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Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure (OEL) issues licenses to applicants qualified to become teachers in Mississippi. Here are the steps you’ll need to complete to become a math teacher in Mississippi:

Complete a Degree Related to Teaching Mathematics
Take the Appropriate Praxis Exams
Apply for Your Mississippi Math Teacher’s License
Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Mississippi Math Teacher’s License

Within the Mississippi Department of Education is the Office of Mathematics, which sets the standards for math competency in the state at each grade level. The office has developed College- and Career-Readiness Standards for the following grade levels:

  • Grades K-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

With the exception of high school calculus, math courses in Mississippi use the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-Math). The Mississippi Department of Education provides a number of resources for its math teachers to master teaching the CCSS-Math standards including webinars, work sessions, and workshops.

Mississippi math teachers train K-6 students according to their grade level. Starting in Grade 7, the course sequence options are based on the following areas:

  • Academic progress
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Parental consent

Math teachers in Mississippi assess their students’ understanding of mathematical principles using the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Degree Related to Teaching Mathematics

You can become a math teacher in Mississippi by completing a math teacher preparation program, or through a number of alternate routes. All of your options require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree. If you are getting your certification through an alternate route program, you will need to take part in a year-long teaching internship.

Traditional Teacher Education Route

In Mississippi you can get an initial teaching license if you have a degree in teaching math from any college or university with national or regional accreditation. The Mississippi Department of Education provides a list of programs approved to teach math educators.

You have the option of obtaining a variety of degrees in Mississippi for teaching math. As of 2014, 14 of the approved schools offer bachelor’s degrees, while six offer master’s and two offer doctoral degrees. Three schools offer programs to obtain a supplemental endorsement to teach math to seventh and eighth graders.

Programs that train you to teach math provide both a strong grounding in mathematical principles and the pedagogy training that you will need to be an effective teacher.

MAPQT: Initial Three-Year Alternate Route License

If you want to change careers and teach math, you can enroll in the Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MPAQT) route. The Mississippi Department of Education provides detailed instructions on how to take part in this program. Only a limited number of slots are available, so you are advised to register early in the year.

There are stringent requirements to take part in this program. If you graduated over 7 years ago, you must have an overall GPA of 2.0. If you have obtained your degree since then, you must have either a:

  • 2.5 overall

OR

  • 2.75 in your major

You will have to take part in a training program consisting of 90 clock hours. This will take about three weeks and involve courses in the following areas:

  • Effective teaching strategies
  • Planning and instruction
  • State curriculum frameworks
  • Survival skills in the classroom

MAPQT: Five-Year Alternate Route License

The MPAQT route also offers you the opportunity to get a five-year license. After your first year of teaching, you must complete a practicum that consists of nine Saturdays and includes the following components:

  • Classroom management
  • Data analysis using test results
  • Peer coaching
  • School law
  • Training modules using interactive video training

MAT: Initial Three-Year Alternate Route License

You can also get a Three Year Alternate Route License by enrolling in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. You will have to complete 6 graduate hours of pre-teaching courses in the following areas:

  • Classroom management
  • Tests and measurements

You can add a supplemental endorsement in math to your three-year MAT license.

MAT: Five-Year Alternate Route License

You can get a renewable Five Year Alternate Route License by complete 6 additional hours of graduate coursework. This must include a supervised internship.

TMI Initial Three Year Alternate Route License

You can also get a license to teach math through the Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI). Several universities offer this option. You will need to consult with the specific university you want to attend to determine their requirements for acceptance into the program. These might include the following:

  • GRE scores
  • Written agreement from a school district for future employment
  • Letters of recommendation

You will take 9 semester hours of graduate coursework over eight weeks. You will study the following areas:

  • Classroom management
  • Instructional methods
  • State curriculum requirements
  • Teaching strategies
  • Tests and measurements

TMI Five Year Renewable Alternate Route License

To extend your math license to five years, you will need to request an online recommendation from your program once you have completed your program. You must also meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a year of internship with mentoring and induction in a local school district
  • Submit a letter your school district that recommends the issuance of a 5 year license

You can add a supplemental endorsement to a five year license.

ABCTE One Year Alternate Route License – To obtain certification to teach math from the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, you take part in a self-paced program and obtain a one year non-renewable license.

ABCTE Five Year Alternate Route License – You must complete a one year mentoring program in a Mississippi school. Then you must complete one of the following:

  • 8 weeks of free online training from the Mississippi Department of Education
  • 3 weeks of summer training through the MAPQT program
  • 6 semester graduate course hours in the following:
    • Classroom management
    • Tests and measurements

 


 

Step 2. Take the Appropriate Praxis Exams

You will have to take different Praxis exams depending on how you are obtaining your license. If you have gone through a teacher education program, you need to take the following two exams to be able to apply to become a math teacher for grades 7-12:

  • Praxis II Principles of Learning & Teaching (0624 or 5624)
  • Praxis II Mathematics (5161)

If you are taking an alternate route, you must take these two exams:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE)
  • Praxis II Mathematics (5161)

The 5161 math test is a 150 minute computer test that covers the following two content categories:

  • Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, and Calculus: 41 questions
  • Geometry, Probability and Statistics, and Discrete Mathematics: 19 questions

You will be provided with an on-screen graphing calculator, and you are strongly advised to take advantage of the free 30-day trial download of the calculator to get some practice using it. You will need to score 160 to pass this exam, although you can retake it if you fail. You should take advantage of the preparation materials available to study for this exam.

If you are adding a supplemental endorsement for teaching math to grades 7 and 8, you will take a different Praxis II math exam: 5169. This two hour test examines the following areas:

  • Arithmetic and Algebra: 34 questions
  • Geometry and Data: 21 questions

This computer based exam also provides an on-screen calculator, and you should download the free trial and practice with it before you take the test. Preparation materials are also available for the 5169 exam.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Your Mississippi Math Teacher’s License

Once you have obtained the appropriate training and passed your Praxis exams, you can apply for your Mississippi license to teach math. You can either do this online or download a paper application and send it in. Both of these options start at the Mississippi Department of Education website.

If you are applying through the Traditional Teacher Education Route, the type of license you get depends on your teaching degree. Typically, Mississippi math teachers get either a Class A license (bachelor’s degree) or a Class AA license (master’s degree). To get the Class AA license, you must have one of the following:

  • An Education degree
  • A graduate math endorsement

You need to go through additional steps to get certified through the alternate routes. For each of the different types of three year alternate route licenses, you need to go through the following steps:

  1. Obtain an online recommendation from your school
  2. Apply to it in the ELMS (Educator Licensure Management System)
  3. Provide transcripts for all of your college coursework either:
    • Sent by you as sealed documents
    • Sent electronically by your institution through eScrip

For the MAPQT license, you must also mail in a completed mentoring form from your school district.

 


 

Step 4. Meet the Requirements to Renew Your Mississippi Math Teacher’s License

You can only renew five year math teacher licenses. Those of shorter duration are considered to be provisional. If you have the standard Class A certification, you need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • 6 semester math hours
  • 3 semester math hours and 5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) related to math
  • 10 CEUs in an area related to math
  • Completion of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Process

For a Class AA or higher certification, you only need 3 semester hours or 5 CEUs or completion of the final option shown above.

You can find a list of agencies that offer coursework and CEUs from the Mississippi Department of Education.

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