The faculty of the College of Education is committed to fulfilling the following three major functions:
- to provide undergraduate and graduate professional preparation for teachers, administrators, school service personnel, and others who assume education-related positions in settings other than schools;
- to collaborate with school personnel, educational agencies, professional groups, and others interested in the evaluation and improvement of educational opportunities, programs, and services; and
- to promote and conduct experimental and other research studies designed to improve educational practice and to advance educational theory.
In addition to being accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the College of Education is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. It is the objective of this College to provide excellence in education while at the same time exhibiting a friendly attitude toward students. The teacher education programs are approved by the Mississippi State Department of Education, thereby enabling graduates to satisfy the certification requirements for the State of Mississippi.
As a land grant institution founded in 1878, Mississippi State University has a rich and distinguished tradition of providing leadership and service to the state and its people. Within this tradition of excellence, the mission of the College of Education at Mississippi State University is to prepare highly qualified professionals for the state and region to serve as teachers, administrators, supervisors, counselors, and other professionals in public schools, industry, and human service agencies.
The College of Education values outstanding teaching and is dedicated to offering nationally accredited programs that are based on essential knowledge, sound practice, relevant research, and realistic clinical training. The College is committed to providing professional development opportunities at the baccalaureate, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral levels. Through its leadership in teaching, service, and research, the College of Education prepares professionals who contribute substantially to the improvement of the lives of many individuals in our changing, technologically complex, and increasingly diverse society.
The College of Education consists of six departments: Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Foundations; Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education; Educational Leadership; Instructional Systems and Workforce Development; Kinesiology; and Music.
Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Foundations. This department prepares individuals at the undergraduate and graduate levels to function in a variety of professional settings that include K-12 schools, community counseling centers, human services agencies, business settings, rehabilitation agencies, community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. The department offers the Bachelor’s, Master of Science, Educational Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Special areas of interest in the department are psychometry, educational psychology, school psychology, community counseling, school counseling, vocational rehabilitation counseling, college counseling, educational foundations, and student affairs administration in higher education.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. This department is responsible for instruction in all professional courses of a general nature and in professional courses that deal specifically with teaching in special education, elementary education, and in the secondary fields of English, social studies, mathematics, science, and foreign languages. In addition to organizing and administering the curricula for educating teachers in the fields of elementary education, special education, and secondary education, the department is responsible for the direction and immediate supervision of teacher candidates in these fields.
Through this department, the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Arts in Teaching, Educational Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered. The department also offers areas of emphasis in elementary and secondary for the Educational Specialist and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Educational Leadership. This department provides programs in educational leadership, community college leadership, and workforce education leadership. Programs are designed to prepare administrators, supervisors, teachers, and other educational personnel for positions of leadership in school district offices; elementary, middle, or secondary schools; business and industry settings; and community college administrative positions. The department offers the Master of Science, Master of Arts in Community College Teaching, Educational Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Instructional Systems and Workforce Development. This department provides teacher/ coordinator/administrator preparation in vocational areas including adult, business, industrial technology, and information technology services. Mississippi State University is a designated institution for the preparation of vocational-technical education personnel, and state and federal funds are made available through cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education for the partial support of this program.
This department offers Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Educational Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. It also offers a non-degree veterans certificate program, as well as minors in industrial technology and information technology services.
Kinesiology. This department offers the Bachelor of Science degree with concentration areas in health fitness studies, clinical exercise physiology, sport studies, and physical education/coaching. Physical education/coaching majors may also pursue an add-on teaching endorsement in health education and driver’s education by taking additional coursework. The department also offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Music. This department offers the Bachelor of Music Education degree, with concentrations in vocal, instrumental, keyboard, and guitar. The department also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in music for non-teaching majors (see the Arts & Sciences section for details on the B.A. in Music degree). The Famous Maroon Band and the University Chorus, both of which are university-wide organizations, are integral parts of this department.
America Reads - Mississippi. America Reads - Mississippi is an AmeriCorps program that has approximately 270 AmeriCorps members in levels 1 and 2 school districts that provide additional assistance to children in grades K-8 in the area of reading. Divided into teams, these AmeriCorps members recruit volunteers to assist in the schools, promote parental involvement, and perform various community service projects throughout the year.
Mississippi Migrant Education Service Center. The Mississippi Migrant Education Service Center sets out to ensure that migrant students and youth are receiving appropriate educational services to enable them to achieve high academic standards by overcoming the obstacles created by cultural and language differences and the educational disruption stemming from frequent moves. A variety of services are available to migrant students in addition to the educational services provided by the school district. All services provided are free of charge. Some of the services that can be provided are: distribution of school supplies; inclusion in summer and after-school programs; academic assistance, such as tutoring; adult education (GED and ESL classes); referrals to medical or dental services; summer programs (link to information on summer programs); assistance with applications for Medicaid/Food Stamps; and assistance with interpretation at doctors' offices.
Mississippi World Class Teaching Program. The MSU World Class Teaching Program is a university-based initiative designed to recruit and mentor teachers seeking advanced certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) process.
Writing/Thinking Institute. The mission of the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute is to improve writing and learning in Mississippi schools. The Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute is an affiliate of the National Writing Project (NWP). Since its inception in 1985, the mission of the Institute has been to transform education for students and teachers in Mississippi by implementing the mission and goals of the NWP. The Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute offers what Mississippi teachers need most to help their students: high quality professional development that blends best practices and theory; research-based, sustained programs aligned with state and national standards; and outstanding teacher consultants who serve as teachers of their colleagues.
Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach. This office collaborates with partner school districts to provide practicum and teaching clinical laboratory experiences for those enrolled in teacher education programs at MSU. Such experiences are supervised jointly by the faculty of the P-12 schools and the faculty of the College of Education.
The Learning Center. This center is an academic support unit for students, staff, and faculty at MSU whose primary purpose is to help students achieve and maintain successful academic standing. Through courses and tutoring, students are encouraged to acquire valuable study habits by assistance with proven strategies that help them develop into more effective and efficient learners. Some specific areas of service are reading comprehension and rate, vocabulary development, spelling, grammar, composition, mathematics, conversational English, time management, note taking, assessment of current study habits and learning styles, and assistance with preparation for professional examinations. In addition, the center offers seminar courses which assist incoming freshmen and transfer students in orientation to the university.
The center has a teaching computer laboratory as well as a general computer lab available to students, faculty, and staff. With prior scheduling, technical assistance and short courses are provided in the center in relation to all materials, equipment, and technology needs. The center makes available and assists in the preparation of instructional resource materials and provides selected multimedia equipment for classroom use. For further information, see The Learning Center in Part I of this bulletin.
The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. This center is the only national center that focuses on increasing the employability of persons who are blind or severely visually impaired.
The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability. This center provides comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluations to assist with limitations through the application of assistive technology, allowing individuals to participate in educational, vocational, and leisure activities to the fullest degree they choose.
Requirements for Teacher Education Students
A four-phase admission procedure is designed to assure a logical progression through the total professional education process.
Enrollment in the College of Education (Phase I – pertains to Teacher Education majors in the College of Education only): Phase I identifies students who have enrolled in Teacher Education programs prior to official admission into Teacher Education. This early identification ensures that the necessary counseling, screening, and advisement is provided for students aspiring to become teachers. To enroll in the College of Education, students must be admitted to Mississippi State University; select a major within a department that has a basic teacher preparation program; meet with an assigned advisor in the College of Education; and become familiar with the current College of Education Undergraduate Handbook, curriculum check sheet, and current university catalog.
Admission to Teacher Education (Phase II – including Teacher Education majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences): To be admitted to Teacher Education and enroll in upper level professional education courses, students must complete Phase II by achieving a minimum of 44 semester credit hours (which includes the 36 hour general education requirements but excludes remedial and intermediate courses) with a 2.75 GPA and a 2.5 minimum overall GPA. Students must also complete 6 semester credit hours of English composition and 3 semester credit hours of mathematics (Algebra or higher) with a grade of “C” or higher in each course, and present either an ACT score of 21 (SAT equivalent of 990) with no sub-score below 18 or obtain the minimum passing scores on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests as defined by the Mississippi Department of Education (Reading: 156, Math: 150, Writing: 162).
Students are advised to keep the original copies of their Praxis Core test scores in a safe place since these scores are necessary for admission to Teacher Education. Students should request that ETS send a copy of their scores to Mississippi State University (Code RA1480). Students attending the Meridian campus should have their scores sent to both Mississippi State University (Code RA1480) and the Meridian campus (Code RA3336). Students are encouraged to take the Praxis Core exam by the end of the second semester of their freshman year.
The student must also submit two recommendation forms from educators and verification of 40 hours of work experience with children or youth; complete a criminal background check and an orientation module; sign the Teacher Education Professional Dispositions form; and have proof of liability insurance. See advisor for more information.
Students should begin the application to Teacher Education during preregistration or orientation. Confidential recommendation forms must be sent to the Dean of the College of Education, Mailstop 9710, Mississippi State, MS 39762. All students must satisfy Phase II requirements before registering for upper level professional education courses. Students who have not been admitted to Teacher Education cannot register for restricted professional education courses. The student must meet with the advisor to complete the Phase II form. The faculty advisor is responsible for submitting the Phase II form to the Dean’s Office, 309 Allen Hall.
Admission to Teaching Internship (Phase III – including Teacher Education majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences): A student must complete Phase III by submitting an Application for Admission to Teaching Internship form, which can be found online at ocfbi.msstate.edu/teaching/index.php, to the Director of the Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach one semester prior to the teaching internship. To be eligible for teaching internship, the student must have been admitted to Teacher Education and meet current requirements, must have taken both the Principles of Learning and Teaching and the Subject assessment exams (Praxis II), maintained an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher at the time of beginning internship, and have no grade below a C in major, concentration, and professional education courses. Final eligibility (2.5 GPA overall) is determined through screening at the end of the semester prior to the teaching internship. The student must also have completed all professional education and content major and concentration courses with a minimum grade of “C” prior to teaching internship. No coursework other than the 15 teaching internship/classroom management/seminar hours can be taken during the teaching internship semester, without prior approval. Elementary Education majors must also have taken Pearson's Foundations of Reading Test prior to beginning internship.
Students seeking a degree in Teacher Education and an educator license are expected to schedule the teaching internship during the last semester of the senior year. Graduate students seeking admission to Teacher Education and teaching internship are expected to meet the same requirements as undergraduate students prior to their teaching internship experience. All teacher intern placements and other communications with schools are directed through the Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach.
Exit Requirements (Phase IV): To be eligible for graduation, students in Teacher Education programs must have a “C” or better in all professional education courses, all courses in their majors and concentration areas, completed no more than half of their hours at a community college, satisfied residence requirements, and have a 2.0 overall GPA at Mississippi State University.
For more detailed information about Teacher Education admission procedures, see the current College of Education Undergraduate Handbook (educ.msstate.edu/academics/forms/). Application forms are available in the student’s academic department and in the Office of the Dean of the College of Education (309 allen Hall).
Teacher Education Policies
“D” Policy. Students in Teacher Education must make grades of “C” or better in all professional education courses, in all courses in their academic major and concentration areas, in English Composition I and II, and algebra (or higher math). All other majors should check with their advisors for the policy for non-teaching majors.
Probation/Dismissal for Teacher Education Students. After the completion of 60 hours, Teacher Education students (enrolled or admitted) whose GPAs fall below 2.50 will be placed on academic probation. This policy applies to transfer students as well. Teacher Education students whose GPAs are below 2.50 after a year of probation will be dismissed from Teacher Education. If their GPAs later improve to 2.5 or higher, they may re-enroll or reapply for admission.
In accordance with statutory provisions, the Mississippi Department of Education has adopted the rules and regulations on issuing and renewing teaching licenses which are set forth in Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure, October 2013. The licensure program is applicable to all teacher licenses. Satisfactory completion of any teaching curriculum offered by the College of Education will enable the graduate to apply for a teaching license in Mississippi, but this institution can neither waive any licensure requirements nor authorize substitutions for mandatory courses. Mississippi State University has submitted and received approval for its programs. Consequently, students who plan to transfer from other universities or another college to the College of Education should consult with the director of the Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach or an advisor in the College of Education to ascertain the general education, professional education, and specialized education courses which must be completed to obtain a teaching license in the field or fields of their choice. Since teacher licenses are issued by the Mississippi Department of Education only and not by the Teacher Education institutions, applications for licensure and original test scores must be filed with the Mississippi Department of Education by the applicant. Information concerning teacher licensure can be obtained from the Office of Clinical/Field-Based Instruction, Licensure, and Outreach.
As part of securing a Mississippi teacher’s license, students must pass the Principles of Learning and teaching (PLT) test, the Specialty Area test, and attain the required minimum scores. Students must request that ETS send a copy of their scores to Mississippi State University (Code RA1480). Students attending the Meridian campus should have their scores sent to both Mississippi State University (Code RA1480) and the Meridian campus (Code RA3336). It is very important that students keep the originals of all their test scores in a safe place since they will need the originals of these scores when they apply for a Mississippi educator’s license.
Student Code of Conduct Violations
Any violations of the Mississippi State University Student Code of Conduct as delineated in the student handbook, The Bulldog, and at students.msstate.edu/studentconduct/code.php, including academic misconduct, may place completion of the student’s degree/licensure program in jeopardy.
Organization. All curricula in the College of Education are organized on the lower- and upper-division basis. The lower division consists of the first two years and corresponds to the community college level. The upper division consists of the last two years, normally the junior and senior years.
Selection of Teaching Fields. Students who enroll in the Teacher Education program in the College of Education are expected to pursue a program of study which will enable them to qualify for a teaching license in the field of their choice.
Degree Program Modifications. Changes to the licensure requirements by the Mississippi Department of Education may mandate curricular modification. Appropriate programmatic changes for graduation, licensure, and accreditation will be made as this process evolves. These Teacher Education program changes will become applicable as students are officially admitted to programs and/or as new graduation requirements are adopted. For updated degree program modifications, please check with your departmental office.
Sequence of Courses. Students should schedule their courses in consultation with their faculty advisor.
Directed Individual Study Courses. A directed individual study course is an experience designed to further the educational and/or career development of an individual that is equal or greater than the equivalent hours for a regularly scheduled course. This experience should be used only in special circumstances as deemed appropriate by the faculty of record, student’s advisor, and department head. Unless otherwise designated by the student’s advisor and department head, the experience shall be limited to 3 credit hours of undergraduate work. Every student should make an agreement with the faculty of record to fulfill the course objectives and outcomes specified in the course syllabus. This policy applies to students entering MSU Fall 2001 and thereafter.
Transfer from Community College. Lower-division curricula (1000-2000 level) in the College of Education closely parallel the corresponding curricula offered in the community colleges of the state. Therefore, students majoring in a given area at a community college should be able to transfer to a like area in the College of Education and complete their last two years of college work without loss of time or credit.
Fields of Training. Baccalaureate programs are offered for the education of teachers in the following fields: elementary education, biology education, chemistry education, English education, foreign language education, mathematics education, music education, physics education, social studies education, special education, physical education/coaching, and technology teacher education through the College of Education. Agriculture education and family/consumer sciences education are offered in concert with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Non-teaching bachelor’s programs are offered in the following areas: educational psychology; industrial technology; information technology services; kinesiology with concentrations in clinical exercise physiology, health fitness studies, or sport studies; and music.
Requirements for Graduation. The requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Education are a minimum of 124 semester hours and 256 quality points (or higher for some curricula).
Graduate Programs in Education
Master’s Degrees. The following departments within the College of Education offer curricula leading to the degree of Master of Science: Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Foundations; Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education; Educational Leadership; Instructional Systems and Workforce development; and Kinesiology. Students should check with specific departments for information on the concentrations offered by these departments. The Master of Arts in Teaching is offered for secondary education, middle level education, and special education teachers by the department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education and for community college teachers by the department of Educational Leadership.
Educational Specialist Degree. The Educational Specialist degree is a planned program of a minimum of 30 semester hours above the Master’s degree under the direction of a major advisor. It is designed to broaden leadership training by providing courses in other fields and disciplines supplementary to the basic core in the major field. It is offered with program emphases in agriculture and extension education, counselor education, elementary education, school administration, school psychology, secondary education, special education, and technology.
Doctoral Degrees. The Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered with program emphases in counselor education, community college leadership, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, educational psychology, elementary education, exercise science, instructional systems and workforce development, school administration, school counseling, secondary education, and sport studies. Minors may be taken in various related disciplines.
For more information on graduate programs in the College of Education, see the Graduate Bulletin. A copy may be secured by writing to the Office of the Graduate School, P.O. Box G, Mississippi State, MS 39762.
College of Education Conceptual Framework
All Teacher Education programs in the College of Education at Mississippi State University adhere to a conceptual framework.
The overarching theme for the unit's conceptual framework is "Educators/Professionals – Dedicated to Continual Improvement of All Students’ Educational Experiences." The framework is aligned with the mission and goals of both the College of Education and the university. It is depicted graphically by a shield that contains a burning torch which signifies the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions of educators and other education professionals. It includes a globe, symbolizing the dedication of teachers and other education professionals to the improvement of all students' educational experiences. Encircling the globe are the concepts of technology and diversity, a depiction of the integration of technology and the incorporation of diversity throughout the curricula. Along the border of the shield appear the four areas of study that constitute the separate components of the educative process. These areas include the institution's general education curriculum, specialty professional and pedagogical studies, content or specialty area studies, and field-based and clinical experiences. Implicit in the four areas of study are four essential tenets: knowledge, collaboration, reflection, and practice.