreneurial skills, and personal finance. They also offer training for educators to improve their ability to teach financial and economic literacy.
  • Mississippi Professional Educators (MPE) Association: Mississippi Professional Educators is a statewide professional organization. Their website offers a variety of resources, including links to K-12 curriculum resources, virtual field trips, conferences, and more.
  • Mississippi Association for Gifted Children: The Mississippi Association for Gifted Children (MAGC) is a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of gifted students in the state of Mississippi. The website provides resources for teachers and parents of gifted children and youth, including information about assessments and referrals.