Washington, DC (Vocus) April 23, 2010
Teaching certification program ABCTE received numerous inquiries this week about changes to emergency teaching licenses in Mississippi. However, this change by the Mississippi Department of Education does not affect ABCTE certified teachers, including those who have been certified through the organization’s Teach & Inspire Scholarship Program.
The Mississippi Department of Education confirmed via email that this change does not impact ABCTE certified teachers. “The only license that has been suspended for the 2010-2011 school year is the 3-year Interim (IC) certificate which is an emergency license requested by a district for something that holds no certification whatsoever. The Office of Educator Licensure will not grant any new IC licenses for next year. Those teachers that are already on an IC license will keep it until it expires. This decision was made to force school districts to find teachers to fill vacancies that are already certified through traditional or alternate routes. There is no change at all to any alternate route license, nor to the 1-year EC emergency license for certified veteran teachers who are teaching out-of-field,” said Cindy Coon, Bureau Director for the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Educator Licensure.
ABCTE certification is accepted by Mississippi and eight other states for their public schools. To-date, the program has certified over 2,000 teachers. ABCTE candidates must pass rigorous exams on both professional teaching knowledge and the subject they seek certification in. ABCTE candidates have access to over 100 hours of multimedia workshops and an additional 200 hours of online preparation materials, as they prepare for their exams. Individuals who earn state certification through the ABCTE route are considered “highly qualified."
ABCTE also offers the Teach & Inspire Scholarship Program. Funded by a U.S. Department of Education Transition to Teaching grant, Teach & Inspire provides accepted participants with a full scholarship and materials needed to become certified teachers through the ABCTE program. Once ABCTE certification is obtained, candidates are eligible for an additional $1,000 stipend for completing classroom observations, plus other financial incentives. Participants must make a three-year commitment to teach their subject in a high-need school in Florida, Mississippi or South Carolina. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, have the ability to work independently and possess a strong desire to make a positive impact on students.
Speaking about the recent licensure changes in Mississippi, Teach & Inspire Scholarship Program Manager Najla Husseini said, “We’ve heard from many concerned ABCTE-certified teachers but are happy to report that they, along with any other teacher on an alternate route license, are not affected by this change. Our highly-qualified ABCTE teachers, including those who received Teach & Inspire scholarships to earn their certification, can continue teaching or be hired for open teaching positions. This decision by the Department of Education does not affect our teachers in any way.”
About ABCTE and Teach & Inspire
The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is a non-profit organization, dedicated to recruiting, preparing, certifying and supporting dedicated professionals to improve student achievement through quality teaching. ABCTE is accepted in nine states and offers an innovative teacher preparation and certification program for highly knowledgeable individuals who want to become teachers. ABCTE offers the Teach & Inspire Scholarship Program in Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina. Learn more about ABCTE and the Teach & Inspire Scholarship Program at abcte.org or visit ABCTE's Become a Teacher YouTube channel.