Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Mississippi offers the Expert Citizen Special License. This one-year license is granted to local business or other professional personnel to offer specialized or technical courses. No specific requirements for the license are outlined.
Mississippi Code 37-3-2.6(c)
Offer a license that allows content experts to serve as part-time instructors.
It is unclear whether the Expert Citizen Special License serves as a vehicle for individuals with deep subject-area knowledge to teach a limited number of courses without fulfilling a complete set of certification requirements. It appears that this may be the intent of the license; however, state policy does not describe the conditions of employment, whether it is for part-time or full-time teaching or requirements that candidates must fulfill.
Require applicants to pass a subject-matter test.
The Expert Citizen Special License could increase districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position. The state should require a subject-matter test to ensure expertise in a content area. Only a subject-matter test ensures that teachers on the Expert Citizen license know the specific content they will need to teach.
Mississippi was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.