Start teaching with your online Alternate Route degree as soon as next fall!
Teaching children is a valuable skill, and the demand for teachers is soaring. With a Secondary Teacher Education (Alternative Route) MAT degree from The University of Southern Mississippi, you could be ready to fill that need as soon as next fall. This 33-credit hour online program is a licensure option for students who wish to teach in a secondary class room for grades 7-12 while also earning a master’s degree. Our program guides you from the online classroom to your own classroom with the luxury of obtaining a master’s degree while you teach.
The online Alternate Route degree puts you on a path to licensure that includes a 9-credit hours of summer courses that prepares you to apply to the Mississippi Department of Education for a three-year non-renewable alternate route license and seek employment in a Mississippi school district.
If you’re interested in teaching, our alternate route degree is set up to give you the opportunity to build on the knowledge and skills you already have to support your teaching abilities, rather than start from scratch.
Check out these areas you can specialize:
- Business Education
- Home Economics
- Library Media
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
This is your life, plus college.
The University of Southern Mississippi is Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools of Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). That means you can expect a program with the highest standards and quality.
Management and Organization of Diverse Classrooms
Assessing Student Outcomes
Seminar in Secondary Education
The Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children
Curriculum in the Secondary School
Technology in Education
Secondary Education Methods
Adolescent Literacy in the Content Areas
Educational Research: Interpretation and Applications
Research in Secondary Education
Please note that the above information is meant to be a guide and is not official. For further information regarding courses for this degree, see the University Bulletin. Please be aware that not all course choices listed in the University Bulletin are available online. However, sufficient online options are available to complete this degree.
Frequently Asked Questions
The online alternate route teaching degree admits students in the fall, spring, and summer. However, in order to acquire the initial teaching license, students much complete the summer courses.
Licensure requirements and approval are determined by each state’s licensing board. For general information about professional licensure, please review the Online Programs & Professional Licensure Page. If you have professional licensing questions regarding licensure relative to one of our online programs, please read our Professional Licensure Disclosure and then fill out the Professional Licensure Inquiry Form. If you have other questions regarding licensure, please email professional licensure.
Because the online alternate route teaching degree ends with a Master’s degree, you can receive financial aid.
Sometimes quicker is not better. The TMI program provides only 9 hours of coursework prior to the candidate securing a teaching position. Teaching is complex. It is difficult to address all the demands of teaching within 9 hours of coursework though USM does its very best to do so. TMI candidates should anticipate a much longer, and perhaps more difficult, transition to the profession. In contrast, the online alternate route teaching degree candidates complete 33 hours of coursework and have ongoing support from program faculty for a more extended period (3 to 4 semesters). With this sustained contact and more in-depth coursework, alternate route candidates often have an easier transition to the teaching profession and experience greater satisfaction.
Schedule an appointment with the Program Coordinator. You will have to apply to the MAT program. However, your application will be nearly identical to your previously completed TMI application. The new application is a USM Graduate School requirement. We must have you reclassified as a MAT candidate and the application is how this is accomplished.
Contact the Program Coordinator. In conjunction with USM’s licensure official, we will do what we can to assist you.
Speak with the Program Coordinator before agreeing to the new position because it could impact USM’s ability to observe you during the internship courses.
Under state law (June 2016), alternate route candidates can receive a special, nonrenewable license at a district’s request so long as they are currently enrolled in and making progress towards an alternate route certificate or degree. USM’s role is minimal. USM simply verifies to your district and/or the state that you are enrolled. It will be up to you to communicate to your district and to ensure that you have met their requirements under this law.
USM’s Registrar’s Office will not automatically send your transcripts to MDE. You can order them online through your Student Center in SOAR or through the Registrar’s website. They will send them electronically and you should get an email when they go out.
No, USM did not and cannot send these materials on your behalf.
You are responsible for securing a teaching position in a Mississippi public school with a new teacher induction program in an endorsed content area. If we hear of schools that need positions filled, we will certainly get the word out to you via our Facebook page. We suggest using the Securing a Teaching Position help document above to guide you.
Once you have secured a job, you take one (TMI) or two (MAT) internship classes. CIS 694 is our fall semester internship class. CIS 794 is our spring semester internship class. The faculty member assigned to that class communicates with you on regularly for the semester. Additionally, there are assignments that she/he will ask of you. Visitations to your site by the supervisor will be coordinated with you as well.
Yes, if your district wants to hire you. However, candidates should realize that they can never convert a 3-year, nonrenewable license to a 5-year, renewable license without the internship courses. As a result, the 3-year license will expire, you will no longer hold a viable teaching license, and you may lose your teaching position.
Using your transcripts, we can look at the possibility of transferring up to 6 graduate credit hours from another institution for the MAT. These evaluations are done by the Program Coordinator on a case-by-case basis. Courses cannot be transferred for certificate programs like TMI.
The candidate will need to complete the Graduation Deferment Form to change the date of graduation. There may be fees associated with the deferment.
Please print the form – sign and send to the Program Coordinator to sign (scan & email). There are fees associated with graduation or certificate completion. To pay the fees, go to the Graduate School website. Pay the fee and the late fees as applicable. Send the receipt payment with the application form to the Program Coordinator.
In addition to the requirements detailed in Admission Requirements and Procedures, applicants must meet the following requirements and submit the following documents:
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution in a field other than education.
- Have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 (4.00 scale) on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
- Official score report indicating a minimum ACT composite score of 21 (singular test date) or passing scores on all three subject-area tests of the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE).*
- Official score report indicating a passing score on the Praxis II Subject Assessment Examination in one of the fourteen approved subject areas listed above.*
- Statement of Purpose
- Three Letters of Recommendation
*Praxis test codes, registration information, and minimum score requirements for the state of Mississippi are available at the ETS website.
Program Requirements and Academic Policies
- Purchase a Tk20 by Watermark subscription.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Adhere to the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics throughout the program. Violations may result in dismissal from the program.
- During enrollment in teacher internship (CIS 694 and CIS 794), pay the required fee to cover the costs associated with supervision.
- Earn a minimum grade of “B” in the following courses: CIS 570, CIS 603, CIS 694, CIS 794, and REF 632.
The GRE is not required.
Minimal Score on Nationally Normed Achievement Test
- Option 1: ACT – 21OR
- Option : Praxis CORE (All 3 Subtests Required)
- Reading (Test 5713)
- Min Score: 156
- Writing (Test 5723)
- Min Score: 162
- Math (Test 5733)
- Min Score: 130
- Reading (Test 5713)
- Minimal Score on Praxis II Content Test (Test Codes as of Sept. 2019)
- Art (Test 5134)
- Min Score: 158
- Biology (Test 5235)
- Min Score: 150
- Business Education (Test 5101)
- Min Score: 153
- Chemistry (Test 5245)
- Min Score: 151
- English Language Arts (Test 5038)
- Min Score: 167
- French (Test 5174)
- Min Score: 153
- Health Education (Test 5551)
- Min Score: 149
- Home Economics (Test 5122)
- Min Score: 153
- Library Media Specialist (Test 5311)
- Min Score: 143
- Mathematics (Test 5161)
- Min Score: 152
- Physical Education (Test 5091)
- Min Score: 145
- Physics (Test 5265)
- Min Score: 139
- Social Studies (Test 5081)
- Min Score: 150
- Spanish (Test 5195)
- Min Score: 160
- Art (Test 5134)