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TMI Online General Information

What is Teach Mississippi Institute Online?

TMI Online 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 1 (13-week online course)

TMI 1 is a 13-week (11-unit) online program. The online course covers 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 Mississippi public school district or a MDE-accredited private school may apply for a 30-hour reduction in field experience hours)
  • Submit a 500-word reflective summary of the field experience
  • Attend mandatory orientation in Oxford, MS
  • Attend the mandatory Mississippi College and Career-Ready Standards (MSCC-RS) workshop in Raymond, MS  (option to complete alternate assignment in hardship situations)
  • Provide proof of non-education bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution of higher learning (international degrees not acceptable)
  • Provide passing scores on the Praxis Core (or 21 ACT, no sub-scores below 18, or SAT equivalent) –and- a Praxis Subject Assessment (formerly Praxis II) exam

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. Once the candidate has secured a teaching position, he or she may then join TMI 2.

TMI 2 (13-week online course and first-year employment)

TMI 2 is a 13-week (11-unit) online course taken during the first year of employment. The online 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 mandatory first live seminar in Oxford, MS
  • Attend the mandatory second live seminar in Raymond, MS (option to complete alternate assignment in hardship situations)
  • Work with a veteran teacher (at least five years experience) who serves as a mentor and completes evaluations on candidate progress
  • Obtain a letter documenting “internship” in a Mississippi school.

Upon completion of TMI 2, candidates will receive a certificate of completion for the program and be recommended to the Mississippi Department of Education for a five-year standard, renewable teaching license.

What is the difference between a license and an endorsement?

A teaching license is the document that allows you to be employed as an instructor. It is not subject specific; rather the subjects you are allowed to teach are listed on the license as endorsements. To get a teaching license, a candidate must have the following: a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university, a recommendation from an undergraduate education program or alternate route program (such as TMI), passing Praxis Core (or acceptable ACT or SAT scores), and a passing Praxis Subject Assessment (formerly Praxis II) in an initial license area (listed in Testing Requirements).  You will automatically receive an endorsement in the subject area that corresponds to the Praxis Subject Assessment you passed (regardless of the number of college credits you have in that area).

Listed on your teaching license, endorsements are the subjects and grade levels you are certified to teach. Your first endorsement will be in the subject area corresponding to the Praxis Subject Assessment you passed to get your license. Additional endorsements can be added using college credit (21 hours, all “C” or higher, in an endorsable area), additional approved Praxis Subject Assessments, or completion of an approved program, module, or workshop. For more information (including lists of acceptable Praxis exams and acceptable coursework), visit the Supplemental Endorsement page on the MDE website at:

Will I earn college credit in 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.

What are “Critical Shortage Areas” and what does that mean to me?

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. Seeking employment in one of these districts may entitle you to moving assistance and home buying/closing cost assistance. For more information, visit the Critical Shortage Area page on the MDE website at

What is field experience, how much must I complete, and where can I do it?

To complete the first component of TMI, candidates are required to complete sixty hours (60) of field experience in a Mississippi 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 special exemption that would reduce their requirement to thirty hours (30) of field experience.   

The goal of field experience is to learn the teaching profession through observation of, and assistance to, licensed teachers. Candidates may observe as many teachers and schools as they wish, so long as the grade level being observed is the same as the grade level of the license being sought, e.g., Special Education is K-12, so any grade may be observed, but English is 7-12, so only grades 7-12 may be observed.

You may begin your 60 hours of field experience as soon as you receive the TMI Field Experience Packet. This packet is mailed and emailed once a candidate has been admitted to the program by meeting GPA requirement and passing the background check. The Field Experience 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.

You should apply if you have:

  • earned a bachelor's degree in a non-education area from a nationally/regionally accredited institution of higher learning (or are entering your final semester), and
  • possess extensive knowledge of art, biology, chemistry, Chinese, economics, English, family & consumer sciences, French, German, health, Latin, library/media, marketing, mathematics, music, physical education, physics, mathematics, social studies, Spanish, speech communications, or special education, and
  • want a secure and rewarding career that will impact hundreds of lives,

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