TMI Online General Information
Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) is an MDE-accredited alternate route program for college graduates seeking certification to teach in Mississippi (a full list of subject areas and grade levels is included in the Testing Requirements section). It is broken into two components, TMI 1 and TMI 2, both of which are taught online. TMI requires some comfort with online learning as well as self-motivation and inquisitiveness.
TMI 1 is a 13-week (11-unit) online program. Course content include classroom instruction, effective teaching strategies, classroom management, Mississippi College and Career-Ready Standards (MSCC-RS), planning and instructional methodologies, and use of testing as formative and summative evaluation tools. During the course, candidates will be required to participate in online discussions, take weekly unit quizzes, and submit weekly written assignments or lesson plans. Candidates should anticipate spending six to eight hours per week on the course.
In addition to completing all coursework, candidates are required to:
- Complete 60 hours of field experience/observation in a MS secondary school (participants already teaching in a school (due to COVID protocols, candidates will have the option to watch recordings of educators in action in lieu of visiting a school; candidates already working as a teacher may apply for a 30-hour reduction in field experience hours) – AND – submit a reflective summary of the field experience
- Attend mandatory orientation
- Attend other Zoom meetings as required
- Provide proof of non-education bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning (certain international institutions may not be acceptable)
- Provide passing scores on the Praxis Core (or 21 ACT/SAT replacement) to accompany the passing Praxis Subject Assessment you submitted for admission
Upon completion of TMI 1 (all items included above), candidates receive a certificate of completion and are recommended to the Mississippi Department of Education for a temporary, non-renewable teaching license (valid for up to three years, depending on initial date of certification). Additional endorsements may be added to the license. Only after a candidate has secured a teaching position at an MDE-accredited public or private school, may he or she then join TMI 2.
TMI 2 is a 13-week (11-unit) online course taken during the first, second, or third year of employment. The course takes an in-depth view into the teaching profession. It covers inclusion teaching, effective classroom management, differentiated instruction, instruction for special needs, and more. The format of the TMI 2 course is similar to TMI 1 in that candidates will participate in online discussions, take unit quizzes, submit written assignments, and complete a comprehensive final exam.
In addition to coursework, candidates are required to:
- Attend the first live seminar in Oxford, MS
- Attend the second live seminar in Raymond, MS (alternate assignment in hardship situations)
- Work with a veteran teacher (at least five years of experience preferred) who serves as a mentor and completes evaluations on candidate progress
- Complete a one (academic) year “internship” in an MDE-accredited school.
Upon completion of TMI 2, candidates are recommended to the Mississippi Department of Education for a five-year standard, renewable teaching license. Reciprocity with other states and upgrading license (higher degree) is not available until this point.
Required Exams for Licensure
- To complete TMI 1 and receive a recommendation for a license requires passing scores on the Praxis Core examination -OR- an ACT composite score of 21 (or SAT equivalent). See Testing Requirements section of this brochure for additional information on Praxis or ACT.
- To complete TMI 1 and receive a recommendation for a license will also require a passing Praxis Subject Assessment (formerly Praxis II) in a subject area the candidate wishes to teach. The list of Praxis exams TMI can accept, along with the specific score requirements for each exam, can be found in the Testing Requirements section.
- TMI can admit a candidate without the passing Praxis Core (or ACT/SAT replacement) scores if the applicant has a college GPA of 3.0 or higher. However, to complete TMI 1 and be recommended for a license, a candidate must provide passing scores for the Praxis Core or ACT/SAT replacement.
Available Initial Subject Areas
- TMI accepts all K-12 Praxis Subject Assessments approved for initial Alternate Route certification: Art, Chinese, French, German, Health, Latin, Library/Media, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, and Special Education.
- TMI accepts all 7-12 Praxis Subject Assessments approved for initial Alternate Route certification: Biology, Business Education, Chemistry, Economics, English, Family and Consumer Science, Marketing Education, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies, and Speech Communications.
- TMI cannot accept the 4-6 Elementary Education Praxis Subject Assessment. Only certain MAT programs may accept this endorsement area (cannot be added on without completion of a MAT program).
- Additional endorsements can be added to both the three-year license received after TMI 1 and the standard five-year license received after TMI 2. For more information on supplemental endorsements to a teacher license, visit the MDE Supplemental Endorsement webpage.
Geographical, Financial, and Time Commitments
- TMI coursework is online; field experience is completed at a nearby school selected by candidate (due to COVID protocols, we have been utilizing online recordings of educators in action for field experience). Only the live seminars, two in each component, may require travel to specific locations on specific days (due to COVID, we will meet online through Zoom instead of live).
- TMI Online is a non-credit certification program; candidates are not enrolled in graduate courses. As such, TMI has a lower tuition. TMI 1 is $1,000 and TMI 2 is $1,500.
- TMI offers two terms of each component (TMI 1 and TMI 2) each year, at least one each Fall and another each Spring.
- Candidates should be prepared to commit 6 hours per week to TMI.
- TMI Online is a non-credit certification program. This means no college credit is awarded for course completion (please note that you will never need to request a transcript from The University of Mississippi for your TMI coursework, as no credit will be listed). The benefit of being a non-credit program is that our program is much more affordable than a college credit-based program (TMI Online is about 20 percent of the cost of the least expensive MAT program). The drawback of a non-credit program is that because the program does not provide college credit, candidates are not eligible for FAFSA-based student aid (loans) through The University of Mississippi.
License vs Endorsement?
- A teaching license allows a candidate to be employed as a teacher. A license is not subject specific, rather the subjects a candidate can teach are listed on the license as endorsements. To get a license, a candidate must have the following: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university, a recommendation from a teacher education program or alternate route program (such as TMI), passing Praxis Core (or ACT/SAT replacement), and a passing Praxis Subject Assessment in an initial license area (listed in the testing information of this document).
- Endorsements are listed on an educator’s license, these are the subjects and grade levels an educator can teach. The initial endorsement will be in the subject area corresponding to the Praxis Subject Assessment the candidate passed to become licensed. Adding additional endorsements can be added using college credit (18 hours, “C” or higher, in an endorsable area), Praxis Subject Assessments, or by recommendation. For more information (including lists of acceptable Praxis exams and acceptable coursework), visit the MDE Supplemental Endorsement webpage.
- In order to teach a course, an educator must have a license, and at least one of the endorsements required to be the teacher of record for the course. For example, an educator with the “181” endorsement will see “Biology (7-12)” listed on their license. With the 181 endorsement, that educator can teach any biology course in grade 7-12, any science elective grade 7-12 (i.e. physical science), 5th or 6th grade science (the science course(s) only, cannot be the all subjects teacher in elementary), and the Elementary STEM position.
TMI Field Experience
To complete TMI 1, candidates are required to complete 60 hours of field experience in a classroom (public or private) setting and write a reflective essay. Program participants who are concurrently teaching in a Mississippi public school district or a MDE-accredited private school may apply for a reduction of the requirement, to 30 hours of field experience. A primary goal of field experience is to learn the teaching profession through observing and assisting a licensed teacher. Candidates may observe as many teachers and schools as they wish, (grades levels and subjects being observed should be the same as the grade level of the license being sought). An additional goal of field experience should be to impress teachers, principals, and others involved in the hiring process. Applicants for a position who are a known quantity, usual get an interview.
A TMI Field Experience Packet will be available on the TMI 1 course shell (Blackboard). The packet includes the expectations and the professional guidelines candidates should abide by, as well as instructions on requesting an introduction letter to set up a field experience opportunity. Discussion of the Field Experience component is also a major topic of the Orientation.
During the COVID crisis, we have been utilizing recordings of educators in action in lieu of having candidates enter schools
All alternate route programs require an internship. In TMI, the internship is associated with the full-time job that you must secure in order to enroll in TMI 2. Any MDE-accredited public or MDE-accredited private school is allowed (no limit on distance from UM campus). Candidates must teach a full academic year at an MDE accredited school in order to be eligible for the standard, renewable (5-year) license. Enrollment in TMI 2 is concurrent with candidate’s employment as a teacher.
Critical Shortage Areas
The critical shortage subject areas in Mississippi are math, science (biology, chemistry, and physics), foreign language (French, Spanish, and German), and special education. As these are the subject areas in the highest demand by Mississippi school districts, candidates with endorsements in these areas will have greater employment opportunities. The phrase “Critical Shortage Area” also applies to 48 school districts across the state that have difficulty filling all positions (these districts are primarily in rural areas, thus a smaller population from which to find staff).
Job Search Assistance
The goal of the Mississippi Teacher Center (MTC) is to connect Mississippi school districts with a pool of certified prospective teachers. Educators can submit information into a database of prospective teachers and access district job vacancies. The MTC also maintains the list of critical subject shortage areas and districts. For more information, visit the Job Search Assistance page of the MDE website.
A teacher base salary scale list is maintained by the MDE
Once candidate is issued the five-year standard license, higher degrees can be recognized (master’s degree = AA pay, specialist = AAA pay, doctorate = AAAA pay). At that point, candidates also begin moving up the salary scale. Each year of teaching experience increases salary. When setting position on the salary scale, district has the option of accepting previous teaching experience, in-state or out-of-state, public or private.