The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Although Mississippi offers alternate routes with streamlined preparation, it could do more to meet the immediate needs of new teachers.
The Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MAPQT) requires candidates to participate in a summer training program for approximately three weeks that is equal to 90 clock hours. The program consists of effective teaching strategies, state curriculum frameworks, planning and instruction and survival skills in the classroom. Candidates then participate in a practicum one Saturday a month for nine months. The practicum focuses on classroom management, peer coaching, school law, data analysis using test results and training modules using interactive video training.
Master of Arts candidates must complete six graduate hours of preteaching coursework requirements from an approved Master of Arts in Teaching program. Coursework includes tests and measurements and classroom management. Candidates must also complete six additional graduate hours, including a supervised internship prescribed by the participating institution.
Teach Mississippi candidates complete an eight-week training session equal to nine semester hours at the graduate level. Coursework includes teaching strategies, classroom management, state curriculum requirements, instructional methods and tests and measurements. Candidates may also complete a 10-week training session online.
American Board Certification for Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) candidates must complete training in one of the following: the MAPQT three-week summer training, an eight-week online training or six hours of initial graduate university courses.
None of the routes provides a practice-teaching opportunity but all require a one-year internship period that includes mentoring. The ABCTE program specifies that mentoring must be provided by a National Board-Certified teacher or a trained mentor certified in the same subject area.
Candidates are eligible for standard certification after one year.
Strengthen the induction experience for new teachers.
While Mississippi is commended for requiring all new teachers to work with a mentor, there are insufficient guidelines indicating that the induction program is structured for new teacher success. Effective strategies include practice teaching prior to teaching in the classroom, intensive mentoring with full classroom support in the first few weeks or months of school, a reduced teaching load and release time to allow new teachers to observe experienced teachers during each school day.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.