Teacher Education represents one of the largest sets of programs at Mississippi College with over 350 undergraduates pursuing majors leading to teacher licensure. Approximately 400 graduate students are enrolled in Master's degree programs which will lead to advanced licensure. Courses which constitute the undergraduate program are offered during the evening as well as during the day. The graduate course of study may be pursued during the evenings in the fall and spring semesters and during both the day and evenings in summer school.
The students who have chosen Mississippi College as the place to receive their teacher training have consistently been "the best of the best." While the standards for admission to teacher education are high, over 80% of those seeking admission to the program are successful. Although the program itself is rigorous, over 90% of our preservice teachers have received teacher licensure.
Teacher Education students are not only distinctive as individuals but also as a group. Outcome performance measures have been established by the State of Mississippi in order to assess teacher education programs. In order to be approved, 80% of program completers must pass the PRAXIS II Examination. Since 1995, over 94% of MC's graduates have successfully met or surpassed this standard. Similarly, over 99% of MC's beginning teachers have received a positive evaluation during their first year of teaching.
Since most teacher education courses include "hands-on" clinical experiences, the student to faculty ratio is typically less than 20:1. Between 80 and 100 undergraduates complete their program annually. Virtually all of these graduates find positions in education.
The Iota Beta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, a National Academic Honor Society in Education, currently has 52 active members involved in promoting education and honoring educators on and off campus. Currently the chapter is collecting materials for "Beetle for Books," an original service project designed by the chapter to involve the campus and community in collecting books and games for donation to the parent center in Clinton. Each year KDP also lends a hand in hosting both the Homecoming reception for alumni in the School of Education and the Teacher Appreciation Reception honoring the year's cooperating teachers and administrators from local schools. Members also volunteer time during Reading Is Fun Week each April to read and donate books to children in local schools. Rebekah McIntyre serves as the current president, and Dr. Cindy Melton is the chapter sponsor.
One particularly unique program offered at MC is the Mississippi College Teacher Assistance Program (MCTAP). Persons who are employed full-time as elementary classroom teacher assistants can pursue an elementary or special education degree. As MCTAP participants, they can retain their jobs, attend classes in the evenings and summers (except for the Reading & Professional Block), receive financial assistance and become regularly licensed classroom teachers by successfully completing the teacher education program. MCTAP has been recognized nationally as an outstanding program.
Many teacher education majors are members of other campus academic organizations (including Mortar Board and Alpha Chi) and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Each spring on Honors Day numerous teacher education students are recognized by the faculty for their outstanding performance.