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MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES PREPARE NEXT GENERATION OF EDUCATORS

2/25/2019 - Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi parents hope the teachers in their children's classrooms will be highly qualified, caring and creative—the kind of teacher that will inspire, challenge and support his or her students. School leaders know that having a teacher in every classroom is a challenge. Mississippi Public Universities are working hard to train the next generation of educators to be ready to enter the classroom to inspire, challenge and support the next generation of Mississippians.

Delta State University, in recognizing the critical role that clinical experiences play in readying P-12 teachers, ensures that rigorous preparation in content areas is coupled with practical applications in school settings. Delta State's continually evolving and expanding partnerships with schools result in innovations that are seamless, with all stakeholders engaged.

For example, the undergraduate elementary education program, "Day 1 Ready Clinical Model," now in its second year with Bell Academy in nearby Boyle, Miss., provides DSU students with extensive clinical practice to equip them to hit the ground running and teach from the first day "on the job" at Bell. The success of the pilot program has segued into replication across programs. Also, the DSU/Hinds Community College 2+2 program allows students to take the initial two years of coursework at Hinds and earn an associates degree, and then take the final two years at Delta State and earn a B.S.—without ever leaving the Hinds campus.

Jackson State University's Teacher Preparation Program prepares responsive and effective educators for working with digital age learners in both traditional and nontraditional K-12 settings. The university's Principal/Superintendent Preparation Program in the Department of Educational Leadership produces educational leaders with the pedagogical knowledge to address the challenges of 21st century educational settings.

The program takes a multi-prong approach by selecting candidates who are genuinely motivated to lead a chronically low performing school; reviewing course content to ensure that curriculum is standards-based, that learning goals are clear, and that the course design is pedagogically sound; focusing on preparing leaders to engage and manage adults (teachers) who in turn are responsible for teaching and managing school age learners; and including a clinical practice segment to give candidates the practical application of knowledge-based skills to ensure competency prior to assuming career roles.

Mississippi State University's College of Education (COE) offers both undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs and graduate principal/superintendent preparation programs that can be earned on the Starkville or MSU-Meridian campuses or online. The COE programs include elementary, secondary, and special education programs in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, the physical education program in the Department of Kinesiology, the music education program in the Department of Music, and the principal/superintendent programs in the Department of Educational Leadership. In addition, the COE offers teacher education alternate route programs in secondary and special education.

The COE provides high-quality field experiences for undergraduate teacher education candidates in all majors during the last semester of their teacher preparation programs in teaching internship. During the teaching internship, teacher interns observe, assist, and gradually assume full responsibility for classroom instruction.

In the principal/superintendent preparation programs, graduate students complete two 150-hour internships that parallel the work cycle of principals. Leadership Internship I is completed in the late summer and fall terms and contains typical principal work responsibilities that occur at that time of the year (i.e., opening school, facility/safety supervision, teacher professional development, management system improvement, boards and advisory group responsibilities).

Leadership Internship II is completed during spring and early summer terms and contains principal work responsibilities that typically occur at that time of year (school improvement planning for following year, student data management/supervision, spring standardized testing, student support services supervision, instructional monitoring and teacher supervision.) Through a shared commitment between practitioners, faculty, and students, theory and practice are integrated to strengthen clinical and internship experiences.

Mississippi State University and Starkville Oktibbeha School District are moving education forward with the Partnership School. The 128,000 square foot facility is slated for completion in 2019. The school will serve every sixth and seventh grade student in the local school district and also will be a demonstration site for teacher candidates and faculty members in MSU's COE.

The University of Mississippi is home to the state's only TeachLive digital classroom, a virtual reality classroom designed to help prepare juniors and seniors for student teaching and allows education students to gain hands-on experience teaching student avatars, which are powered by real actors employed by UM and utilize a variety of student personalities. Integrated into the School of Education's undergraduate curriculum, 700+ students use the TeachLive classroom each year.

UM is home to a vibrant chapter of the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program, the most valuable teacher education scholarship in the nation designed to attract the best and brightest students into the teaching profession in Mississippi. All program graduates commit to teach in Mississippi for five years. Since 2013, METP at UM has admitted 132 students and 93% of METP graduates are currently teaching in Mississippi public schools, with the remainder pursuing graduate degrees in education.

UM is the only university in Mississippi where all elementary education graduates receive state licensure in K-6 teaching and K-12 special education. Designed to meet the demands of today's teacher education workforce, the B.A.Ed. in Elementary Education with Special Education endorsement prepares students to teach in two or more disciplines in the K-6 classroom, while also incorporating significant training in special education.

The Principal Corps is the state's elite program in K-12 educational leadership. Since 2009, the program has trained 100+ education leaders for the state of Mississippi, 90% of whom are working in leadership positions in Mississippi public school districts. The Principal Corps just admitted its 10th class of 14 experienced teachers who will graduate next May. The program has the state's highest first-time pass rate on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (80%) and 99% of graduates receive leadership job offers within a year of finishing the program. All graduates earn either a Master of Education or Specialist in Education degree.

The University of Southern Mississippi's graduate programs in Educational Administration are designed for the preparation of individuals who are interested in serving as building level educational administrators (e.g., principals, assistant principals), district level educational administrators (e.g., superintendents, assistant superintendents, program coordinators) and/or individuals interested in the study of these fields (e.g., university professors, researchers). Individuals may also take courses within the department as non-degree students for professional growth and to satisfy requirements for license renewal. Degree programs offered in Educational Administration are M.Ed., Ed.S., Ed.D., and Ph.D.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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