What is the Mississippi Teacher Corps?
Modeled after the Peace Corps, the Mississippi Teacher Corps (MTC) is a two-year program that trains non-education majors to teach in high-poverty public schools in Mississippi.
For two years participants live and teach in rural and urban Mississippi communities. While teaching each participant earns a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi and receives training and support from MTC.
By percent of applicants accepted MTC is the most competitive teaching program in the country. Because the program is so small, MTC can offer individualized support, and all participants move as a cohort group through each stage of the training and coursework.
MTC is a state-funded program and our teachers do not displace any regularly employed teacher. MTC only places teachers in high-poverty public schools. There are no corporate dollars attached to the program and we don’t place teachers in charter schools.
The program offers a host of benefits, including:
Teacher training and certification.
Full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi.
Job placement that includes full pay ($32,000+) and benefits.
- The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students in one of the poorest areas of the country.
You can read answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.
The Mississippi Teacher Corps was created in 1989 by Andy Mullins and Amy Gutman. At the time Mullins worked at the State Department of Education. Gutman was a journalism student at Harvard University interning at the Greenwood Commonwealth.
In brainstorming ideas of how to fill the impending teacher shortage in the Mississippi Delta Gutman and Mullins came up with the Mississippi Teacher Corps, a program founded on the ideals of the Peace Corps, in which recent college graduates from all over the United States would come and teach in Mississippi.
Initially the Mississippi Teacher Corps was a one-year program funded by several foundations. In 1993, the structure of MTC was altered substantially. MTC became a two-year program based at the University of Mississippi. Participants would complete a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction while in the program. In 1994, the program became fully funded by the Mississippi Legislature.
Since 1989 more than 500 participants, reaching an estimated 100,000 students, have taught in critical-needs school districts as part of the Mississippi Teacher Corps.
Learn more about the history of MTC by visiting the Mississippi Teacher Corps Oral History Project here.
The mission of the Mississippi Teacher Corps is to end educational inequity in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Teacher Corps has three objectives:
- To provide dedicated, talented teachers for critical-needs school districts in Mississippi.
- To provide entry into the teaching profession for outstanding liberal arts graduates.
- To identify and nurture educational leaders.
Full Scholarship for a master’s in education from the University of Mississippi
As part of the Mississippi Teacher Corps participants receive a full scholarship to the University of Mississippi for a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the School of Education. The School of Education is an NCATE accredited institution. Participants complete the Master’s coursework and earn their degree during the two years of the program. Participants take classes during the summer and on selected weekends during the school year. Upon completion of the degree all participants receive an increase in pay.
Coursework tailored to the program
The coursework that makes up the Master’s Degree has been specifically created for the Mississippi Teacher Corps. The classes are designed for first-year teachers who do not have an education background. The only way to take the classes offered is to be in the Mississippi Teacher Corps.
After the initial summer training each participant is a certified teacher with Class A licensure. After completing two years in the program, and earning a Master’s Degree, each participant is eligible for a Class AA license.
Free textbooks, course fees, etc.
In addition to the full scholarship, the Mississippi Teacher Corps also pays for all textbooks, course and lab fees, graduation fees, and any other costs associated with the Master’s Degree.
During the initial summer training all participants receive a $1,000 stipend.
During the initial summer training all participants are provided free housing on-campus. Married couples living off-campus are reimbursed for the cost of on-campus housing.
During Saturday classes in the fall and spring all participants are provided a hotel room in Oxford.
Participants are placed in critical-needs school districts by the Mississippi Teacher Corps.
Full pay and benefits from your school district
As a certified teacher each participant receives full pay and benefits from the indiviual school district where he or she is employed. Benefits include health insurance.
The Mississippi Teacher Corps offers a variety of social activities including basketball, volleyball, and Ultimate Frisbee challenges between the first and second years; lunch and dinner socials; a holiday social; an end-of-the-summer social; and an end-of-the-program social.
As a participant in the program you participants meet other highly-motivated, high-achieving people from all over the country.
The most important benefit of the Mississippi Teacher Corps is working with, and touching the lives of, young people of Mississippi who have been all but forgotten about by the rest of the country. It is a life-changing experience.
The initial summer training for the Mississippi Teacher Corps (MTC) starts in June of each year.
During the summer all MTC participants receive:
- Full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction
- On-Campus housing or reimbursement (about $700) for off-campus housing
- A $1,000 stipend
- Teacher Certification (with reciprocity in all other states)
- Breakfast and lunch during the summer school teaching
- Several meals, socials, BBQ’s, and weekly frisbee and basketball games
During the school year all Mississippi Teacher Corps (MTC) participants teach in a critical-needs school district in Mississippi. Participants are placed in the Mississippi Delta, north Mississippi or Jackson.
During the school-year all participants receive:
- Full pay (starting salary is $32,000 a year) and benefits, including health insurance
- Full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, including all textbooks and lab fees
- Saturday classes twice a month at the University of Mississippi, including mentoring groups with selected second-year and veteran MTC teachers
- Hotel room for Friday and Saturday evenings in Oxford
- Constant support from your MTC mentor
At the end of the second year participants will have earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Mississippi. Participants will also have:
- Teacher certification
- Two years of experience
- Two years of full pay and benefits
- Two years of making a difference in the lives of kids in one of the poorest areas in the country
During the two years of the program all Mississippi Teacher Corps (MTC) participants complete a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi (UM). UM is an NCATE accredited program and the MA degree allows our alumni to teach anywhere in the country at a higher salary. This degree program is closed to the general public. Classes are offered only for MTC participants.
Summer, First Year (9 hours):
- EDCI 500 Assessing Student Learning
- EDCI 501 Effective Teaching and Classroom Practices
- EDCI 505 Classroom Facilitation and Management
- Summer Internship (MTC Summer School)
Fall, First Year (6 hours):
- EDLT 605 Content Area Literacy
- EDCI 600 General Advanced Methods Course
Spring, First Year (6 hours):
- EDSE 610 National and State Issues in Education
- EDCI 602 Curriculum Construction
Summer, Second Year (3 hours):
- EDCI 502 Diversity of the Adolescent Learner
- Summer Internship (MTC Summer School)
Fall, Second Year (6 hours):
- EDCI 504 Teachers As Leaders
- EDRS 605 Action Research
Spring, Second Year (6 hours):
- EDLD 641 Law and Ethics of Education
- EDSE 651 Advanced Individual Study
Total Program Hours: 36 hours
Please note that coursework can and will change as MTC responds to participant feedback and makes improvements to the program.