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Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program

In exchange for a three-year teaching commitment in a Mississippi critical shortage district, MTFP Fellows receive:

  • Tuition scholarships for Master of Education or Educational Specialist degree program
  • Pentium computer
  • Stipends for books and supplies

Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program
School of Education
University of Mississippi
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848
Phone: (662) 915-3991
Toll-free: 1-888-611-5160

Dr. Whitney Thompson, Program Manager
Ms. Cindy Misita, Assistant Program Manager
Ms. Connie Jenkins, Secretary


Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program Overview

In 1998 the Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill 609 which addresses the critical teacher shortage in state, with Section 13 of this bill providing for the University Assisted Teacher Recruitment and Retention Program. As a result of Section 13 of HB 609, the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program is designed as an innovative partnership to address Mississippi’s teacher shortage.

The purpose of the program is to attract qualified teachers to the critical teacher shortage areas of Mississippi. Scholarships will be made available to persons seeking a Master of Education or Educational Specialist degree at a Mississippi institution of higher learning in exchange for employment in these geographical shortage areas. The vision for the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program is to provide educational experiences to students enrolled in at-risk schools that will allow these students to participate fully in the economic and social opportunities of out nation.

A cohort group of up to 75 participants will be recruited each year. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who are relocating from within Mississippi or out of state to teach in critical shortage areas as identified by the State Board of Education.

In exchange for a three-year commitment to teach in a critical teacher shortage area, selected participants receive the following benefits:

  • Tuition scholarship for Master of Education or Educational Specialist degree program at a Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning
  • A Pentium Computer
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Stipends for books and supplies
  • Classroom instructional enhancement grants
  • Mentoring program
  • Ongoing cohort support via Internet chat rooms, email and MTFP Program office toll-free number …

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Teacher Committment

Participants selected for the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program shall agree to employment as a licensed teacher in a Mississippi school district identified as a critical shortage area for a period of not less than three (3) years. This time period includes the years of service rendered while the participant obtains his or her Master of education degree of Educational Specialist degree. For any person who obtained a baccalaureate degree in education with a financial scholarship under the Critical Needs Teacher Scholarship Program and who entered the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program prior to rendering service as a teacher, the period of employment shall be two (2) years in addition to the employment commitment required under the Critical Needs Teacher Scholarship Program.

Liability Statement: As identified in Section 13 (7) of House Bill 609, any person participating in the program who fails to complete a program of study that will enable that person to obtain a Master of Education degree of an Educational Specialist degree shall become liable immediately to the Mississippi Department of Education for the sum of all awards (including tuition, stipends, relocation expenses, etc.) made to that person under the program, plus interest accruing at the current Stafford Loan rate at the time the person abrogates his/her participation in the program.

All funds received by the State Department of Education from the repayment of scholarship awards and relocation expenses by program participants shall be depositited in the Mississippi Critical Teacher Shortage Fund.

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Application Process

In addition to the application, candidates are asked to submit the following:

1. Personal Essay In no more that two (2) typed pages, candidates should discuss their interest in teaching in Mississippi as a member of the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program. Include a description of personal experiences and qualifications that will make you an effective teacher in a geographical teacher shortage area in Mississippi.

2. A current resume outlining work experience, extracurricular activities, and significant honors.

3. One letter of recommendation from a professor or employer familiar with the candidate’s character, interests, and academic ability. Where possible, letters should speak specifically about personal qualities or experiences that indicate the candidate is suited for classroom teaching.

4. Verification of Mississippi Teacher Licensure Verification of Mississippi Teacher Licensure(i.e. copy of certificate) must be submitted to the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program as part of the application process. Candidates applying for licensure should submit all licensure forms and materials directly to the Office of Educator Licensure. For information regarding teacher licensure in Mississippi, candidates may refer to the

Mississippi Department of Education 
or contact the
Office of Educator Licensure/ Mississippi Department of Education
P.O. Box 771 Jackson, MS 39205-0771
(601) 359-3483

Verification of employment in a critical shortage district. Please submit a letter of verification and start date of employment from your district office.

Please submit an official or unofficial transcript of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) work.

Verification of acceptance in a Master of Education or Educational Specialist degree program at a Mississippi IHL. Please submit verification of acceptance in a graduate program (i.e. copy of acceptance letter).

Application Deadline

  • Review of application materials will begin in late April. Applicants will be selected on a rolling admissions basis until all 75 slots are filled. Candidates are encouraged to submit application materials as promptly as possible.
  • If you are unable to submit verification of employment, acceptance in a Master of Education or Educational Specialist degree program at a Mississippi institution of higher learning, or verification of Mississippi teacher licensure by April, you must include an estimated timeline for submission of any/al of these missing application material(s).
  • Candidates may be admitted to the program on a conditional basis while awaiting all required application materials. Full acceptance in the MTFP program is contingent up receipt of all applicatiion materials.

The Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program complies with all applicable laws regarding affirmative action and equal opportunity in all its activities and programs and does not discriminate against anyone protected by law because of age, creed, color, national origin, race, religion, sex, handicap, veteran, or other status.

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Mississippi Teacher Shortage Areas

The following school districts are eligible for the incentives and scholarships made available through funds from HB #609, the Mississippi Critical Teacher Shortage Act.

School Districts

Bolivar West Bolivar, Benoit, North Bolivar, Cleveland, Shaw, Mound Bayou
Carroll Carroll County
Claiborne Claiborne County
Coahoma Coahoma County, Coahoma Agricultural High School, Clarkdale Separate
Copiah Copiah County, Hazlehurst Separate
Greene Greene County
Holmes Holmes County, Durant Separate
Humphreys Humphreys County
Jasper West Jasper Consolidate
Jefferson Jefferson County
Leflore Leflore County, Greenwood Separate
Madison Canton Separate
Marshall Marshall County, Holly Springs Separate
Montgomery Montgomery County
Noxubee Noxubee County
Panola North Panola County
Quitman Quitman County
Sharkey South Delta
Sunflower Sunflower County, Drew Separate, Indianola Separate
Tallahatchie East Tallahatchie Consolidated, West Tallahatchie Consolidated
Tate Tate County
Tunica Tunica County
Washington Hollandale Consolidated, Leland Consolidated, Western Line Consolidated, Greenville Separate
Wilkinson Wilkinson County
Yazoo Yazoo/Holly Bluff, Yazoo City Separate