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Earn An Online Elementary Education Degree Without Leaving Your Classroom!

Elementary Education BS [for Teacher Assistants]
Program Overview

Are you currently a teacher’s assistant? If so, you know what it takes to lead a K-6 classroom. In fact, you have probably thought about leading your own classroom one day. The Teacher Assistant Program (TAP) is a fully online elementary education degree from The University of Southern Mississippi, and is designed specifically to support your goals as an educator.  It offers you a convenient pathway to earning a Bachelor of Science degree and becoming a certified teacher while continuing your job as a teacher assistant.

Interested in expanding beyond elementary education?  Southern Miss offers a Master’s Educational Administration and Supervision online degree, as well as a Master’s Special Education online degree.  Alternately, The University of Southern Mississippi offers an undergraduate Special Education online degree.


Your Future

Check out some of the jobs our graduates landed after earning this degree.

  • Elementary Teacher K – 5
  • Behavior Intervention Specialist
  • Upper Elementary
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Before and After School Mentor
  • Reading Interventionist
  • Community Education Coordinator
  • Director of Advocacy

Your future starts at Southern Miss!


We all have a thirst for knowledge. But only some of us have an eagerness to share it. Make teaching your profession with our online elementary education degree.


To receive your GoldCard, you must meet the following criteria:

  • GPA of 2.75 or better on the 44 hour core coursework
  • ACT composite of 21 or higher with no scale score below 18
    • OR an SAT of 860 (verbal and quantitative) upon entrance into college
    • OR -PRAXIS Core info:Reading- recommended passing score is 31 out of possible raw-score points. The scaled score associated with raw score of 31 is 156 on 100-200 scale.Writing- recommended passing score is 44 out of possible 70 raw-score points. 44 is 162 on 100-200 scale. Math- recommended passing score is 29 out of 50 raw score points. 29 is 150 on 100-200 scale. The new tests are titled “Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators”. The codes are Reading (5712), Writing (5722), and Mathematics (5732), and these tests are computer based.
      • Please keep a copy of your PRAXIS scores for your record
  • TK20 Subscription
    • The Professional Education policy at Southern Miss requires all teacher education candidates to subscribe to the Tk20 Assessment System, an electronic portfolio and storage system for teacher candidates which tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes candidate data to maintain program excellence for accreditation. The subscription will be active for seven (7) years from the date of purchase. Two options for payment are:
    • A one-time subscription payable through the Tk20 Web site ( using a debit or credit card.
    • The purchase of an access kit from the University Bookstore at an increased price which may be charged to your student account.
    • Any questions regarding to TK20 access or any technical problems, contact Dr. Debbie Stoulig, Coordinator of NCATE Assessment, at 601-266-4539 or email:

Degree Requirements

  • ENG 101 (Composition I)
  • ENG 102 (Composition II)
  • Senior Seminar (Teacher Candidacy)

Select one course from ART 130, DAN 130, MUS 165, (Appreciation of the Arts)


  • Select 2 lab sciences in a selected discipline approved under General Degree Requirements (see
    Undergraduate Bulletin)
  • MAT 101



  • English (9 additional hrs)
  • Social Studies (9 additional hrs)
  • Foreign Languages (21 hrs)
  • Mathematics (18 additional hrs/12 hrs for middle school)
  • Science (10 additional hrs)

PreRequisites for the Introductory Block courses:
44-46 hour Core Curriculum with a 2.75 GPA
Passing PRAXIS I (or equivalent, ACT, SAT)

*All teachers will have a supplemental Reading Add-On
Minimum grade is C



  • SPE 400** (Ed Except Indiv)
  • CIR 306** (Intro to Literacy)
  • SME 432 (Science for Elem Teachers) (Offered only in the Summer)
  • CIP 340** (Found. Of Early Child)
  • IT 465** (BTLE computer exam required)

**PreRequisites for the Intermediate Block courses





  • CIE 480 (Lower Elem grades)~Student Teaching
  • CIE 482 (Upper Elem grades)~Student Teaching


Frequently Asked Questions

Additional fees may apply for the online elementary education degree. Fees range between $20 – $60.

The education courses must be taken in the order of the curriculum design of study. Each course builds on the previous classes. We have designed the online elementary education degree program so teacher assistants can take 12 hours each semester and still finish their degree requirements including student teaching in two years.

For pricing information, click here.  For financial aid information, click here.  For detailed tuition information, click here.

The state of Mississippi requires that you be highly qualified, or endorsed in two subject area. You automatically earn a reading endorsement through our program, so you’ll need to choose one other area and plan accordingly:

Can I take elementary education courses while I am student teaching?

No. Student teaching requires your full attention so all coursework must be completed before you begin your student teaching experience.

What is the student teaching packet?

The student teaching packet includes forms that you filled out on TK20 showing all your coursework, endorsement areas, and educational philosophy. You must fill this out the semester before you plan to student teach: in the spring for fall student teaching, in the fall for spring student teaching. Your senior block instructors will assist you in this process.

Before student teaching, it is also required that you complete a First Weeks of School (FWOS) assignment that can be found on TK20. Student teachers may be required to attend face to face professional development meetings during the semester of their student teaching.

When is the graduation application due for the Elementary Education BS?

The graduation application must be filled out on SOAR the semester before you intend to graduate: spring for fall graduation, fall for spring graduation. You cannot register for student teaching until this is completed. Your senior block instructors will help you with this process.

Will other classes besides the ones listed in degree requirements count towards my degree?

Other classes that aren’t listed may count towards your online elementary education degree once your transcript has been evaluated and posted.


Do online students pay out-of-state tuition?

No, online students pay resident tuition.

Are you a military veteran or service member?

If yes, visit for more information on how Southern Miss can serve you and your needs.   We will help you with funding and scholarship information, admissions and course enrollment.

Can this degree be completed fully online?

Yes, the online elementary education degree program is available totally online.  Students are not required to visit campus for an in-class chat session; however, an online lecture may be required by your instructor.

What other online degrees are offered by Online at Southern Miss?

Please visit our programs page here: