Educator Licensure

Applicants for educator licensure shall meet all requirements by the date the complete application is received by the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Educator Licensure. Create an Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) account. Tougaloo College’s Recommending Officer for Educator Licensure will assist current students and alumni with applying for their pre-service teacher, endorsement, alternate, and standard licensure.

Updates from the Mississippi Department of Education regarding educator licensure requirements will be shared with current teacher candidates or alumni seeking a pathway to educator licensure.

Recommending Officer for Educator Licensure – Tougaloo College

Vicki Davidson, Ph.D. 
Recommending Officer for Educator Licensure
Tougaloo College
School of Education, Supervision, and Instruction
500 West County Line Road 
Tougaloo, MS 39174 
(601) 977-7744 |

Please read directions carefully regarding Pre-Service Teacher Licensure

Pre-Service Teacher Licensure

The Pre-Service Teacher License provides a statewide structure to organize procedures related to pre-service teachers once admitted to state-approved teacher preparation programs. Such procedures are designed to:

  1. Protect the health, safety, and general welfare of students and educators;
  2. Provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to practice/demonstrate knowledge and skills;
  3. Standardize the criminal background check process across the state for pre-service teachers eliminating those who are not eligible or suited to the profession;
  4. Assist pre-service teachers in understanding the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics, Standards of Conduct and hold them accountable under the Code; and
  5. Require attainment of the Pre-Service Teacher License for anyone participating in field experiences and student teaching in Mississippi schools (to include candidates in Mississippi and out-of-state educator preparation programs).


To qualify for the Pre-Service Teacher License:

  1. An applicant must be admitted to a teacher preparation program in the state of Mississippi or any other U.S. state which meets the following requirements:
  2. Leads to licensure in a teaching field; and
  3. Requires participation in field experiences or clinical practice including student teaching, residency work or any other program requirements in Mississippi schools;
  4. The educator preparation provider (EPP) shall request the Pre-Service Teacher License on behalf of the applicant according to procedures outlined in the Mississippi Educator Licensure Guidelines compendium;
  5. An applicant shall submit appropriate documentation indicating cleared criminal background check; NOTE: The Pre-service Teacher License is not intended for individuals who hold a valid provisional or standard Mississippi license in a teaching field, or an expired Mississippi renewable standard license in a teaching field. Validity.


The Pre-Service Teacher License is valid for five (5) years, with the following exceptions:

  1. Invalidated upon program completion;
  2. Rescinded if an individual withdraws, transfers or is removed from a program:
  3. Previously-enrolled candidates who withdraw, transfer, or are removed from an educator preparation program and are subsequently re-admitted to the program or admitted to a different educator preparation program are eligible for the Pre-Service Teacher License:
  • Under these circumstances the five (5)-year validity period begins again upon re-admission and issuance of the new license. Requirements (a), (b) and (c), listed above, must be met after re-admission to the educator preparation program in order to reissue the Pre-Service Teacher License; and
  1. May be extended at the request of the EPP.

NOTE: Pre-Service Teacher License holders are in-field to participate in supervised field experience, clinical practice, student teaching, or residency work consistent with the grade levels of certification sought. Individuals holding valid Mississippi Licenses in teaching fields are also in-field to participate in these activities. These experiences provide license holders with an intensive and extensive culminating activity. License holders are immersed in the learning community and provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing. Holding a Pre-Service Teacher License, even upon successful completion of an educator preparation program, does not automatically result in movement to the standard renewable license.

Application Process – Standard Five-Year Educator Licensure

  1. Read Licensure Instructions and Checklist (located within the paper application) to locate the license for which you are applying.
  2. Download a Licensure Application Packet at or apply online via the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) at The Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Licensure cannot, by law, process any requests without receipt of an official completed licensure application submitted by the prospective or practicing educator. The licensure application submitted to the MDE Office of Educator Licensure will expire 180 days from the date it is received, and date stamped by the Office of Educator Licensure.
  3. All required supporting documents for the requested license must be submitted to MDE Office of Educator Licensure prior to application processing. The supporting documents must be uploaded directly into the applicant’s assigned Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) account. Official transcript(s) and official score report(s) must be submitted electronically directly from the respective college / university and administering testing company.

Application Process – Pre-Service Teacher

The Recommending Officer for Educator Licensure will recommend all teacher candidates for educator licensure. Upon completing all College and School of Education graduation requirements, teacher candidates are recommended for educator licensure using the Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS). It may take up to 1 week for the Recommending Officer to process a teacher candidate’s Recommendation for Educator Licensure and 2-3 weeks for the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Educator Licensure to process the teacher candidates request for licensure through ELMS.

Verification of Lawful Presence (VLP)

Mississippi Code Ann. §71-11-1 requires all agencies within the state of Mississippi to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Therefore, the Division of Educator Licensure has amended the current licensure application process to include procedures for verifying an applicant’s lawful presence in the United States. Effective with applications received January 1, 2021 and thereafter, Citizens of the United States are required to submit appropriate documentation for verification once during their next most immediate licensure application submission. Non-US citizens are required to submit appropriate documentation for verification with each licensure application submission, or when their United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documents expire, whichever comes first. Licensure application(s) shall not be processed if the applicant fails to answer the request for documentation required for verification of lawful presence in the United States. Any initial or renewable license issued to an applicant who is not a United States citizen shall expire in accordance with the appropriate validity date required by a particular license type but, shall not exceed the expiration date of the applicant's authorized stay in the United States, whichever is the lesser period of time. A change in a Non-US citizen’s lawful presence status will affect his/her ability to receive or continue to hold a Mississippi educator license. It shall be the responsibility of the prospective or practicing educator to obtain and provide the MDE with required documentation regarding his/her United States citizenship or lawful presence status. Required forms and additional information found therein, can be accessed via the following web link:

For additional information regarding educator licensure, please contact the College’s recommending officer or visit the Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Educator Licensure at

Steps to Complete Prior to the Recommendation for a Standard, Five-year Educator Licensure
Please refer to the updated Undergraduate and Graduate handbooks for additional information.