English Major with Secondary Education Certification
Students who plan to teach English in high school or middle school, can be certified through the Education department and get their major in English. The English education program is designed to give students a broad background in literature to prepare them for the praxis exam and the subjects they are likely to teach. Therefore, the secondary education program has more requirements. As part of the regular English major electives, students are required to take EN 360 African-American or EN 370 Ethnic American literature as well as EN 302 History of the English Language and EN 305 Advanced Grammar. Of all their required and elective courses, two must be in English, two in American, and two in World literature.
Students must also complete the required education courses for Secondary Education Certification: ED 300 Education as a Profession, ED 302 Art and Science of Teaching, ED 306 Introduction to Exceptional Learners, and PSY 360 - Educational Psychology.
To be admitted to the Teacher Education program, students must pass the Praxis Core exam or earn a 21 or higher on the ACT, earn a C or higher in ED 300, earn a B or higher in ED 302, complete 44 hours with a 2.75 GPA or higher, and pass a criminal background check. See Program Progression for details. Once admitted, students will successfully complete EN 410 Methods & Materials in Secondary English, and then they qualify to begin their student teaching semester, when they will enroll in ED 401 Classroom Management and ED 409 Observation and Directed Teaching in Secondary Education Grades 7-12
Because the secondary education program has additional requirements, the number of free electives in a student’s curriulum is limited. Therefore, students interested in secondary education certification should declare their major early in order to get proper advising and progress through their curriculum in a timely fashion. Your advisor will know when required courses are usually offered and can help you decide which electives will allow you to fulfill the required distribution in American, English, and World literature. Without proper advising, you may spend more time earning your degree.
Students should complete most of their education and major requirements prior to their senior year. In the fall semester of their senior year, students must complete any remaining requirements and take EN 410 Methods and Materials of Secondary Education and EN 499 English Capstone. Then in the Spring semester students complete their degree with the Student Teaching Semester.
Alternate Route Certification
Students who do not begin the secondary education certification track early in their college career may want to consider alternate route certification, if they become interested in teaching in their junior or senior year. Students who qualify will complete a regular English major or English with Creative Writing, and in their senior year may take two graduate education courses while registered as an undergraduate student. Taking these classes, along with earning a 21 or higher on the ACT or passing Praxis Core and a criminal background check will qualify them for a Mississippi Educator 3-year Nonrenewable Alternate Route License. They may begin teaching and must enroll in a Master of Arts in Teaching graduate program. Then they must continue to make progress towards the MAT degree while on the 3-year license and can apply for a full education license once they have completed the program.