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Mississippi Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

Mississippi has made a commitment to arts education by adopting standards that integrate production, problem solving, aesthetics, art history, criticism, and career opportunities in the visual arts. As the Mississippi Department of Education notes, arts-focused classes assist students in developing skills that will transfer to many other disciplines and life situations, and students who are involved in the arts generally do better on other areas of academics.

The Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Educator Licensure is the state’s licensing body for teachers. To become an art teacher in Mississippi, complete the following steps:

Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program
Complete Testing
Apply for Your License
Maintain and Upgrade Your License
Pursue Graduate Work

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program

The first step to becoming an art teacher in Mississippi is to earn a bachelors degree in Teacher Education from an accredited school and complete an approved program of teacher education, or complete one of the state’s alternative routes. Majoring in the arts is not required, although programs should include student teaching.

By state law, all teacher prep programs in the state are valid for any state license. If you complete a program in another state, you must provide documentation to the Office of Educator Licensure showing that the out-of-state program is approved for licensure in that state. The Office of Educator Licensure accepts degrees or coursework from any nationally or regionally accredited institution. (Accreditation can be checked from the United States Department of Education website or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation website.)

In general, teacher prep classes will cover the principles of effective teaching, learning how to create dialogue in the classroom, learning how to provide meaningful feedback, learning how to conduct appropriate assessments, and other skills. Depending on the program, they may also cover learning to teach the basics of reading, writing, and math. Classes designed to prepare you for being an art teacher specifically will vary by school and by the grade you are preparing to teach, but they usually cover the history of art, various art-making techniques (drawing, painting, etc.), the theory and principles of arts education, critical dialogue about art, a student teaching component, and sometimes a portfolio review.

 



 

Step 2. Complete Testing

Before becoming an art teacher in Mississippi, you must pass the following three tests:

  1. Praxis Core
  2. Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching
  3. Art: Content Knowledge

All tests are computer-based, though accommodations are made for those with disabilities. Visit the Praxis Test Centers and Dates site to find the testing centers near you.

Praxis Core

All beginning Mississippi teachers’ areas must pass all three Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests. It’s likely you will complete these tests before being admitted to a teacher prep program, although some programs accept ACT scores instead.

The Praxis Core tests measures basic skills in reading, writing, and math, through multiple-choice questions and two thirty-minute essay questions. Passing scores in Mississippi are as follows:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading 156
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing 162
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics 150

Principles of Learning and Teaching

The Principles of Learning and Teaching measures general pedagogical knowledge through multiple-choice questions and constructed-response prompts based on case studies. These tests are administered at various grade levels, and you should take the test that most directly applies to the grade level you will be teaching. Minimum scores in Mississippi are as follows:

  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K–6
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5–9
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7–12

Subject Test

The Art: Content Knowledge test (5134) is a two-hour exam that measures basic knowledge of art making and the historical and theoretical foundations of art in the Western tradition and worldwide. In Mississippi, a passing score is 158.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Your License

The following levels of licensure apply to all Mississippi art teachers who follow the traditional routes (see the Department of Education website for alternate routes):

  1. Class A = Bachelor’s level license
  2. Class AA = Master’s degree level license
  3. Class AAA = Specialist degree level license
  4. Class AAAA = Doctorate degree level license

You can apply for a five-year Class A license in Art K-12 after earning your bachelors degree, completing your teacher prep program, and passing the tests above. You can apply for any Mississippi license on paper or online, although the department encourages online applications. If applying online, send all supporting documents other than the application to the address below; if applying by mail, send all documents including the application to:

Mississippi Department of Education
Office of Educator Licensure
P.O. Box 771, Jackson, MS 39205-0771

If you’re seeking a traditional five-year license with a Visual Arts K-12 endorsement, send:

  1. Licensure Application (Paper or Online)
  2. Transcript(s) (Sealed or e-Scrip)
  3. Test Scores

For out-of-state teachers and those following alternative programs, other documents are required; see the application.

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

Teachers with standard certification in Mississippi hold a five-year renewable certificate. These licenses must be renewed every five years with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or college coursework, or by completion of the National Board process earned during the validity period of the license. (Any license issued for less than five years is a provisional license and is non-renewable.)

To renew your five-year Class A license, you must complete one of the following:

  1. Ten continuing education units (CEUs) in arts-related areas or
  2. Three semester hours in content orjob/skill related area and five continuing education units (CEUs) in content or job/skill related area or six (6) semester hours in content or job/skill-related area or completion of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards process.

The Office of Educator Licensure accepts degrees or coursework from any nationally or regionally accredited institution. Detailed renewal information may be found on the department’s website.

To advance to a higher level of licensure, you must complete another degree or certificate, as shown below:

  1. Class AA = Master’s degree level license
  2. Class AAA = Specialist degree level license
  3. Class AAAA = Doctorate degree level license

Renewal requirements for Class AA (masters degree), AAA (specialist degree), or AAAA (doctorate degree) level license are as follows: 5 CEUs or a 3-hour college course or completion of National Board Certification. A grade of “C” or higher must be obtained on all coursework taken for renewal or reinstatement of license or the adding of supplemental endorsements.

 


 

Step 5. Pursue Graduate Work

As noted above, gradate coursework is required to move higher in Mississippi’s levels of licensure. Post-baccalaureate programs available in the state include:

  • Master of Education in Teaching Arts
  • Education Specialist–Educational Leadership
  • Education Specialist–Elementary Education
  • Doctor of Education–Curriculum and Instruction
  • Ed.S. – Specialist of Education
  • M.Ed. in Art
  • MFA
  • Master of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
  • Ed.S. in Elementary Education
  • Ed.D. in Elementary Education
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Educational Leadership
  • M.Ed. in Secondary Education
  • Ed.S. in Secondary Education
  • Ph.D.in Secondary Education

 




 


Mississippi Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in Mississippi (as of the 2012-2013 school year) is $31,184, somewhat lower than the national average of $36,141.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide data on art teacher salaries as a separate unit, but tracks salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers as larger categories. The department reports the following annual mean wages and employment numbers as of May 2013:

Occupation Title Employment Annual Mean Salary
Elementary School Teachers 14,290 $41,490
Middle School Teachers 7,610 $41,760
Secondary School Teachers 10,670 $42,820

However, teacher salaries can vary significantly by location. A sample of the median salaries and employment figures as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some major cities appears below:

Occupation Title Employment Annual Mean Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi, MS
Elementary School Teachers 1,070 $42,350
Middle School Teachers 490 $42,510
Secondary School Teachers 880 $43,540
 

 

Hattiesburg, MS
Elementary School Teachers 610 $40,150
Middle School Teachers 320 $45,190
Secondary School Teachers 560 $42,380
 

 

Jackson, MS
Elementary School Teachers 2,740 $41,390
Middle School Teachers 1,670 $42,070
Secondary School Teachers 2,190 $43,280
 

 

Memphis, TN-MS-AR
Elementary School Teachers 6,260 $52,070
Middle School Teachers 4,020 $48,860
Secondary School Teachers 4,430 $51,110
 

 

Pascagoula, MS
Elementary School Teachers 760 $45,290
Middle School Teachers 380 $43,650
Secondary School Teachers 450 $45,110
 

 

Gulfport-Biloxi, MS
Elementary School Teachers 1,070 $42,350
Middle School Teachers 490 $42,510
Secondary School Teachers 880 $43,540
 

 

Hattiesburg, MS
Elementary School Teachers 610 $40,150
Middle School Teachers 320 $45,190
Secondary School Teachers 560 $42,380

There is no statewide salary schedule, and salaries vary by school district. The teacher salary schedule established by the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for the 2014-2015 school year requires a base salary of $33,390 for those with a bachelors, $35,780 for those with a masters, and $36,944 for those with a doctorate. A complete breakdown of the salary schedule may be found here.

Information on postsecondary art, music, and drama teacher salaries in various areas of the state can be found in the following table provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area Name
Employment
Annual Median Salary
Hattiesburg MS
100
53250
Jackson MS
140
50700
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
150
58230
Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
70
54780
Southeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
50
53080

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